Why Alpaca Fleece Outsells Cashmere

Why Alpaca Fleece Outsells Cashmere

Cashmere was once the go-to choice for luxury and warmth, but recently it’s gained a new rival: alpaca. Alpaca has grown in use across the clothing and textile industry, and the fiber is considered to have many advantages over other kinds of fleece. Alpaca is also being heavily promoted throughout the world, including in the States, the UK, Australia and Europe as the fiber to choose. But what lies behind its surge in popularity? As you’ll about the learn, there are many reasons that could explain its fresh appeal.

Alpaca Is Warmer And Lighter

Alpaca is considered warmer and lighter than many other common clothing materials, including cashmere. However, it’s lightweight nature doesn’t make it any less durable or practical; this perhaps explains some of its popularity among outdoors lovers. Hikers, campers, cyclists and hunters all need clothing that is light to wear for purely practical reasons. However, they also need clothing that is insulating, and suitable for a range of purposes and weather conditions; alpaca allows all of this.

Alpaca Is Considered A Sustainable Choice

Consumers are more conscious of sustainability than ever before. Millennials, who usually have more disposal income than other demographics, put sustainability at the top of the list when shopping. However, it’s not just younger buyers: the baby boomer generation are also content to pay more for sustainable products.

So, what makes the fleece so sustainable? First, the alpacas themselves cause little damage to the environment. In addition, alpaca farming doesn’t require strong chemicals, thus minimizing the environmental impact when keeping them. And the fiber doesn’t need harsh chemicals for washing, further adding to alpaca’s reputation as a ‘green’, environmentally friendly fiber.

Alpaca Is On Trend

As mentioned in the introduction, cashmere used to be at the top of the list for the ultimate in luxurious fibers, but gradually alpaca seems to be stealing its crown. Alpaca has been center stage at New York Fashion Week and it’s been used by high profile designers. This has all led to greater awareness – and to the appeal – of the fiber. Further, alpaca’s unique qualities and versality has also helped to make it a firm favorite among the fashion industry

Moreover, it’s been gaining a new audience among outdoors enthusiasts. Those who wear it for hiking, camping etc., soon come to realize its many positive attributes, and they’re keen to spread the word of alpaca’s benefits on forums etc. And its ‘trendy’ reputation means alpaca clothing is getting easier to obtain. Sellers are realizing the demand for it, and there’s an increasing number of independent retailers who now supply a specialist range of alpaca outdoor wear.

Alpaca Offers Something New

Cashmere has been mass produced in the past while the use of alpaca had remained limited in comparison. However, there have been some environmental concerns over the mass production of low cost, lower quality cashmere. And worries over this has likely led to some consumers seeking an alternative.

Likewise, the fashion industry needs to keep evolving and offering something different, which is where alpaca comes in. When used for clothing, alpaca fleece has a distinct look that can stand out. Then, there’s the overall feel of alpaca, which lends itself well to luxury, designer clothing. In addition, its range of over 20 natural shades give alpaca versatility without the need for dyes.

Alpaca And The Growth In Artisan Crafts

Artisan crafts have been a growing movement as people come to appreciate more traditional, simpler crafts. Alpaca is used by many artisan sellers to create product like blankets, jumpers and scarfs, and not just in larger countries like the U.K. and U.S. The production of the fleece also helps alpaca farmers in countries like Peru to create a reliable income from the fiber.


Alpaca fiber is sustainable, practical and versatile. And given its numerous positive attributes, a change in consumer attitudes and a need for the fashion world to keep evolving, you can see why alpaca has gained in popularity. Its natural warmth and durability make it perfect for the outdoor lover too.

Woop! Wear specializes in the sale of alpaca activewear clothing for outdoors lovers. To find out more about our range, to order an item, or to ask us a question, visit the Woop! Wear website today.

 Image: Flickr