Looking to make a blanket statement this winter? Alternative Apparel has partnered with Pacomarca, the Sustainable Alpaca Network in Peru to create an exclusive collection of capes and ponchos made from 100 percent ethically sourced alpaca wool. Featuring a subtle felted finish, a tasseled fringe, and the mélange effect of multihued fibers, the layer-friendly pieces trace their lineage from a 7,000-year-old Incan tradition. Alpaca farming, according to the Los Angeles-based clothing firm, remains a key source of cultural and economic wellbeing for modern-day Peruvians, who rely on the animals for fiber, fuel, hide, and meat. But more than a livelihood, alpacas also provide an opportunity for sustainable economic development among farming communities.


“I feel passionate about our partnership with Pacomarca as their approach is focused on the human impact and the positive aspect that supporting the commerce of alpaca wool has on the overall rural Peruvian community,” says Erik Joule, president and chief merchandising officer at Alternative Apparel. “Pacomarca has started a program of housing modernization, complete with solar heating systems, to ensure families do not have to depart the land they love.”

Pacomarca has started a program of housing modernization, complete with solar heating systems.

Besides sharing its strategies with other farms in the community, Pacomarca is also working with the Peruvian government to blend private and public subsidies. “This type of innovative thinking in business continues to reinforce my belief that business can be an enabler of social change and betterment as well as a source for economic wealth,” Joule adds.

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