A lightweight sweater made from one of nature’s best performance fabrics, Alpaca, our first men’s sweater combines clean design with classic details and an ultra comfortable feel and fit. Made from the natural color wool of Alpacas raised in their natural habitat in the Andes mountains of Peru, it is as luxurious as cashmere without pilling, as warm as sheep’s wool without the bulk, hypo-allergenic, and one of the strongest fibers. This super fiber is then sorted, washed, combed and spun in nearby Arequipa, Peru, where 80% of the facilities energy needs is provided by solar panels. We receive the best fibers, called baby alpaca (though it’s not from baby alpaca), in New York where the crewneck sweater is knit with a contrasting reverse jersey stitch elbow patch—for a subtle nod to the days when the longevity of sweaters was admired, since this one too will endure.Discover our process
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- 100% Baby Alpaca (which means only that it is from the softest grade of fleece, not that it actually comes from baby alpacas!)
- Subtle contrasting stitch elbow patch
- Ribbed cuffs and hemline
- Handwash if you can, dry clean if you must
- Knit in New York
Made in the U.S.A.
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Alpaca is as soft as cashmere, as warm as sheep’s wool, hypo-allergenic, and it doesn’t pill, it’s kind of the superfood of the fiber world.
Domesticated for centuries by the Inca of Peru, the silky fleece of the alpaca was reserved for royalty only. Today it is still a very rare fiber, representing only .21% of animal fibers. The fiber of the alpaca has a unique hollow core, which makes it both extremely light and warm. It’s nature’s performance gear. The mens sweater is made from baby alpaca, which means only that it is from the softest grade of fleece, not that it actually comes from baby alpacas. And alpaca is the strongest of the fibers, so you can keep wearing and wearing it. And if we haven’t yet made the case for this super fiber based on quality alone, the over-raising of its rival, cashmere, is causing the equivalent of the Dust Bowl in Mongolia and China.
Raising | The Andes
As it was during the time of the Inca, the majority of alpaca today still comes from Peru in the highlands of the Andes. The fibers in the men’s sweater comes from rural families who raise flocks of alpacas in the same Andean highlands as their ancestors. The families shear the fibers once a year from November through April. For these families the alpaca fiber is the principal source of income.
Sorting, Washing, Combing, Spinning | Arequipa, Peru
Once shorn, the fiber for the sweater goes to Inca Tops, in nearby Arequipa, Peru. There the alpaca is sorted for color and quality. We get the softest part, the baby alpaca. Then it’s off to be washed, combed and spun all in the vertically integrated Inca Tops mill. Inca Tops is no ordinary coal burning mill, it is a brand new eco factory. It has more than 1,2000 solar panels installed on its roof, which provides 80% of its energy needs (and that’s important, since spinning is the most energy intensive part of the production process). Not only that, it also has a water recycling plant onsite, which it filters and reuses for continuous cycles of washing. This saves water and makes the mill more energy efficient. And since we use only beautiful, natural alpaca colors we avoid adding any toxins into the process.
Knitting | Farmingdale, New York
The cones of the silky fiber are then delivered to our knitters, Machinit in Farmingdale, New York. Our knit house was established in 1986. As knitting is the most labor intensive part of the process, we appreciate Machinit’s open door policy. No opaque process shadow factories here.
So there you have it, beautiful simplicity, meets natural color and softness with a sustainable footprint.
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