Monala is a woman-owned minimalist clothing brand driven by the desire to educate people about conscious fashion choices.
Monala steps away from fast fashion trends and the conventional format of four seasons and micro-seasons to show that repetitive garment replacement is unnecessary to form and maintain a personal clothing style.
We focus on making high-quality, timeless clothes that never go out of style and can be worn year after year.
Our wool garments are classic silhouettes brought to meet the needs . The entire collection consists of minimalism-inspired seasonless wardrobe basics, which can be mixed and matched with other clothes made of different materials and textures.
Merino wool is a 100% natural and sustainable fiber bringing us many benefits, including surprising softness, odor resistance, temperature-regulating properties, moisture absorption, and breathability. It is a biodegradable fiber that does not require frequent washing, unlike many other materials.
Why should you choose knitwear? The production of knit clothes does not create excess waste since every piece of a garment is made in a specific shape. There are no scraps tha are inevitable with fabrics. Choosing handmade knit clothes means contributing to positive change in the fashion industry.
The production of Monala’s knitwear does not include water usage.
To avoid overproduction, we start making a garment only after receiving your payment.
Our knitwear is crafted from carefully selected certified wool sourced from Europe.
Let’s learn more about Monika, the woman behind the Monala brand
Can you share the story of the Monala brand?
Monala is not just a brand or occupation to me. This brand embodies my development as a person and artist. While still at school, I would crochet small projects, and I remember making a strawberry-style bikini, which I actually wore many times at the lake.
I genuinely wanted to study fashion design or something related to textile, but, sadly, I had not picked a certain school subject that would have helped me get a high competitive score. Eventually, I ended up studying history and secretly wanted to write a BA thesis on the national costume in the interwar period. To my disappointment, there was a lot of research on this topic, meaning I had to choose a different field of study.
During my high school years, I was occupied with my after-school activities, and as a university student I had a lot of spare time. To keep myself busy, I browsed the Internet for DIY ideas and found a jaw-dropping crochet dress. I was dying to find out how it was made. At that time, I had no idea I could use a ruler to make a crochet pattern. Anyways, I made the dress and wore it during my university graduation ceremony. Honestly, I was more proud of that dress than the diploma! Ha ha!
I also did not miss opportunities to showcase my crochet projects. For instance, I had an exhibition of my crochet clothes at the local community center, and participated in a runway show where my collection was presented by girl gymnasts along with other collections.
When did you decide that you want to build a brand?
It may be no surprise, but I was not happy at my two jobs. I was also working on my Master’s degree, and I knew I was wasting my time instead of doing what I loved. I knew I had to dedicate myself to a purposeful activity, so I came up with the idea of launching a brand that would have a meaning.
Why merino wool in particular?
I wanted my brand to be about high-quality and clothes that can be worn all year round. Merino wool displays a range of beautiful properties. It is super easy to take care of this fiber, and the clothes turn out really good-looking and long-lasting. Moreover, merino wool is a biodegradable and renewable material that does not harm the environment.
How did you get your first manual knitting machine?
Having a manual knitting machine was my dream during my university years. I was making crochet clothes at that time, and I was dreaming of making the production process much faster so I could make more pieces.
I quit my job and got a chance to be funded by the state to start my own business. My first manual knitting machine costed about €3,000.
Is it hard to start a sustainable business? What challenges have you experienced so far?
Oh, it is hard. From the very beginning, it is so challenging to find the right way to approach the target audience. All the communication on social media, marketing, and becoming visible is so difficult, but worth it!
Was it hard to learn using it?
I was shown how to use it only once at the moment of purchase, so I had to put a lot of effort to master this piece of equipment. I was thirsty for learning how to make all kinds of beautiful patterns, so I spent lots of days and nights trying to learn as much as I could.
What does the word Monala mean?
Monala is an acronym of my name Monika and my maiden name Alavičiūtė.