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Llama Wear - Green Clothing

In today’s marketplace, more and more consumers are placing an increased emphasis on purchasing products and services having the lowest possible environmental impact. The words “green” and “sustainable” are used with increasing frequency to characterize products and services that have low environmental impact and resource consumption. When clothing products are evaluated on this basis, their level of environmental impact is surprisingly high. Research indicates clothing can be responsible for as much as 25% of single person emissions (varies with the individual and the climate they live in) when considering all aspects of a garment’s lifespan from fiber production, manufacture, distribution, and cleaning, to ultimate disposal. Concerned, conscientious consumers are recognizing that the current “disposable clothing” economy is very consumptive and not sustainable. They are opting for higher quality garments that reduce resource consumption to the greatest degree possible through every phase of clothing production and wear.

PRODUCTION

Llama fiber is an all-natural, renewable product.  It is shorn annually from the llama, a native of the altiplano (high plain, 10,000’-14,000’) region of the Andes Mountains of South America.  The llama is a domestic camelid species, raised for centuries by the native Quechua peoples for food, fiber, and transportation.  At present llama fiber is underutilized and contributes primarily to a subsistent native economy.  Llamas and alpacas are the only domestic species well-adapted to, and compatible with, the harsh yet fragile altiplano environment.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber

MAINTENANCE AND LONGEVITY

The maintenance requirements of llama fiber garments are quite low. The fabric generates little static electricity. Thus, it is naturally clean and doesn’t require frequent washing. It is naturally stain resistant and naturally antimicrobial so it doesn’t hold odors. The fabric is very durable and resilient, it doesn’t mat or pill, and is washable.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber

COMFORT AND APPEARANCE

Comfort and appearance are paramount in producing green clothing. No matter how environmentally friendly or high performance a garment is, if it’s not comfortable and good looking, it won’t be worn. The result is that resources invested in producing that clothing are wasted. Our llama outerwear is noted for its comfort and good looks. Dehaired llama fiber has a fine diameter and low scale which give it a naturally soft hand and a luxurious feel. The llama produces fiber in an array of rich colors that impart a natural luster unmatched in synthetic textiles. Our designs are traditional, functional, and time-tested for comfort. We use the natural colors (we do use an overdye on our true black fabric) of the llama’s fleece to produce basic, neutral colored fabric. These neutral colors endure fashion trends and coordinate well with colorful accessories.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber

PERFORMANCE

Customers consistently mention the performance characteristics they’ve experienced while wearing our products. There are a number of qualities that contribute to llama fiber’s superior performance.

Llama fiber is hollow and provides superior insulation on a warmth/weight comparison with other fibers, especially synthetics. A jacket of llama fabric will provide a comfort range of 50+ degrees while a comparable layer of synthetic will provide a 15-20 degree range. Llama fiber’s remarkable ability to self-regulate body moisture (often referred to as breathing and wicking) allows this wide insulation range without overheating or perspiring. The hydrophobic qualities of petroleum-derived synthetics trap perspiration next to the skin. This fact, coupled with synthetics’ low insulating capacity, produce a much narrower comfort range in which the wearer is both comfortably warm and perspiration free.

Llama garments can be comfortably worn in snowy, damp, or blustery conditions. The fabric is not waterproof, but sheds moisture well, is warm when wet, and dries quickly. Because of its ability to regulate body moisture, it keeps the wearer drier than many waterproof fabrics that cause internal saturation from perspiration. Though the fabric is not wind proof, it does provide a high degree of wind resistance. Being an animal fiber, llama fiber is flame retardant and self-extinguishing. The fiber may singe, but won’t melt, ignite, or support a flame.

Green/Sustainable Advantage of Llama Fiber

Llama fiber is a product for our time and Altiplano Insulation is excited to act as an intermediary, bringing this superior product from Andean producers to conscientious consumers looking for ways to tread lightly and live with a greater sense of awareness. We believe they will find our products to be an unparalleled combination of highest quality, versatile performance, luxurious comfort, resilient low-maintenance, and low impact production. We look forward to more people experiencing these qualities as they wear our garments.

Altiplano Insulation Inc ~ PO Box 275 ~ Masonville, CO 80541 ~ 970-667-7411 ~ email us
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