Welcome to Alpaca Week.
This week I'm featuring Alpaca products in every post to show off the versatility of the fiber and talk more about why it's a sustainable, ethical choice. For now, let me give you a few reasons why Alpaca is a wonder wool, pulled from the ZADY website:
Among natural, animal-based fibers, alpaca has one of the most highly favorable environmental profiles. Alpaca is more environmentally friendly than wool, which is produced from sheep, and significantly more friendly than cashmere, which is produced from goats, despite having similar properties with respect to aesthetics and functionality. Here are a few of the characteristics that make alpaca so great.
Read the entire info sheet (I highly recommend it) here.
- First, alpaca are gentle on the land...
- Second, alpaca are highly efficient animals...
- Third, alpaca can endure in harsh climates...
- Finally, alpaca come in a natural palette of colors, ranging from black and white to brown and beige, and a mélange of many colors in between. As such, alpaca fiber doesn’t have to be dyed if a garment is produced in a naturally occurring color.
Today, I'm sharing a simple outfit post, but stay tuned for a couple of brand features later in the week.
Ethical Details: Sweater - thrifted Eileen Fisher; Top - Seamly.co; Jeans - secondhand via Poshmark; Shoes - Frye
I finally had the chance to enjoy this Eileen Fisher Alpaca sweater I found at the thrift shop last spring. The texture is amazing and it's really warm. I've gotten to this point where I would rather thrift ethical goods than unethical ones. Even though secondhand goods don't increase demand for new products, I've grown attached to the fit and style of certain brands, and I've become more picky about quality and longevity, so a thrifted Forever 21 top is a no-go at this point. It just doesn't hold up, so why pay for it?
Speaking of quality, I want to tell you about about these oxfords. I had initially planned to buy a pair of Nisolo oxfords, but after reading a few less-than-stellar blog reviews about quality and comfort, I sought out an alternative. I have no doubt that Nisolo works for some people, but from the reviews, it looked like they started to look worn within a year, and at a $158 price point, I didn't think it was worth it.
I checked out Frye because they're known for quality and craftsmanship. The Tracy Oxfords were exactly what I was looking for, right down to the color, and they were on clearance, so I bit the bullet and purchased them. Though they're made in China, Frye is beholden to the California Supply Chains Act, which provides a minimum standard for factory conditions. Honestly, I can't speak much more to their ethics at this point, but I plan on reaching out for details soon. At the end of the day, I wanted to purchase a shoe that is classic, extremely well made, and will last for years and years. Frye has that reputation. For now at least, Nisolo doesn't. That doesn't mean they're not worth the investment, it's just my attempt at weighing value.