The use of animal products in fashion has been notorious in recent times for very good reasons. Many animal farms that supply wool cannot attest to the standards that they abide by to ensure that their animal products are obtained in a way that maintains the utmost dignity and respect to the animal. As a brand specialising in handmaking all its products out of wool and being a brand whose primary ethos is to minimise its effects on the environment, you can imagine our determination to source the raw materials required to provide high-quality products while appeasing our conscience.
We are committed to using ethical, sustainable, and responsible sourcing standards. And both our wool production plant and the workshop where our products are made are both guaranteed members of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). We work with companies with over 25 years of experience to source the highest quality raw materials with ease without breaching our personal ethical or sustainable practices.
There has been a current misconception that shearing is a form of animal cruelty; this can be true if the process is not done right. It can cause tremendous stress to the alpaca, which is why at Kniter, we are proud to work with our incredible team of professionals during this process. Our alpaca's fleece is sheared once per year using hand shearing techniques. We have found that using this method minimises the amount of stress the alpacas face during shearing and improves the safety and welfare of the alpaca. Imagine having to wear a winter fleece on a hot summers day; this would be extremely uncomfortable. Alpacas are sheared to prevent overheating, as these animals do not shed. Therefore, this means that alpacas find it very difficult to manage and regulate their temperature in response to external cues in weather.
At Kniter, we use mainly alpaca wool for all our products. The fibre is very soft and very durable, supporting our mission to produce high-quality clothes that lasts for longer than the following season. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it is also easier for you to manage because it does not need to be washed as frequently as you would wash your everyday clothes, helping you minimise your daily water consumption.
Another reason why we have chosen to use alpaca wool is because of its natural properties. We understand that change is a slow process, and changing consumer perspectives on throwing away clothes might take a while to take effect, so should our products ever accidentally end up in any landfill site, we know that they will biodegrade naturally and will not be sitting in landfills for the next generation. One of our brand's main foundations is the conviction that we are borrowing our planet from future generations, so we treat and respect the world with the intention of passing it on to the next generation at a better than now standard. Our alpaca farms have a low environmental impact. Alpacas are gentle to the earth as they graze, and therefore they cause no soil erosion. Alpaca is also naturally organic; therefore, no pesticides or chemical fertilisers are involved in producing alpaca fibres, consequently supporting our vision of providing you with a sustainable clothing brand with minimal environmental impacts.
Lastly, our choice to use Alpacas is also because Alpacas are native to South America. Alpaca wool is rare and native to South America, which means it is local to our artisans. By working closely with our South American suppliers, we keep all production local to the area where our artisans are, minimising unnecessary transport. We are very fortunate to work with the largest and most experienced alpaca wool production plant. Our wool is cruelty-free and dyed using a combination of natural and dyes which have no hazardous effects or impacts on the water supply. Our fantastic relationship with our experienced suppliers means we can provide hypoallergenic products without compromising our high product quality or ethical standards.
At Kniter, we are not on an exact mission to normalise the use of animal products. We feel passionate about minimising waste. We use animal products because we believe it is beneficial to the animal and utilises the sheared fur that was going to be thrown away.