The alpaca is a relative of the llama and is domestically raised in high altitudes of the Andean Mountains in South America. For thousands of years, alpacas have provided sustenance in the form of food and clothing for the indigenous people of Peru. Alpaca furs date back to the Incan Empire of the 16th century, where they were treasured by royalty. Today, they are still handcrafted by skilled native artisans, who, with centuries of training, have created a tradition of quality workmanship in both detail and design.
In Peru, alpacas are raised so that their fleece can be shorn year after year providing a livelihood for ranchers. Since the alpaca wool industry is such a big enterprise, alpacas are raised in a manner in which promotes long life spans and is as cruelty-free as possible.
Culturally, Peru has a unique perspective about raising alpacas. Veterinarian services are rare and expensive for most Peruvian alpaca ranchers. Peruvian alpaca breeders are looking for the strong alpaca to achieve maturity, in order to create a strong herd for the future. This is why they offer very little preventative care for young alpacas.
It is not practical or ethical to kill alpacas simply for their hides, because there is so much economic benefit by shearing them for their wool. There's a prohibition in effect against killing Alpacas for their hides. Our producers use the hides of alpacas that have died of natural causes to make our slippers.
Sometimes young animals die naturally due to sickness, extreme weather changes, genetics, or an accident. This is a costly loss to the rancher. They minimize their loss by using the alpaca for food and its pelt.
To learn more about how to wear our alpaca slippers please check out our page here!