Atelier Basile: an ethical luxury knitwear brand ?

Cover art Atelier Basile

Ate­lier Basile is a fam­i­ly-run Bel­gian lux­u­ry knitwear brand. Their tra­di­tion­al designs meet bright and inno­v­a­tive colours. Ate­lier Basile also claims to fight fast fash­ion with eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able prac­tices.

Who is Atelier Basile?

Ate­lier Basile is co-owned by Karen Ver­hey­den and Louise Reg­nier. Karen is in charge of man­age­ment and busi­ness. Louise takes care of the cre­ative direc­tion. They are also moth­er and daugh­ter.

Karen has been a busi­ness woman for years and an inde­pen­dent entre­pre­neur since 2006. Before co-own­ing Ate­lier Basile, she had a career in sales at Black­ber­ry and in per­son­al brand­ing at MPRES­SIONS. She is now the busi­ness man­ag­er of Ate­lier Basile.

Louise has a Bach­e­lor in Mar­ket­ing for Busi­ness Man­age­ment across Europe. Through it, she stud­ied in Barcelona (Spain), Lim­burg (Bel­gium) and Rennes (France). She is now the cre­ative direc­tor of Ate­lier Basile.

Karen (on the left) and Louise (on the right) pos­ing for a cute pic­ture (from Ate­lier Basile’s Fall-Win­ter 2023 Look­book)

“Love is all we knit.”

Ate­lier Basile’s brand sig­na­ture

Their brand sig­na­ture (and love­ly Bea­t­les ref­er­ence) tran­spires in their belief to cre­ate “time­less knitwear that knows no sea­sons”. Ate­lier Basile fights fast fash­ion using durable and nat­ur­al yarn, with hand-knit and sin­gu­lar pieces.

Autumn-Winter 2023 at Paris Fashion Week.

True to their pur­pose, their light and bright colours clash with winter’s gloomi­ness. The tra­di­tion­al hand-woven tech­nique show­case unique colours and pat­terns.

Louise’s favourite piece is a colour­ful striped sweater with sur­plus thread.

Louise Reg­nier, cre­ative direc­tor of Ate­lier Basile with her favourite piece of the Autumn-Win­ter 2023 col­lec­tion.

Sustainability. Towards the Future.

Ate­lier Basile uses nat­ur­al yarn for their pieces. These nat­ur­al fibres are biodegrad­able. The main fab­ric used by the brand is mohair, a lux­u­ri­ous type of yarn that is both soft to the touch and resis­tant to exter­nal attacks.

An Ango­ra goat, the breed from which mohair is woven (Pho­to­graph By Jes­si­ca Bur­nett)

Explore more sus­tain­able fash­ion brands in our ded­i­cat­ed cat­e­go­ry.

Karen and Louise seem to be attached to an eth­i­cal and fair man­u­fac­tur­ing process for their sus­tain­able fash­ion prod­ucts. Instead of work­ing with a con­ven­tion­al fac­to­ry, they chose to employ a social busi­ness in Bul­gar­ia to man­age pro­duc­tion.

This group works with women who hand-knit pat­terns from home, employ­ing and pay­ing them fair­ly. This struc­ture trans­forms weav­ing into soft­er work, with adapt­able work loads and hours.

Ate­lier Basile has refused to divulge the name of this organ­i­sa­tion. There is no men­tion of this struc­ture on Ate­lier Basile’s pre­sen­ta­tion or legal men­tions either. As busi­ness man­ag­er and co-own­er of the brand, Karen declares she prefers to keep its name secret so as to pro­tect this enter­prise from com­peti­tors.

Senior woman knit­ting as seen on Ate­lier Basile’s About Us sec­tion

The knitwear mar­ket in Europe is fierce and get­ting fiercer, so we under­stand this deci­sion. But we do not applaud it. Trans­paren­cy is the back­bone of any form of sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal fash­ion.

Ate­lier Basile’s refusal to share pre­cise or ver­i­fi­able facts about their pro­duc­tion process made us scep­ti­cal of dis­cussing the brand on our plat­form. We hope to even­tu­al­ly ver­i­fy this infor­ma­tion and share it as an exam­ple of what doing good could look like for the fash­ion indus­try.

Written by Malu Benjamin
March 13, 2023

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