11 Reasons why alpaca is sustainable and part of the sustainable fashion story
1. It is biodegradableWe’ve seen the mountains of textile waste. Anything made with natural fibres won’t be joining that pile. They are biodegradable and will be broken down by nature. Synthetic manmade fibres take 200+ years to degrade, in the meantime sitting in landfill, and generating greenhouse gases as the toxic chemicals leach into the soil and the oceans.
2. The process uses few chemicalAll natural fibres required fewer chemicals in the production process and alpaca yarn can additionally be processed at lower temperatures and requires no chemicals apart from detergents (and dyes where used).
3. Less washingAs a natural fibres alpaca fleece has antibacterial properties, which means that it doesn’t absorb smells easily. Also, because of the hollow fibres (developed by alpacas in the Peruvian mountains to protect themselves from extreme temperatures) alpaca yarn is breathable, which means that sweat gets absorbed by the fibre and then evaporated in the air before it gets time to turn into that acrid stale smell.
And how is that sustainable? You never have to wash it. Reducing the use of your washing machine saves a lot of water and power.
4. It is stain-resistant without chemical coatingsAlpaca material is stain-resistant, which means that it needs less washing and is less likely to get ruined by stains … and alpaca is stain-resistant without having chemicals and coatings added to it to make it so.
5. It is water-repellent
Alpaca yarn is naturally water-repellent, which it wicks away rain and sweat to keep you dry and comfortable. Even when it does get absorbed the fibre can absorb about 30% of its dry weight before you’ll feel wet on your skin.
Which is great, but how is that sustainable? because waterproof fabrics are synthetic and water-repellent coatings use possibly toxic chemicals.
6. Save power with no ironingAlpaca yarn is naturally wrinkle resistant and won’t need ironing. An iron uses power, water and ultimately emits greenhouse gases. It has been estimated that ironing emits the 190 kg of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gases per person annually.
7. Sustainable Alpacas
Unlike sheep and goats, alpacas do not pull up grass from the roots when they graze. They simply cut off the tops of the grasses with their teeth, leaving the root system to continue to grow new leaves and preserving the top soil.
8. Alpaca in your wardrobe means fewer clothesAlpaca yarn isolates, insulates, thermoregulates, and is breathable … those hollow fibres again … so it can be worn year round. You can wear it through the snow, the rain, the sun, most definitely the wind, and the cold. Even when the day warms up, you can keep your alpaca items on because they are so breathableLasting a lifetime
You need to buy fewer clothes!
9. A lifetime investmentAlpaca is one of the strongest mammal fibres, and once spun well, garments will be even stronger and will last a long time. Looked after well, they will also not display wear-and-tear however much they are worn and loved. You know how your favourite jumper pills, sheds and loses shape? The strength and elasticity of alpaca fibre protects it from all of this.And why does this make it sustainable?
10. It encourages social equity and economic developmentOur 4ply and aran yarn comes from Peru. Many indigenous people in Peru live a marginalized life on the Andean countryside. One of the ways they can earn some extra income is by selling their alpaca fleece to bigger producers that turn it into wool. Our yarn is ethically and sustainably sourced so that we know we are buying from supported communities who receive the profits of their work.
11. Product Mileage
Our DK and Chunky yarns are produced from farms within Britain, which means that you are not only buying British but reducing product miles,