A few words on our exceptional and natural materials
- Alpaca wool
Alpaca wool is the material we mostly use. Alpacas are cousins of lamas, and symbols of Peru. They live at an altitude of 3,000 meters in the high mountains of the Andes Mountains, with temperatures ranging from +30°C to -20°C.
Thanks to these extreme conditions, their hair is very resistant, very protective, hypoallergenic and quite delicate. Alpacas are animals whose fleeces have the widest range of natural tones. There are approximatively 22 hues: white, beige, fawn, brown, grey, black…This variety of tones enables our producers to reduce dyeing processes of their wool. Moreover, alpacas’ herds don’t pollute their environment since they don’t need to drink and eat a lot, and thanks to the pads of their feet, they don’t damage the soil when they walk.
We work with local alpaca breeders, who shear their herds once a year, respecting some traditional rituals. The whole process is cruelty-free for alpacas. The wool is then driven to Arequipa, where both our suppliers are based. We have been using their wool since the launch of STELLA PARDO. One is certified by GOTS, OEKO-TEX, Agriculture Bio, USDA Organic, and Alpaca Del Perù. The other is certified by the label Confience Textile OEKO-TEX and Huella de Carbono, among others. Their employees manually sort the wool fibers, as this step requires skilled hands. Alpaca wool is biodegradable, so it doesn’t pollute the environment.
The keep the names of our suppliers confidential in order to protect our brand from competition. However, STELLA PARDO’s partners and collaborators have all access to this information and have proofs of their certifications.
- Pima cotton
Pima cotton is a rare kind of cotton that grows since the most ancient times in northern Peru in the coastal regions of Piura and Chira. Since frequent rains and fertile soils in these regions enable the growth of pima cotton, its cultivation doesn’t need any irrigation systems. Incas already used pima cotton for their textiles, enjoying the purity, the refinement, the length and the resistance of its fibers. Pima cotton is still hand-harvested and grows without pesticides or fertilizers.
Although alpaca wool has many natural shades, our suppliers offer a selection of pima cottons and alpaca wools dyed in different vivid colors. They use dyes that have a reduced impact on the environment, according to the standards of their sustainability labels. For our capsule collections and some of our iconic pieces such as the Léanne sweater and cardigan, we use plant-dyeing from tara, ratanhia or walnut plants, and insects-dyeing to dye cotton and wool.
Reducing our carbon footprint
To limit our carbon footprint and promote the cultural heritages of the countries in which our ethical production lines are based, we decided to use local materials only, which are harvested just a few hours away from our workshops.
We also try to reduce merchandises shipments by avoiding overproduction: we produce our collections according to the exact number of orders we receive and according to the availability of the materials we use. We then ship our pieces all together to optimize each exportation.
We also aim for the sustainability of our garments. Their high quality and their timeless designs ensure their resistance to ephemeral trends and deterioration. We don’t stick the names and years of our collections on the tags of our pieces so they don’t have an “expiration date”, and so they can be easily passed from mother to daughter.
Reducing our power consumption
Even if we do our best to moderate our travels to Peru and India, and our collections and materials shipping, we have an inevitable carbon footprint due to transportation. We counterbalance these carbon emissions by minimizing power consumption in our production system. Since all our garments are handmade or produced on manual machines that we have recycled and fixed, we don’t consume any electricity compared to factories or industrialized workshops. Lastly, we reduce our energy consumption in our Parisian office and showroom by using low-energy light bulbs.
STELLA PARDO advocates recycling and zero waste fashion. Every scrap of fabric from our Indian and Peruvian workshops is reused. We create accessories with them such as tote bags, we sew them together them to make new patchworks, we buy our artisans’ leftover fabrics to create exclusive pieces, we recycle and re-design our unsold pieces instead of throwing them away… Recycling is all about being creative and clever! For instance, we developed in 2020 a capsule collection made from our unsold garments and recycled silk in collaboration with the brand Syrah.