Our production practices are not just sustainable and ethical but they help support the communities of our wonderful friends and partners in Peru. We pride ourselves in running our business with as much transparency as possible from choosing quality materials to our production practices. We encourage you to explore more about how we produce our products below!
Our alpaca fur slippers are made from Cruelty-free fur. This fur is sold in markets in Peru by the farmers who care for the alpacas. The skins are bought in a raw stage. From this stage, they are put through several finishing processes. First, there is a tanning process to make the fur soft and clean. After the first tanning process happens if we are dying the fur to a specific color, the fur is dyed. After this, the fur is washed with a special shampoo so that it smells fresh and clean. Then the fur must be fluffed and finished. The fur is combed by hand in order to take out tangles and make the fur extra soft and fluffy. After the furs have been prepped they must be stretched before they are cut. In order to stretch the furs they are placed on a wooden table and nailed to the table as is the process of artisanal furriers. From here, the furriers can cut each pattern piece out for each slipper. Once the pattern pieces are cut the slippers are stitched together and the insoles are put inside of the slippers. This is called the stitch and turn process of the slipper. The final touch to closing up the slipper is that it is hand sewn at the toe. Once the slippers are completely stitched together and practically complete, they must again be brushed, fluffed, and given a haircut to even out any inconsistencies in fur length. Each slipper is a special one of a kind pair in an unto itself due to the natural way we get our alpaca fur, the length and texture can vary slightly. Your shaggy or fluffy pair is one of a kind.
The alpaca knit slippers are made from Alpaca yarn sourced in Peru. Many of our styles use knitting, crocheting, and also braiding techniques. Each and every one of these techniques is a handmade process. The women we work with are a close community of women in the Sierra of Peru who pride themselves in their quality knits and handmade work. Women who live in rural districts of Peru do not always have the opportunity to be employed with a full-time job. The alternate opportunity for work is often farm labor. Knitting provides a safe community environment to work together and create something they are proud of that also generates an income. Women in these Andean communities have knit for generations and the techniques are many times passed down through family members.
The first thing a shoemaker considers is the shoe last. That plastic form that the shoe is formed around the base of all shoe construction. Whether it’s a small workshop or a huge factory, there will always be a shoe last. The last details the height and shape of the shoe. Leather shoes are the best quality of shoes as they withstand time longer than fabric or synthetic materials and leather has the ability to mold to your foot. That is why we consistently use leather uppers and linings in all of our shoes. Quality and comfort are important to us as New Yorkers. We choose our leathers and linings when designing our shoes and from that point the leather upper and lining of the shoe are stitched together, any buckles or details are added and then the shoes are lasted over the last. A process which allows the leather upper to be molded over the shoe last. The shoes usually remain on the last from 24 hours to 3-4 days, depending on the style. This lets them sit and take their shape naturally. Once the lasting process is complete the sole must be put on. The upper must be sanded down, this part is not visible to the client as the sole covers this part. The sole and upper are each glued with contact cement and then pressed together on a sole press. After the sole has been secured the upper, only then can the shoe last be removed. The finishing touches are made to the shoe, by cleaning it thoroughly and putting the sock lining and cushioning into the shoes. A small workshop and large factory use similar processes, but the larger the factory the gets the more machines are involved to speed the production process. No matter what there will always be people and hands involved in the shoe making process.
To learn more about caring for your shoes or slippers please click the link here!