Meet STUDY 34
Towards the end of last year, I received an email from Eleanor at STUDY 34. She introduced me to this small luxury brand of alpaca knitwear. Immediately, I loved the look of their crew neck jumper which you may have spotted in a previous newsletter. I love the grey version, it’d go with just about everything in my wardrobe!
Eleanor’s video also caught my attention so I asked her to write a guest blog post. Over to Eleanor…
Alpaca – An Amazing, Natural Fibre
“In October 2016 I was invited, with some other small British brands, to Arequipa in Peru. The city is at the heart of alpaca clothing production worldwide and we went to discover more about this amazing natural fibre.
What was instantly exciting for me was that we were able to visit and look round lots of factories. We could see where things were made, how they were made and by who. Manufacturing transparency is quite rare in this country and many others.
Despite not knowing much about alpaca up until this point, the opportunity to go to Peru seemed too exciting to pass up. It became a four day celebration of meeting spinners, clothing manufacturers and authorities on the fibre! I love discovering and learning about new materials, so I knew I’d find it interesting. However, I didn’t think I’d fall in love with it in the way I did. It is a fibre with such incredible roots and history in South America.
The Gold of the Andes
Alpaca fibre has a wonderful mix of qualities making it modern and luxurious, while being a more sustainable option at the same time. Its use in textiles can be dated back to Inca times when it was exclusively reserved for royalty.
Sometimes referred to as ‘the gold of the Andes’, the fibres’ structure makes it light, breathable and really soft. Alpacas themselves have a high tolerance to temperature change. They live at altitudes where the temperature can fluctuate between -20°C and +30°C in the same day! This ability to cope with changing temperatures is transferred to clothing made with its fibre.
The animals also produce a wide variety of natural colours, ranging from ivory to black. This reduces the need to dye the fibre making it more environmentally friendly.
Modern Sustainable Luxury
The Alpaca Crew is my first product produced in collaboration with Incalpaca. Incalpaca are one of the wonderful manufacturers that I visited when I was in Arequipa. I have returned to them since I started working with them too.
I think this garment is the ultimate modern, sustainable, luxury knitwear for women.
- Modern because it is versatile and fits with the busy and varied lifestyles of women today.
- Sustainable because of the fibre used and because the garments are made in limited quantities.
- Luxury because it is 100% natural and super soft.
- Modern because it has a short, simple and transparent supply chain that places value on every person involved.
- Sustainable because the style will never age.
- Luxury because it had been made by skilled crafts women, with years of experience and knowledge.
- Sustainable because The Alpaca Crew needs far less washing than nearly all other garments in your wardrobe.
- And finally, luxury because this incredibly beautiful fibre has some much history.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this Eleanor.
Want to know more about alpaca? Here are Ten Things To Know and Love.
Want your own crew neck jumper? You can find them here.