MATERIALS

Aiayu chooses natural materials which champion small family farmers, nomadic herders, and sustainable producers doing things differently. Read on to learn more about our materials, and how we sustainably source them.

LLAMA WOOL

Llama wool is where the story of Aiayu began over 17 years ago. 

Everything about llamas is perfectly evolved for life in the Bolivian highlands. Their wool is soft, warm, and hypoallergenic, and because they are “gentle grazers”, their impact on the land is light.  

Llama wool comes in many beautiful shades, so most Aiayu llama knits are pure and undyed. Each knit is made in WRAP certified factory in Bolivia, which cleans and reuses its wastewater and uses renewable energy.   

SARTUUL & YAK

Sartuul sheep and yak are indigenous to the Mongolian steppe. Aiayu works with nomadic herders in the Green Gold project, who are working to protect and restore Mongolia’s grasslands. The wool comes in a range of beautiful shades, so many of Aiayu’s Sartuul & yak knits are pure and undyed. Each knit is carefully made by craftspeople in Nepal.

Sartuul will remind you of the pure wool sweaters from your childhood which kept you warm year after year. With exceptional warmth, durability, and self-cleaning properties, after a few days of wear (and perhaps a wash), Sartuul wool will readily soften to become a cozy favourite.

Aiayu exclusively uses the finest and softest fiber from the yak’s undercoat. When treated properly, the fibers can feel as soft as cashmere, yet be as strong and warm as llama wool.

ORGANIC COTTON
– GOTS CERTIFIED

Aiayu exclusively works with organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS ensures the cotton is grown organically and that strict social and environmental criteria are followed from seed to final garment. Read more about the certification in our journal here.

The majority of Aiayu’s cotton comes from Chetna Organic, a non-profit programme which helps farmers earn better incomes through sustainable agriculture. Chetna practices agroecological farming, which goes ‘beyond organic’ to improve local ecosystems.

All Aiayu cotton items are made in factories with leading social certifications, like SA8000 or BSCI, and have stringent environmental policies that adhere with GOTS criteria.

CASHMERE 

Cashmere is deeply important to the cultural heritage of Nepal and the surrounding regions – and each Aiayu cashmere piece is carefully made by a craftsperson in Nepal.

Most of Aiayu’s pure cashmere styles are undyed, reducing the water and chemical footprint.

To minimize our virgin cashmere use, many of Aiayu’s cashmere knits are blended with a 40% mix of linen – a naturally pest and drought resistant fiber, which requires very little resources to grow. Blending cashmere with linen also increases the durability of the delicate cashmere fibers while maintaining its softness and natural beauty.

ERI SILK

Aiayu’s Eri silk comes from villages in Assam, India, where ericulture – the raising of Eri silkworms – is done with a high level of expertise and care.

Eri silk is sometimes referred to as ‘peace silk’, as the silky cocoons are only harvested after the moths have naturally emerged from them. Typically, mulberry leaves are used in conventional silk production, but Eri silkworms feed on castor leaves, which are native to the forests of Assam and require no irrigation, fertilizer, or pesticides to grow.

The silk is luxuriously soft with a more textural look and feel– reflecting the natural beauty of its origin.