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Why Alpaca products are a great ethical and sustainable choice

If, like us, you are passionate about helping to create a greener world for your children and other future generations, you may have looked into sustainable fabric choices. Whilst doing your research, the chances are you will have come across some clothing and homeware brands that are using cruelty-free alpaca fur from Peru.

Alpacas spend their lives roaming freely in their natural habitat. Farmers gently shear the animals to use their soft, plush wool to create things like scarves, jumpers, traditional Peruvian blankets, alpaca slippers, alpaca stuffed animals and many other products.

Alpaca wool is one of the softest, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free textiles you can find. If you’re new to the world of alpaca clothing and homeware, we’re answering a few common questions like, is alpaca wool itchy, what makes it ethical, are alpacas killed for their fur and more to help share the amazing benefits to picking alpaca products for your home.

What is alpaca wool called?

Alpaca wool or alpaca fur is called fleece or fibre although many people also call it alpaca wool or alpaca fur which is also understood.

Why should I choose alpaca?

Cruelty-free alpaca fleece is widely known for its flexibility, durability, and feel. It's so soft, incredibly warm and very durable, in-fact an alpaca jumper, rug or blanket will last longer than a cashmere one.

Are alpacas killed for their fur?

Absolutely not. Alpacas have to be sheared once a year in the summertime; they can overheat quickly, especially in the hot Peruvian sun, so keeping them sheared is essential to their wellbeing. Pregnant alpacas are at a higher risk of miscarrying if their fleece produces an overbearing amount of heat so it's especially important to take care of them.

Shearing the alpacas doesn't hurt or harm them, it's like having a haircut; farmers use animal-safe sheers to gently cut the alpaca hair. Also, young alpacas can die from heatstroke if they don’t have their fur cut at least once a year.

What else makes alpaca fibre sustainable?

Alpacas are primarily bred for their fleecy fibre, they can live for 20 years, promising a lifetime of shearing potencial far greater value than a single pelt.

The animals can also be a fundamental source of protein for indigenous communities in the Andes, just as we rely on beef and poultry in the UK, some communities in Peru rely on Alpaca.

Alpacas are never killed solely for their fur. Their meat and hair is used to help sustain indigenous families with basic necessities. Again, the animals are never explicitly killed for their wool. Cruelty-free alpaca wool can still come from an animal that was used for food. The fur is a byproduct to ensure nothing goes to waste.

And our baby booties are made using the fur from alpacas that have died of natural causes - from baby Alpacas - or 'cria' as they are known; the younger, weaker animals often perish in the harsh Andean winter.

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