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Alpaca fiber offers alternative to petroleum-based fleece

EcoNote | January 29, 2024 | By:

Photo: Will Brendza.

As brands and consumers become more sustainably minded, the outdoor industry’s demand for fleece fabric alternatives is growing. Gear Junkie reports that PAKACLOUD from clothing startup PAKA is a high-quality alpaca fiber that could be the warmest, softest and most wearable alternative to petroleum-based fleece yet.

But some naturally based materials can be heavier than their synthetic counterparts and may not be as soft or as comfortable. The reviewer for Gear Junkie, however, says it “competes with petroleum-based fleece in all three of those categories,” with a softness that “rivals cashmere,” is three times lighter than sheep’s wool, and naturally odor-resistant. 

Founded in Peru, PAKA says its mission includes “innovating with alpaca fiber and other materials that are healthier for people and the planet,” and to help consumers “make more conscious choices and support the communities where our products come from.” The company says that its PAKACLOUD™ tests two times warmer than synthetics. That means warmer with less materials. Jackets are made from 42 percent traceable alpaca, 30 percent recycled polyester, 14 percent merino wool and 14 percent recycled nylon.

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