Maloca Alpaca offers high quality and ethically sourced alpaca textile products to the retail and wholesale marketplace. It was started in 2014 by Chaim, a musician, yogi, and gardener, and Rachelle an artist and clothing designer, along with their three year-old son Elijah.
Tell us about your journey starting Maloca
Maloca was started when Chaim went on a recreational trip into the Peruvian Amazon in 2014. He and his wife Rachelle had been very interested in Peruvian history and culture as well as having a love of alpacas and their incredible fiber. So when Chaim brought home an alpaca blanket for their son, the two saw an opportunity and decided to explore bringing them to market.
Can you tell us the benefits of using Alpaca fibre and how sustainable it is?
Alpaca fiber is a unique and incredible material for many reasons. The first and most important is that it is fully sustainable and doesn’t hurt the animal in any way. Alpaca fiber is also 100% hypoallergenic and feels extremely soft on the skin so there is never an allergic or itchy reaction to it. The fiber has microscopic air pockets that make it extremely insulating yet light and airy. This amazing material is also stronger and much warmer then sheep’s wool. Lastly, alpaca fiber also has a natural resistance to liquids, dirt, and moths, which means it will stay clean, beautiful, and useful for many years.
Tell us about your relationship with the producers you work with in Peru?
At Maloca Alpaca, we consider the people and animals that are involved in making our products, our partners. When we first started building our supply line, we spent a lot of time and energy sourcing and selecting the farmers, suppliers, and weavers that we felt really cared about the health and sustainability of the entire process. We maintain involvement in every step of the manufacturing process and have relationships with the family that raises the animals as well as the people that make our products. We put consciousness and sustainability at the center of everything we make and feel that it shows in our goods.
What does slow fashion means to you and why is it important?
To us, slow fashion, along with other slow movements, means that we understand that everything in the world is connected and all of our choices are important. We do our best to use that awareness to guide our decisions. We care about the sustainability of our planet and recognize a connection between what we produce, and the overall health of our environment. By committing to slow fashion principles, we can help reverse some of the damage and reduce the waste that industrial and often toxic fashion produces. At Maloca, we make our products out of 100% pure alpaca fibre. We also work with small farmers and weavers and ensure clean, healthy working conditions and fair pay for all employees.