Judy now has 58 alpacas, each named according to an annual theme. The latest, appropriately, is fashion houses – meaning udy’s once again mingling with the likes of Missoni, Chanel, Dior and Cardin.
In all other respects the life of an alpaca farmer is a far cry from the gloss and glamour of haute couture: feet need clipping, fleeces need shearing and a complicated breeding programme must be established and observed. ‘I take great care in sorting the fleeces and send only the highest quality saddles to the mill in England to be made into yarn’, Judy says. The rest of the fleece is washed and processed to make the cushions for noop designs.
PURE ENGLISH ALPACA
Judy’s background in the fashion industry was a great launchpad for creating and designing her own products, and her experience also made her understand the importance of quality yarn when making luxurious knitwear and throws.
While Judy faces competition from the flow of cheap imports of variable quality from Peru and Chile, she has made sure that provenance and sustainability remain at the heart of noop.
‘I am very proud that all my alpacas have been bred in England where they graze in pesticide-free fields’, Judy says. ‘The fleeces are sent to a British mill, the knitwear is manufactured in Leicester and the fabrics are woven in Bristol.’
The opening of Bristol Weaving Company has allowed Judy to have fashion fabrics woven for men’s and women’s clothing, opening a whole new world of possibilities for noop. Giles now has his very own alpaca gilet and Judy is even looking into using woven alpaca fabric instead of wallpaper in homes.
‘The fashion industry is definitely shifting towards quality British goods that don’t have huge carbon footprints from travelling on long haul flights’, Judy says. ‘I can only hope that the high street will support fashion labels and products made from animals like mine that have been bred with the ultimate welfare, care and attention.’
Click here for more on noop and to see the full noop range.