In the past, sustainable fashion was associated with less than fashionable clothing, and it seemed that garments that were good for the earth couldn’t also be loved for their look. But today, increasing numbers of brands are embracing ethical fashion without compromising on design, and at last week’s Omina Summit in Costa Rica we heard from Adriana Cachay of AYNI, a Peru-based knitwear brand that is setting an example to the rest of the industry by effortlessly combining ethics and aesthetics.
Created out of a common love for high quality products, nature’s finest materials and a strong social, economic and environmental ethos, AYNI’s products are made in Peru using exclusive Peruvian materials such as baby alpaca and pima cotton.
Launched in Paris in 2009 by Cachay and her Danish co-founder Laerke Skyum, the brand’s garments combine minimal Danish style with the traditional weaving techniques of Cachay’s native Peru, and today AYNI is stocked by more than 20 stores and boutiques across the United States, Asia and Europe, as well as online via outlets including Moda Operandi, and last year the duo opened their first store in Lima.
AYNI is committed to preserving and expanding the market for Peru’s native products, such as alpaca which is considered one of the finest fibers for textile production, and the AYNI business model reflects today’s desire for traceability, with consumers increasingly interested in the story behind a garment.
After spending several years learning about sourcing, weaving and knitting according to traditional Peruvian methods, Cachay and Skyum not only have hundreds of highly qualified artisans at their disposal, but a program in place to identify and evaluate knitters and weavers across the country. The company provides local craftswomen with steady full-time work, which they can also do from home enabling them to care for their children.
Here are a selection of our favorite looks from the company's SS18 collection: