Natural Fibers & Full Package
Peru is home to the most luxurious raw materials in the world…Pima Cotton, Alpaca and Vicuna. The country is known for its expertise in these natural fibers as well as mixing them into a variety of blends, such as with wool, bamboo, linen, silk, modal and others. One of the main draws of manufacturing in Peru is the level of quality. The majority of Peruvian factories have international certifications, such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) and Fair Trade certifications, among others, and have high ethical standards as well as being global leaders in terms of social and environmental responsibility as well as sustainability. While issues such as substandard working conditions plague other global manufacturing hubs, Peru is a model country, setting the standard with quality of life for its workers, having both government and private sector audits. Labor standards are high, with clean, safe work environments being the norm in Peru. The manufacturing sector in Peru is technologically advanced with respect to machines used, development and processes, while also staying true to its roots and supporting local artisans, such as with hand-knitting. A real mix of the modern with age-old craftsmanship. From mass to luxury, large to small, the mix of factories in Peru is extensive and well suited for a wide variety of needs. It’s a combination of big, vertically integrated factories, with tremendous capacity, for example, for the mass market, as well as mid-size and smaller factories that still provide full package manufacturing, handling everything from beginning to end. Factories are a one-stop set up, with in-house design and development teams through raw material sourcing, production, quality control, shipping.
Live in Peruvian Pima Cotton
Like most things, the quality of cotton varies. Peruvian Pima cotton is world renowned as being the finest. The explanation is simple: with an extra-long staple fiber (1 and 3/8 inches in length), Peruvian Pima Cotton is twice the normal length of ordinary cotton. The longer the length and smoother the filament, the softer the hand. Which describes Peruvian Pima cotton perfectly. Grown in the north of Peru, the rich terroir is ideal for Pima Cotton to grow and thrive. The result is an unparalleled quality and softness. Peruvian Pima Cotton is also more durable than most standard varieties of cotton while also being extraordinary delicate. It’s also resistant to pilling, more absorbent than other cottons and hypoallergenic. In contrast to commercial cotton, Peruvian Pima cotton is harvested by hand, which makes it environmentally friendly versus other cottons that are industrially harvested. The manual approach is also better for the cotton itself. Industrial harvesting tears the cotton fibers resulting in a yellowed hue and scratchy texture. The hand harvesting of Peruvian Pima results in bright white fibers and dyes beautifully. And with a softness like no other.
Alpaca Fun Facts
Peru is home to 80% of the global Alpaca population, where these noble animals reside high in the Andes Mountains, at altitudes of more than 3,000 meters. There is an incredible importance placed on Alpaca in Peru. Alpaca are well treated and are never harmed for their fleece, with the Peruvian Alpaca industry adhering strictly to ecological and ethically sound practices all throughout the chain. Alpaca are also prized for their inherent attributes… Alpaca fibers naturally come in a range of 22 colors from black through variations of grays and browns to white, a characteristic unique to Alpaca. Alpaca fibers are naturally hypoallergenic and contain no lanolin or oil (wool is not). Alpaca is lightweight, breathable and soft, not bulky nor itchy, and perfect for all-year-round wear. Alpaca fibers have thermal properties due to their microscopic air pockets, allowing air through on warm days to bring the wearers temperature down and also trap body heat on cool days, resulting in a cozy feel. Alpaca fiber is water resistant and non-flammable + naturally anti-microbial. Alpaca is sustainable and environmentally friendly (cashmere is not).
Logistics Made Easy
Peru is conveniently located to the USA, with a direct flight from the NY area to Lima being only 7.5 hours, making it easy to visit. It’s in the same time zone as the USA, factories have fluent English speaking teams, so communication is effortless. In addition to the Peruvian factories capabilities of speed to market, its close geographical proximity also speeds up logistics, such as with shipping. Peru has duty-free status when shipping into the USA, Canada and Europe (and to other countries, too). This includes manufacturing not only with its native and natural fibers, (Pima cotton, Alpaca), but also with synthetics like rayon, poly and others. This evens out the playing field quite a bit in terms of pricing with other manufacturing countries.
Performance, Naturally in Peru
There is extensive research & development with materials in Peru, resulting in unique specialty fibers such as Light Alpaca and the creation of innovative blends and finishings, for example synthetics with technical properties that are ideal for performance garments. With the duty-free advantage over other manufacturing countries, Peru is quite competitive in this arena, offering a variety of high-quality synthetic products at an efficient cost.
Peru’s Secret Sauce
Long encoded in Peru’s manufacturing DNA is environmental and social responsibility along with sustainability. Add to its ethical manufacturing practices, the premium quality of its native materials, innovative blends that are developed to suit the variety of markets, from luxury to mid to mass, the diversity of manufacturing techniques + its capabilities of speed to market and duty-free advantage, Peruvian factories provide a unique and winning formula.