Choosing the right gear for our guides has a lot of considerations… they have to be ready for any weather, able to walk and trek, it has to be hard wearing (like they are) and it has to look good and say who they are; smart, fast on their feet and proud of being part of a great Social Enterprise that re-homes and cares for animals and ready to meet people from all over the World.
We also want to choose the most ethical companies to work with, protecting and preserving our environment and choosing the brands that do this is very important to us.
Enter… Fjallraven, a Swedish brand that has for years (since 1960) made and designed outdoor kit that not only works in all weathers but does so not at the expense of the environment that the kit is designed for, makes sense doesn’t it. Well it did to us and all of our staff are now kitted out, head to toe in Fjallraven gear.
Our jackets are the Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell – Eco-Shell is not only a tough, breathable material that resists wind and rain; it’s made of a material that does all that without unnecessarily harming nature. Made of recycled polyester and with no harmful PFC’s. Read more HERE.
Our trousers are the Fjallraven Keb Trousers made with G1000 – G1000 is a densely woven fabric made from 65% polyester and 35% cotton and, by using Greenland Wax, it’s adaptable to a whole variety of different climactic conditions. It’s both recycled and organic. Read more HERE.
Our fleece are the Fjallraven Skare or Pine half zip – both are made of recycled polyester that comes from plastic PET bottles, unusable second-quality fabrics and fabric offcuts. This has a knock-on effect: a reduction in air, water and soil contamination. Read more HERE.
We also have their hats, backpacks and will be looking at tents and camping equipment soon, in anticipation of our full day and overnight treks with the llamas.
On our feet… we wear Scarpa Ranger boots. This was a tough one for us, we would rather have a vegan option but we also don’t want plastic or lightweight versions. We want our boots to last, be comfortable and protect our feet, in all weather. The Ranger does all of that and comes from a company that is unique, like ours, in that it’s main priority is it’s staff. Starting in 1930 by the early fifties, the turning point, Luigi, Francesco and Antonio Parisotto decide to start their own businesses ‘all trades in a place full of symbols in the old barn owned by the Curia Vescovile The family becomes a working community of persons, the perfect human communion.’ Scarpa have a focus both on being Planet Friendly but they also have a very good repair and resole service, meaning that your boots can literally last forever. Read more HERE.
On our backs… we have Alpkit Goudon’s. These great bags are lightweight, can carry all our first aid and emergency equipment, are waterproof and there’s enough room for sandwiches, water and even alpaca treats. With their catch-phrase of ‘Go Nice Places, Do Nice Things’ Alpkit have a strong commitment to protecting our planet. They say “We’re believers in a circular economy which is a method of reducing resource-use and waste by keeping all products and materials in use for as long as possible: re-using, repairing, recycling and remaking.” Read more HERE.
On our wrists… we have the Garmin Fenix GPS watches, these help our guides keep track of their steps, in contact with HQ (notifications), locate their position and most importantly keep our #llamastrava account updated with our trekking llamas. Garmin have, by creating hardwearing and technologically advanced products, made a commitment to encouraging you to invest in a product that you will hopefully wear and keep for many years. They also have guidelines on material safety data for all elements in the devices, including batteries. Read more HERE.
We are currently looking at Buffs or neck warmers, for this we want bamboo… *watch this space*
Wordsmiths: Rachel Kearns & Emma Smalley