Production & Impact
Chaleca makes lasting knitwear while generating fair income to knitters in Bolivia. We believe that making a top quality garment requires skills, craftsmanship and finest raw material. Inspired by quality and function we make classic and sustainable knitwear. All garments are designed in Sweden and produced by women in the knitting cooperative Comunidad Andina Suma Satawi, located in El Alto, La Paz in Bolivia. The women make the garments on hand knitting machines and the most exclusive parts fully by hand. The knitwear are produced at their artisan studio and from the women’s homes. We keep in close contact with our knitters without middle men and are proud to be able to pay a fair share in return for their high quality craftsmanship.
Every year we make minor adjustments to our collection but keep our signature knits almost the same throughout the seasons. We climate compensate the emissions from freights from our supplier to us and from us to our customers through carbon off-sets.
Most of our garments are made from 100% alpaca wool that comes from alpacas in the highlands around La Paz in Bolivia. The animals’ fibers provide alpaca wool that is way superior to other types of wool as it is both light weight and warm. Bolivian alpaca wool has a soft and silk-like nature which gives the garment shimmering and a similar fall as silk fabric. It lasts longer than any other luxury fibre. Alpaca wool is also famous for not itching or causing allergies, and is friendly to babies and people with sensitive skin.
Alpaca is a sustainable choice of fibre as the alpacas graze freely with minimal impact on the land. Our alpaca yarn is spun and dyed at the local spinning mill Coproca Bolivia. The suppliers only use hand shearing technique for taking the fibre from the alpacas. The spinning mill uses eco-friendly washing and dyeing processes. For washing the fibers a detergent approved according to Öko-Tex standard 100 is used. These are biodegradable auxiliary products from an international manufacturer, which is member of Ecological and Toxicological Association of Dyes and Organic Pigments Manufacturers (ETAD). The spinning mill does not hold any environmental certificate because of its small scale operation.
For our most exclusive cardigans we have developed a unique own yarn of Corriedale wool and angora – a light weight, super fine yarn that gives warmth, softness, halo and fluffiness to the knitwear. Corriedale is an old cross breed sheep that produces a lovely, fine yarn soft enough to wear next to the skin. Our Corriedale wool comes from sheep grazing in the Falkland Islands and is of high welfare. The angora fibres are from angora rabbits at Seidenhase, a farm in Germany where the animals are treated with respect, fed with local natural grains and shaved gently by hand. This yarn is spun at The Natural Fibre Company, an English spinning mill licensed for organic production and dyeing by The Soil Association, a standard equivalent and harmonised with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The yarn itself is not certified since the raw material has no organic certification.
As with all knitted wool garments, our garments will last longer if you spot clean and air them instead of washing them. The humidity in the air helps the fibres to recapture its resistance to dirt and odour. We recommend hand wash or machine wash at 30°C with no spin and use mild wool detergents. Dry flat on a towel. For stains that are not easily removed, start with treating the stain with bile soap on the affected area. Wait about 20 minutes before washing.