The population living in the rural areas of the Andes mountain are typically alpaca breeders, farmers or artisans. The artisans try to earn money by weaving and knitting products of alpaca wool, but as there are very few customers in the isolated villages the incomes are very low. The living conditions above 3200 meters are tough and a large amount of families are living below the extreme poverty line and almost 50% of the children are permanently malnutitioned.
When our production of Frisenvang yarn started in 2015 the alpaca breeders were underpaid for their alpaca fibers. Due to low demands the big industries were getting away with paying prices far below costprice.
But during the last few months the market prices for alpaca fibers have been increasing dramatically primarily due to new demands from China. This is fantastic for the breeders who are presently getting much higher prices for their products. The alpaca fibers used to produce Frisenvang yarn has all the time and will also in future be bought at prices above market price.
Frisenvang’s knitting yarn is produced by a a small cooperative in Marcapata. We have the direct dialogue with the skillfull artisans and our production takes place without middel men, so the full profit stays in the cooperative. Frisenvang who is their only international customer simply gives the women the possibility of reaching customers outside their local area.
The yarn is produced according to traditional methods ie. by hand, with plant colors and following organic principles.
The production of our yarn has provided the families with 2 incomes and this has changed their lives. All children go to school every day, earlier they did not have money to pay for the bus. The children are getting better food, before they were primarily eating potatoes and now also medical treatment is within reach.
We hope in the future to be able to have more artisans in new villages enrolled in the production of Frisenvang yarn and thus help more families to a life above the extreme poverty line.
The Frisenvang sweaters and ponchos are produced at IFER Knitwear – a small factory in one of Lima’s suburbs. The skilled craftsmen are working in very good environments. When we visit IFER, we meet happy, openminded and sweet employees and it is tempting to sit with a cup of coffee to participate in the cozy conversation at the table, where sweaters are sewn together.
Our woven products: Shawls, scarves and plaids are produced at Textile Colca. A very professional and skilled company with years of experience in handling the expensive alpaca wool. The company provides permanent employment and good working conditions for a large number of employees in a country burdened by poverty and low incomes.