We love wool! There is nothing more satisfying than slipping a wool sweater on during a cold, blistery, winter day. However, not all wool has the same sustainable footprint. For us, Alpaca from Peru is one of our favorites in terms of comfort and the environment! The environmental benefits are derived from alpaca’s padded feet and grazing habits. Rather than hooves that often degrade usable land, alpaca have padded feet which are softer on the Earth. This allows plants to continue growing even after being stepped on by an Alpaca. The same applies for the grazing habits of an alpaca - they only eat the top of the plant in a way that doesn’t damage the root system. This allows the plant to continue growing after being eaten. It keeps the ecosystem alive! Lastly, alpaca require less water and food compared to other wool providing animals, and alpaca wool doesn’t contain lanolin or grease, meaning harmful chemical treatments are not needed.
A notable downside to raising alpaca, as with all animals, is manure, belching and the passing of gas. CO2 emissions are high because of these. We try to overcome this by limiting the amount of wool used and only working with small farmers in Peru whose alpaca live on free range eco-farms. Our goal is not to increase production but rather help maintain the current livelihood of the rural farmers who work hard to raise and care for the alpaca.
Animal Rights: Since we only work with small farmers in Peru, the well being of their alpaca is of best interest to them economically. Alpaca are only sheared once a year in the summer and all alpaca are allowed to roam freely on eco-farms. No alpaca are killed to produce wool.