Our super-gorgeous designs have a vintage feel and a classic British quirkiness. Think Famous Five and Swallows and Amazons. These are clothes to climb trees in, build dens in and generally have fun times in.
The colours in our collection are inspired by the stunning contrasts of the Peruvian landscape. We could wax lyrical about it for hours...the zinging green of a desert cactus topped with a jubilant pink flower... the endless blue of Lake Titicaca against the cloudless azure sky...the brown of the dusty plains....the silvery greys of the moon, of Machu Picchu, of the white water rapids... the golden grasses on the altiplano where the alpacas graze, the rays of the sun across the ocean, the gold of pre-Columbian treasures... (See what we mean?)
All our clothes are made by hand in Peru. Not hand-knitted, as you’ll deduce from the super-smooth finish, but hand-produced on small, hand-operated machines – no button-pushing mass production here. In case you’re wondering, our workshop is a small family-run enterprise, with twenty or so people. They are based in the Alpaca Mecca of the world, the pearly-white colonial Andean city of Arequipa, which sits at 2380m above sea level, surrounded by towering snow-capped volcanoes, encompassing the magnificent Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon on earth. If you were to take a stroll through the villages of the Colca area, you would find that little has changed over the last few hundred years: their colourful festivals, their traditional clothing, their intricate craftwork.
Our alpaca fibre supplier is committed to social projects which include educating the local farmers on modern alpaca breeding programmes and contributing to the medical and educational needs of the surrounding villages. The raw material comes from over 200,000 farmers in the highlands of Puno, Arequipa and Cuzco regions and is often the sole source of income for these Andean communities. Not much else thrives at these altitudes!
When we say "made with love in Peru" we mean it.
Alpacas are among the most splendid creatures on the planet. They’re seriously smart, loyal and inquisitive – and also ferociously fierce when they need to be, with a nice line in spitting and kicking. When they’re happy, they hum. They are part of the camelid family, along with llamas, the revered vicunas (which provide the most expensive fibre in the world) and – you’ve guessed it – camels. What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama, you may be asking? A good start is to look at the ears: alpacas have straight ears; llamas have banana-shaped ears. (Banana-shaped ears? Cool or what?).
Alpaca is the superhero of natural fibres – Peruvians call it ‘the fibre of the gods’, and traditionally used it to weave elaborate shrouds for their high priests or shamans. In Peru, the native Andean Indians wear their alpaca jumpers day and night, all year round: alpaca’s clever water-wicking properties make it warm in winter and cool in summer. You could call it thermal outerwear. It’s warmer and softer than sheep’s wool (hurray say all of us who grew up in scratchy hand-knitted jerseys), and doesn’t contain any lanolin so it’s hypoallergenic.
And as if that’s not enough, it’s also magically dirt-resistant! Alpaca is a smooth fibre (unlike wool or cotton) so its tougher for the dirt to cling onto the clothing. We’ve tested these jerseys on dozens of grubby small boys, so we know (of course you will need to handwash them from time to time).
Super-soft, super-warm, super-clean – see what we mean about superhero?