When Eleanor of STUDY 34 approached me to help promote their new baby Alpaca crew-neck jumper, I was so excited as I’ve been a huge fan of what Eleanor’s been doing in the ethical fashion sphere over the past couple of years. This awesome UK based brand champions innovative and responsible fashion brands producing modern clothing, in a sustainable and ethical way.
About the new Alpaca Crew
Soft and lightweight, the latest STUDY 34 jumpers are made with 100% baby alpaca. Layer it up or down, The Alpaca Crew is a simple and functional knitwear staple for your wardrobe. Available in two classic and natural shades, both will be hugely versatile when it comes to styling them with the rest of your clothes. The Alpaca Crew has been made in collaboration with Incalpaca, a manufacturer operating at the heart of alpaca clothing production in Arequipa, Peru. Designed and made by women, for women, available now exclusively on STUDY 34 for £145.00 (buy here).
So, what’s the fuss all about with alpaca?
1. It’s soft
The hair of the Huacaya alpaca (the variety making up about 90% of the alpaca population worldwide) is short, curled, dense and sponge-like. This makes it really soft and gives it strength and elasticity.
2. It’s versatile
Living at altitudes where the temperature can fluctuate between -20˚c and +30˚c in the same day, the alpaca itself has a high tolerance for temperature change. This quality is transferred to clothing made with its fibre.
3. It’s light
The microscopic air pockets found in alpaca fibres mean that clothing made with it is very light.
4. It’s breathable
This structure also makes it breathable, regulating your temperature better than other wools.
5. It’s wrinkle free
The combination of all the above makes alpaca garments drape beautifully and wrinkles simply drop out of it when worn.
6. It gets lots of attention
Alpaca fibres are sorted and classified by their thickness and colour, by hand. This process can never be mechanised because the variable characteristics of the fibre can only be identified by experienced hands and eyes.
7. Its richness of colour is unmatched…
The alpaca has a high number of natural shades (24 to be precise), ranging from ivory to black. These natural colours have a richness and depth unrivalled by any other fibre. The STUDY 34 alpaca crew in camel even looks gold in some lights.
8. It’s noble
Also known as ‘the fibre of the gods’ or ‘the gold of the Andes’, alpaca cloth was once reserved for royalty.
9. It’s sustainable
Alpacas are green animals. They are not overbred, their cushioned paws don’t damage the ground they walk on and their particular way of grazing (they don’t pull up plants up by the root) helps conserve the ecosystem in which they live. Because they produce fibre in so many shades, the need to dye them is also reduced. And alpaca garments are biodegradable.
10. It’s easy to wear and care for
Maybe the best thing is that alpaca garments don’t need to be washed nearly as often as you think. Airing them between wears is often all they need. When you do need to wash them, simply use some cold water and mild detergent.
If you don’t have this natural, ethically sourced fibre somewhere in your wardrobe, you’re missing out. It’s modern, sustainable luxury at its finest.
Eleanor O’Neill, the founder of STUDY 34, has a bold ambition for the company, which expands beyond style and into sustainability. Here is her inspiring vision, which outlines all the reasons I admire the brand so much, and why you should to…
“I believe it is our duty to treat our planet and all people on it respectfully. I believe in the value, power and importance of the individual voice. I believe in people who seek a better way of doing things – often against the majority. And I believe that a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle should be available for all.
This is why the lack of diversity in the fashion industry bothers me. It’s why the lack of transparency bothers me. It’s why influencers and the media who look the same, do the same and encourage you to be the same, bother me. It’s why fashion’s inability to think differently and refusal to change its ways, bothers me.
It’s why I like people who speak up for what they believe in and try to make a change. It’s why I like people who follow their heart, and not the crowd. It’s why I don’t fit the mould of the fashion industry today. And it’s why STUDY 34 exists: to serve those who believe this too.”
STUDY 34 is a platform that strives to inspire YOU, by bringing together a collection of independent brands from all over the world, who manufacture their products in a way that reflects the values they place on people and the planet. Through STUDY 34, YOU can access these products simply, conveniently and with confidence. Their mission is to champion those who empower and do not exploit, to celebrate diversity and individuality, to make beautiful and responsibly-made products easy to access, and to share engaging and informed insights regarding sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
To find out more, watch the short video below:
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx