One of our most frequently asked questions that we come across at Tuwi is, “is alpaca wool cruelty-free? Long story short, yes. The alpaca fibres used in the production of all Tuwi products are completely cruelty-free! In fact, alpaca wool is considered vegan by some people as alpacas aren’t harmed in the process of retrieving the fibres. However, this will depend on the take you have on veganism and is an opinion made by each individual.
Can You Really Call Baby Alpaca Wool Cruelty-Free Though?
At Tuwi, our baby alpaca wool and alpaca fur are both ethically sourced. The alpaca wool used to make our baby clothes, scarves, throws, and blankets come from wild alpacas that are sheared at an appropriate time of year and immediately released back into the wild. On the other hand, the alpaca fur used to make our cushions and select throws are only ever taken from alpacas that have died from natural causes, thereby guaranteeing that no alpaca is harmed or sacrificed for the sake of any of our products.
Alpacas tend to be sheared once a year, generally between October and March, where the climate in Peru is milder and the alpaca’s will happily be shorn, before being sent back into the wild. As our alpacas are reared in the wild, this allows them to truly benefit from their natural habitat. We do not rear alpaca’s specifically to use their wool and it is important to us that they live their life like any other wild animal, in a cruelty-free environment.
Is Alpaca Wool Sustainable?
In addition to alpaca wool being a cruelty-free, it is also a very sustainable option for a wool product. The reason for this is that it can produce 16 times more sweaters than a goat can. With one single alpaca having the ability to produce 4 sweaters, it requires 4 times more goats to produce just 1 sweater. As well as this, another reason that alpaca is a considerably sustainable product is that the process involved in yarn making requires very little water.
In 2015, the fashion industry alone, consumed enough water to fill 32 million Olympic sized swimming pools (79 billion cubic meters of water). With this expected to rise by 50% by 2030 and the Earth’s water resources running low, it is essential for all brands and consumers to make more conscious decisions when it comes to purchasing a more sustainable option.
You can first start by swapping out your blankets made from sheep’s wool, with one of our alpaca blankets that requires very little water in the production much like the rest of Tuwi’s products. Unlike alpaca, sheep’s wool requires the use of a lot of chemicals in order to withdraw lanolin from the fleece. Although lanolin on its own has its benefits, there’s no denying that it’s a great moisturiser, it can cause issues such as skin irritation for people suffering from Lanolin allergies.
Generally speaking, there’s not really much contest between baby alpaca and sheep’s wool, unless you’re talking about premium sheep’s wool, such as Merino Sheep’s Wool. Even then, however, baby alpaca proves itself to be the superior material. When it comes to direct comparisons, baby alpaca is often pitted against cashmere, a fabric renowned for being both luxurious and expensive. We detail the differences between baby alpaca wool and cashmere in another article, however, while they share many luxurious traits, baby alpaca wins hands-down from a sustainability and environmentally friendly perspective.
To ensure our baby alpaca wool products are as sustainable as possible, the process used by Tuwi creates remarkably durable items. This means you won’t need to replace items as frequently, as opposed to low-quality fibres that are quickly worn out. What’s more, due to the durability of alpaca items, they don’t require a lot of washing. This means that even after you have purchased baby alpaca wool baby clothes or alpaca blankets, they will continue to have sustainable benefits.
So, the next time you wonder to yourself “is alpaca wool cruelty-free?” you can rest assured knowing that when purchasing products from Tuwi, you can be certain that no alpacas have been sacrificed or harmed in the production of our high quality and luxurious products.