La Sierra: About the Makers
La Sierra Snapshot
Where: Ecuador and Peru, South America
Cultural Groups: The Quechua indigenous people from the Andes Mountains of Northern Ecuador, and the Aymara indigenous people from the Lake Titicaca District in Southern Peru
Founder: Sophia, based in Australia
Products: Alpaca jumpers, scarves, throws and other knitwear
Materials: Alpaca wool, cotton
Values: Slow fashion, sustainability, fair pay and good work conditions, supporting indigenous artisans, handmade, keeping traditional knowledge and techniques alive, improving education and healthcare
"We help these artisans directly to make a sustainable living for their families, to send their children to school, and to provide much-needed health care."
- La Sierra
Meet the Makers
Don Luis - Ecuador
Don Luis is the owner and manager of a small weaving workshop in the Andes Mountains in Northern Ecuador. His team consists of 3-4 artisans who use traditional wooden handlooms and other hand-operated looms to weave La Sierra's throws and scarves.
Paula and Felix - Peru
Image: Founder, Sophia & her partner René with some of Felix & Paula's extended family
Image: Sophia with Paula and her granddaughter
Paula and Felix are the people behind La Sierra's Rollo knit jumpers. Felix focuses on making the jumpers, while Paula is the family's business manager. They live and work in Southern Peru, near Lake Titicaca, and their workshops are on the ground and top floors of their multi-storied home. They live in the levels between along with their daughter Cecelia and her family.
Magdina - Peru
Magdina is incredibly skilled at hand-knitting, and she manages the Suri Andino women’s knitting group, based in Southern Peru near Lake Titicaca. The group works primarily with Baby Alpaca fibres, and together they hand-knit La Sierra's beautiful jumpers, as well as other winter woollens like beanies and gloves.
"We strive to support our artisans, not just through fair pay and high-standard working conditions, but also through connection. We feel like our artisans are family, and we treat them as such."
- La Sierra
Alpacas and Sustainability
Alpacas have a low impact on the earth and are one of the most environmentally-friendly animals in the world.
- They produce a low amount of methane due to their three-part stomach, and their faeces is pH neutral
- They do not usually eat or destroy trees, preferring native grasses, which are not pulled up by the roots but are nibbled off above the ground with their teeth
- Alpacas have padded feet, which leaves even the most delicate terrain undamaged, unlike the harsh hooves of sheep and cattle
- Alpacas are shorn once a year, and each year one alpaca produces enough fleece to make many jumpers
You can support these makers by purchasing La Sierra Alpaca knitwear and throws here.