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Becoming more Purposeful with our Purchase Choices

    These days, we frequently hear about Socially Conscious Products and the importance of making a difference in the world through our decision to buy one product over another. It sometimes happens, however, that we don´t necessarily make the connection between what we end up buying and the impact this decision may have on the world around us. This is true especially when we are in a hurry or on autopilot going about our day. We just buy what we need or like and we don’t give it further thought. I’m sure that many of you will relate to this situation. That’s the reason why we need to be reminded of what is behind the products we buy to...

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Does Baby Alpaca come from Alpaca Babies?

Times have changed a lot since I started in the alpaca business in 2003. Back then, alpaca wasn’t as popular as it is now in the US, Europe, and Asia. It seems that 16 years later, consumers are much more knowledgeable about alpacas and alpaca products, but the question still pops up frequently: Does the Baby Alpaca used to make our garments and bedding come from Alpaca Babies? Sometimes, when people ask this question, they do it in a reproaching manner which shows what they are thinking: “are your products made with fiber that comes from killing baby alpacas???” Well, the answer is NO. But let me explain. When the technical term “baby alpaca” was first used many decades ago,...

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Does The Place Where Alpacas Live Determine The Quality Of Their Fiber?

Alpaca breeders and farmers in the US have done a good job introducing alpacas into the American pop culture in the last 10-15 years. Many people know what an alpaca is and how it looks like.  There are, however, many things the people don’t know about these funny looking animals. In this blog entry, I want to talk about how the place where alpacas live affects the quality of the fiber they produce. Alpacas are native to the Andes high mountains. They live mostly in the Andean region between Bolivia and Peru. For alpacas to produce good fiber quality, they need to live in the right place, among other things. So what is the right place like? I visited one...

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Having a hard time finding the right sweater for your body type?

  Many brands design and sell knitwear that is made for a certain segment of the population. For example, some brands focus on fitted silhouettes, such as those that sell to a younger audience. Some others make clothes that are everything but fitted garments, because they sell to women with fuller bodies. That is all fine and common practice. In the end, every company works to attract and serve a certain type of customer. In the case of Ella Ember, we design and produce alpaca knitwear mainly for women between the ages of 35-55. The challenge for us is that women in our age group are very diverse. Some are having children, some already had children in their younger years,...

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Year-Round Alpaca Sweaters

Is Alpaca Only Good for Winter? Many people seem to think so. And while it's true that alpaca is a very warm fiber, clothes made from alpaca fibers can also a great option for the spring, fall, and even for those cold indoor spaces during the summer. This means that a closet full of alpaca apparel is a year-around worthwhile investment. But it has to be the right kind of alpaca garment . . . Year-Round Alpaca Clothing. As I wrote in the blog entry “Why Alpaca?”, alpaca fibers are not simply one of the most luxurious fibers with which to make clothes; it is at the same time insulating and extremely breathable. These two seemingly contradictory properties come from...

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