How our alpacas live
The history of alpacas goes back hundreds of years when they were already being bred by indigenous peoples. Similar to that time, our alpaca wool comes from animals that live in herds of 100-150 alpacas, taken care by Peruvian families. There they graze in the Quinta del Inca regions above 3,500 m, where they enjoy daily plenty of exercise and fresh grass.
One of the most sustainable animal fibres
Did you know that cleaning alpaca fibre requires much less energy and chemicals than other animal fibres? But that is by no means all. Alpacas graze on remote areas that have never played a role in food production. This means that there is no risk of diaplacement. And when they graze, they leave behind healthy soil because, unlike other woolly animals, they don't pull the entire root out of the ground, but only eat the top part of the grass. Interesting, right?
We want to empower indigenous communities
Our alpaca wool comes traditionally from Peruvian families. The Sustainable Alpaca Network program "PACOMARCA" of our partner IncaTops supports the needs and education of the farming families who have been breeding and appreciating these animals for thousands of years.
Details and frequent questions
Wool clothing has been warming and protecting for thousands of years! Alpaca wool keeps you warm without weighing you down when it's cold outside, but cools just as well when it's warm.
Alpaca wool is a super soft natural fiber. It is extremely versatile and can be used on its own or blended with other sustainable fibers. It’s Hypoallergenic, a big plus for those with sensitivities to wool as it contains no lanolin.
Color options are endless as Alpaca wool comes in 22 natural colours including variations of white, grey, brown and black. Therefore, no environmentally harmful dyeing processes are necessary.
We think the Alpaca just might be the greenest animal on the planet.
Our alpaca jumpers are particularly suitable for allergy sufferers, as we use so-called baby alpaca wool. It contains hardly any wool fat - and therefore no lanolin - which makes it hypoallergenic. Lanolin is an animal fat produced by sheep and is therefore found in many wool jumpers and can be irritating for the skin. However, since alpaca wool is lanolin-free, it is very attractive for allergy sufferers, babies or people with sensitive skin.
So you can wear your cuddly alpaca jumper without any problems.
No, of course we do not use wool from baby alpacas. The term "baby alpaca wool" actually describes the fibre length of the wool - and not the age of the animals. Fun Fact: Our baby alpaca wool is only 20 - 22.5 microns short. This is why it is called as "baby alpaca wool".
Alpaca wool is super sustainable and we at ARMEDANGELS are big fans. But we also know that there are often negative headlines about the bad treatment of alpacas.
Alpaca wool comes from a living being. And that deserves our respect. That's why we only use wool that is obtained in a sustainable and animal-friendly way! We ensure this through our Animal Welfare Policy and are in constant exchange with our partner in Peru. With its sustainability initiative Pacomarco, our partner supports the farmers in their continuous development.
Our alpaca wool is "fair" because generic alpaca fiber has always been part of a long and unfair supply chain. Underprivileged small farmers in the rural Andes, some of whom live in extremely remote areas, sell their alpaca fiber to local middlemen in informal markets in nearby small towns. These traders then offer them to much larger traders who collect the fiber. Later, the textile companies buy the alpaca fiber from them. This unfair supply network ultimately affects how much the herders can earn and how they benefit from an imperfect market system. With IncaTops we have found a partner who has improved this and made the supply chain fair, without middlemen in direct exchange with the Peruvian families and 100% transparent.
We love what we do and we do it fair and sustainable. That is why we clearly offer "the fairer Alpaca".
The respectful shearing of alpacas is crucial to guarantee animal-friendly wool! We work together with our partner IncaTops, who has developed a special shearing technique called "Inca Esquila". With this optimised method, the well-being of the alpacas is of course our first priority!
The alpacas are shorn once a year. Thanks to the shearing technique the annual yield of alpaca wool is nevertheless increased - which is of course a nice side effect. But the well-being of our farmers is also taken into consideration with this method, because their physical safety during shearing is just as much the focus of attention as the well-being of the animals.
Fine combs have been developed to reduce the risk of cuts and alpacas come to the shearing on a soft bed - normally they are brutally sheared on the hard ground.
Fun Fact: This shearing technique has proven so successful that it has been officially recognised and adopted by the Peruvian government as a national standard for innovative and animal-friendly shearing. Isn’t this super cool?
There is a very simple explanation for this: alpaca as a fibre cannot be certified organic, as alpacas live freely in the Andes. Organic standards can only be certified in closed, industrial systems. Our alpaca fibre is produced quasi "organic": The alpacas of our farmers eat only the pasture grass of the Andes and have daily plenty of space and free run. Furthermore, our shearing method is super animal-friendly, sustainable and always focused on the well-being of the shearing person.
So if you want your alpaca pullover to last a long time, it's best to avoid too much heat and detergent - they are actually the biggest enemies of alpaca wool. As it can quickly lose its shape, you should either hand wash it or wash it in your washing machine's hand wash programme - using an extra gentle wool detergent.
After washing, you can carefully pull them into shape and simply let them air-dry. Do not hang it up, but lay it down flat, otherwise the wool will expand and lose its shape. The most important thing, however, is not to visit the dryer. Also, you should not wring it out – your alpaca jumper won’t like it.
If you just want to give your alpaca pullover a little freshness, you can also hang it up for airing - instead of washing it completely. As you can see, it is not that difficult to take care of your alpaca pullover properly.
And as already mentioned, it is quite patient with its wearers
By the way, our alpaca jumpers are made of a mixture of 40% baby alpaca and 60% certified organic cotton.