At GALWAYnow we are passionate about supporting Irish businesses. It is something that we pride ourselves on and feel that it is very important to recognise all of the wonderful Irish brands on our little island. Sustainability is something that is also very important to us. We believe that when it comes to being fashionable, quality takes precedence over quantity. We urge you all to shop Irish this festive season and keep sustainability in mind – there’s nothing better than guilt-free gifts and making those around you and the planet happy. Let’s spread the love beyond just our circles, let’s show that we love and support all of the wonderful Irish businesses doing us proud. New Irish designed and owned luxury label with a sustainable business model ‘Cayo’ release a new range of 100% alpaca wool jumpers – just in time for winter to keep yourself or your loved ones warm.
The line comes in four wearable colours that are bound to make even the most difficult people to shop for happy – baby blue, baby pink, beige, and navy. Alpaca wool is said to be softer, warmer, more durable, and more environmentally friendly to manufacture in terms of carbon emissions than sheep’s wool.
Cayo use the finest quality 100% premium alpaca wool from Peru which they thoroughly researched the background of the wool farms prior. Cayo only use wool farms that are considered to be ethical in every aspect, from the rearing of the alpacas to the production of the yarn itself. The jumpers are developed in Italy using the highest quality craftsmanship. All the labels, tags and packaging used by Cayo are recyclable and biodegradable.
The founder, Orla Daly, is a Limerick business woman who always had a love for all things fashion. On a trip to Peru back in 2018, she fell in love with alpaca wool as a fabric and began researching its uses and sustainability, visiting factories and farms in South America. This is when Daly decided to design her own range of 100% alpaca wool sweaters and in 2021 CAYO was officially launched.
Founder of Cayo, Orla Daly
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH CAYO?
I’ve always been interested in creating a clothing line I was really passionate about and when I came across alpaca wool and discovered the softer varieties of it, it just made sense. When I started looking into the yarn and its sustainable qualities I wondered why this luxury yarn wasn’t utilised more this side of the world. I love dressing for winter so I was immediately excited by the prospect of creating luxury alpaca wool jumpers that were warm and comfortable and long lasting.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW ALPACA WOOL IS A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY OPTION?
There are many reasons, but to name a few; alpacas don’t destroy the land they graze on as they have wide, soft hooves, and they don’t pull the vegetation from the root unlike cashmere goats for example. This means that they don’t contribute to deforestation. Alpacas also need little food and water compared to their body weight, so they aren’t consuming a huge amount either. You can also get a lot of yarn from one alpaca- enough to make approximately 5-7 jumpers in comparison to approximately four cashmere goats or one angora rabbit for one jumper! Alpaca wool is naturally lanolin-free which means harsh chemicals are not required to process it. Alpaca wool doesn’t retain odours either, so our jumpers will rarely need to be washed therefore reducing water consumption.
WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS AS SUSTAINABLE? HOW SO?
Absolutely- creating a sustainable and ethical business is at the heart of every decision we make at Cayo. It is a lot more sustainable to farm alpacas and manufacturer Alpaca wool in comparison to other animals who yield luxury yarns. In terms of our process, our labels, tags and packaging are made from recyclable, biodegradable materials. We also offset our carbon emissions from transporting our wool from Peru by calculating our emissions and donate to a carbon fund (via carbonfund.org). We are a “seasonless” brand so we promote investing in quality pieces and wearing them all year around. Being sustainable is paramount for us but we also want to create and maintain an ethical business, so every person who is involved in the process of making our sweaters is paid a fair wage too.
DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO EXPAND THE RANGE?
Yes we do, we plan to expand the jumper line, introducing new colour ways. We are also working on exciting product launch with our partners in Italy.