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Environmentally friendly alpaca wool vs polyester

Environmentally friendly alpaca wool should be the first choice of fibre considering the impact of clothing on the environment. We are all used to wear polyester clothing… aren’t we?…more or less? It is even difficult to choose another material. Polyester clothing, first of all, is cheap. It allows going with the latest fashion.

                                                                                    Source: H&M

And what happens with the old polyester clothing when fashion changes? Usually, you will keep it in the wardrobe, or you through it away. The price makes it so easy!

Polyester fibre is strong, resistant to stretching and shrinking, quick drying, and can easily be washed. Polyester fibres can be blended to manufacture polyester clothing of any kind. That’s what you already most probably know.

So what should be wrong? Did you ever think about the environmental burden? Do you even know there is an issue?
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The environmental burden of polyester clothing

Polyester is made from a carbon-intensive resource – petroleum. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, and the raw material is used to produce the fibre itself, and it is also used to generate the energy to produce polyester fibres. It requires more than double the energy to produce polyester than cotton. Furthermore, the production of polyester uses harmful chemicals, and if they are emitted into water or air untreated, their negative environmental impact is tremendous. Most polyester is produced in countries such as China, Indonesia and Bangladesh where environmental regulations are lax.

Polyester is not bio-degradable. That means it will stay in the eco-system.

More than 250,000 tonnes of plastic are floating in the oceans – plastic bags, polyester bottles, plastic containers of all types and more.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111913

Meanwhile, we all should know the 5 huge garbage gyres in our oceans.

One positive aspect that has to be mentioned here is that polyester and polyester clothing can be recycled. Soft drink bottles can end up as polyester garments.

But there is an even more serious problem arising from polyester clothing – micro-plastic pollution. Per definition, micro-plastic is a particle < 5 mm.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/27/toxic-plastic-synthetic-microscopic-oceans-microbeads-microfibers-food-chain

Synthetic garments are accused of being the biggest source of micro plastic pollution. Research results show that up to 1900 fibres can be washed out every time a garment is washed. They are emitted into waste water and finally the oceans. These particles are ingested by fishes and enter the human food chain.

So, micro-plastic pollution can’t be avoided by using recycled polyester clothing.

Considering all these facts there is every indication that we should avoid polyester as much as possible.

Environmentally friendly alpaca wool clothing – the alternative to polyester clothing

The alternative to polyester clothing is buying and wearing clothing made of natural fibres. In general, there are two types of natural fibre: fibres from plants, like cellulose, and wool.

If you are aware now of the severe problems of polyester and most of all polyester garments why not considering to buy and wear garments manufactured of natural fibres?

Here, we would like to draw your attention to a very special, soft and luxury fibre: environmentally friendly alpaca fibre.
Alpaca wool is one of the finest natural fibres on the planet – only second to vicuna. Alpacas belong to the family of camelids like vicunas, llamas and guanacos. They originate from the Andes Mountains namely Peru, Bolivia and Chile. They use to live in high altitudes of the mountains up to 4,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level. These friendly animals adapted to the extreme climates in summer and winter by developing a very special wool, usually called fleece, to highlight the difference from sheep wool. Alpaca wool comes in 22 natural colours, from white to beige, fawn, brown, grey up to true black.

What makes environmentally friendly alpaca wool so extraordinary?

environmentally friendly alpaca wool

Source: Threads of Peru

It is the fineness and the structure of its fibre. The fibre contains microscopic air pockets. That makes it light and a perfect insulator. It allows the skin to breathe, making you feel cool in summer and helping to conserve heat during winter. This makes it possible to use them in different climatic conditions.

Environmentally friendly alpaca wool is extremely light, soft, hypo-allergenic, not itchy, and durable. Environmentally friendly alpaca wool is water repellant and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Environmental aspects

Raising cute alpacas is absolutely environmentally friendly. They don’t destroy pastures because they don’t pull out roots, and they have very soft feet. Their nutritional demand is minimal. Clean water, hay and some grain and supplements in winter are sufficient.

Once a year the alpaca gets shorn. That doesn’t harm our alpacas, but even helps to maintain the right body temperature during summer.

Processing alpaca fibres to produce garments, duvets and other products is again absolutely environmentally friendly. No harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. 

If you care for the environment, alpaca wool and environmentally friendly alpaca wool clothing should be your first choice.

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If you like to learn more about alpaca fleece clothing and other alpaca products please visit our online shop.

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