YAPA alpaca sweaters are known to be cozy, lightweight, soft, warm, and very resistant. In fact, they are made of one of the world’s most luxurious and timeless wools.
Why is this, and where does this wonderful fiber come from?
This fiber is removed from the hair of a very regal and beautiful animal called the”alpaca” a close relative of the wild vicuña and llama. The three cousins are very similar and it is easy to confuse them!
Our alpaca wool is mostly produced in Bolivia and is a beautiful representation of the country’s history, people, and culture. The alpaca fiber that we use is sourced from small, sustainable farms in the region. This fiber has been adored in the Andes for centuries… and in fact it is known as “the treasure of the Incas”.
Throughout history, alpacas have been an integral part of the Andean community and are considered family by many of their herders. Their native environment led them to develop a resistant and high quality coat. These little princesses are quite resilient. They are used to abrupt temperature changes, strong winds, high solar radiation, a low concentration of oxygen, and the high altitudes of the Altiplano at 3,000 – 4,000 meters above sea level!
What makes alpaca wool sustainable and eco friendly?
Unlike sheep and cows, alpacas only cut grass when they eat. This allows the grass to regrow at a faster rate making them one of the greenest and most ecological animals. Alpaca fiber is still made using artisan ancestral techniques that respect the environment and the planet. It is a renewable and 100% biodegradable resource. Alpacas are not only cute, but they are also soft footed (they don’t have hooves), hence don’t damage the ground they graze on.
How is the wool shorn and why is this cruelty-free?
Alpacas are typically raised for their fiber and are not used as a food source. This “gold from the Andes” is obtained by shearing” the cute alpacas annually. The process is cruelty-free and does not harm or endanger them. Actually, by most reports, they usually rather enjoy being freed of their heavy 3.5 kilo fleeces in time for the heat of the summer!
At YAPA, we strongly believe in loving the beings we share this world with. We have made environmental and social responsibility our mission. We don’t claim to be perfect by any means, but we make a big effort in respecting the planet.