ALPACAS AND SUSTAINABILITY
Alpacas are considered environmentally friendly
They are considered environmentally friendly because they are gentle with the land. In contrast to goats and sheep Alpacas do not damage the pasture when grazing. They have a special soft pad on the feet that minimizes their effect on pasture land.
Alpacas are considered highly efficient animals
Since Alpacas natural habitats are at high altitudes, their water supply is coming from natural sources such as ice thaws, so they do not use the land or water that is used for food production.
These animals also require less food intake than most other fiber-producing livestock.
Alpacas save energy
The natural colors of alpaca are undyed, hence, environmental issues associated with the dyeing process are minimized.
The treatment system for the water used in the washing process of alpaca fiber requires less chemicals and energy than what is needed for other animal fibers.
Compared to other animal fibers, alpaca fiber has a low grease content, between 3-4%, which means that much less energy and chemicals are required to remove this grease. Animal fibers from sheep and goat have 15-16% grease content.
Alpaca fiber is considered chemical-free
Alpaca fiber comes in more than 22 natural colors. If you want a special color, you could use a free chemical technique process using plants or vegetables to get a special color. Andean artisans usually dye the alpaca fiber the traditional way, using techniques that are hundreds and thousands of years old and many of the communities and families keep them as a legacy from their ancestors.
Valerie Garmino ensures her fiber follows a steadfast, cruelty-free and fair-trade shearing process. Traditionally, the ritual of alpaca shearing is an annual process, and one in which the Andeanmountain community pulls together to help one another. To get the best quality fiber, expert shearers are employed to maximize efficiency of this communal practice and to ensure the animals are well taken care of with the least amount of stress in order to get the best quality fiber