Inata, supplier of custom alpaca fabrics, plaids and rugs, is part of continuous meditation.
The co-founders are at the service of an activity based on values that require thought. For Inata, quality and engagement are at the heart of our thinking.
Our engagement aims to constantly sublimate a natural and rare fiber, respecting people, their identities and their know-how and interpreting Andean character models in our own way with a contemporary design. The very essence of the brand’s compositions confirms an assumed modernism. Finally, Inata would be nothing without the rational desire of the co-founders to create an ethical, warm and benevolent framework including all the participants in the brand’s activities. In a constantly changing world, it is important to go beyond values that are no longer relevant and learn to embrasse change without losing either your identity or your initial commitment.
Very isolated geographically, alpaca shepherds work in communities of several families and live several hours by foot from the nearest town. All members of these communities have lived the life of alpaqueros (alpaca ranchers) and the hard life that comes with it. In 2015, the annual salary of a family of breeders was estimated at 1,700 $, the younger generations see their parents and grandparents working in harsh conditions every day of the year, from morning to night for a minimal salary. These young people do not wish to continue the pattern of their elders, and not knowing what awaits them some decide to try their luck in the capital, Lima.
Although endowed with a lot of determination, but without financial means nor any training, these young people generally end up in the slums of the capital before giving up and returning to their villages.
For the past ten years or so, large companies have taken advantage of the lack of knowledge and training in rural areas and increasingly lowering the purchase price of fiber, in order to be competitive on the international market : the alpaqueros are the first to be affected.
Today, we can no longer accept that the people who are at the origin of wealth creation are the only ones not to benefit from it, which is why we have decided to work with them and support them in the transformation of their fibers into yarns. These changes have multiple benefits for the communities: Firstly financial, with an increase in revenues of at least 300% ; Social, with the revaluation of professions around the alpaca ; Societal, because instead of just breeding and looking after alpacas, they transform a timeless fiber into a world-class product through creation and innovation.
The authenticity of our products lies in our engagement to the manufacturing process, which allows us to develop in such a way as to mythologize the most magnificent nature of the Andes. To do this, we devote an essential part of our work to decorative composition, so that every product expresses millennial truths through contemporary design.
The quality of our products requires a constant engagement, as well as a permanent search for the finest Alpaca fiber in the world, while respecting natural production. This is why we have made specific requirements at several levels for the development of new ranges, produced from the best alpaca fiber available.
Alpacas survive in one of the harshest environments in the world thanks to a thick layer of down that insulates them from the heat of the day and protects them from the extreme cold at night. This resistance to extreme temperatures is due to a property of their fiber, thermoregulation, thanks to countless micro air bubbles trapped between the hairs. Their body temperature will be insulated by these micro air bubbles on freezing nights while they allow the body to breathe on hot days. These properties are intensified at high altitude, which is why we work exclusively with breeders at between 4,500 and 5,400 meters above sea level.
Rare and natural
Soft and durable, the touch of alpaca is even more extraordinary when not dyed. As always nature is admirable, and alpaca has 24 shades of natural colors. To offer 100% natural fibers, made without dyeing or petrochemical processes, we had to collaborate with many breeding communities to set up a selection by quality and color at the start of the manufacturing process, just after sheering. The implementation of this step required us to control all stages of manufacturing, from the shearing of the fiber to the packaging of our products.
The implementation of a veterinary program selecting the best potential of the herds is one of the ongoing programs. Since the 1970s, the proportion of black, brown and dark gray alpacas has rapidy decreased. Alpaca fiber has been used in the fashion world since then. However, it is much easier to dye a white fiber than a dark fiber. Yarn makers therefore focused their research on light-colored fibers, and alpaqueros, on the other hand, sought to reduce the number of dark alpacas in their herds by selling them in order to favor light-colored animals. This is why today it is almost impossible to find pure black fibers without dyeing.
Support and develop
In order to continue to use dark colors in our collections without resorting to dyes, it is a real labour to change the attitude of our partners that we have been carrying out for several years. We support initiatives for the preservation and development of alpaca breeds with breeders. This represents an engagement and in-depth genetic work with a view to the continuous preservation of the quality of this fiber and of certain colors which tend to disappear.