While working for an NGO in Peru, Vivica Pietz discovered her enthusiasm for people who often live in simple circumstances but are happy and optimistic. The culture and traditional textile art had a hold on her. Her inspiration? For indigenous peoples, the word sustainability is a matter of course – the content of life. Instead of collecting donations, she decided on a different concept: help through self-help. With the foundation of Achiy (autumn 2019), she ensures fairly paid income in indigenous communities.
The motto of the Hamburg brand? “Designed by another life”.
Alpaca farming is part of Peruvian history. Starting with the shepherd who breeds and tends alpacas to the knitters who learn from generation to generation from their parents how to sort, classify and spin the fibers and knit the ornate patterns of the Peruvian Incas, behind which ancient stories are hidden.
Natural or with bright colors from nature.
Wash once before wearing for the first time? Not with Achiy. Because instead of chemicals, the divinely soft alpaca wool (also known as the “fleece of the gods”) only comes into contact with natural materials. Alpaca wool comes in 22 different colors and up to 300 shades, which is why it also works undyed. However, it is often colored in powerful colors to express spirituality. Following the indigenous tradition only with vegetable materials such as leaves, tree bark, fruits and vegetables from the Andes: beetroot, eucalyptus & Co.
Achiy is Quechua (the language of the Incas) for “enjoy and experience”.
For Achiy, the knitters from Cusco are artists. It goes without saying that they will be presented personally on achiy.com. Rubén Caryamarca is one of them. His family produces the fluffy baby alpaca sweaters by hand on traditional knitting machines. Industrial knitting machines would save time, but also jobs for his family. But there are small innovations: Rubén lets traditional knitting machines “communicate” with his computer by means of a self-constructed cable. The energy required for this is obtained from solar panels on the roof.
Achiy sweaters carry the spirit of the indigenous peoples of Peru and set an example against fast fashion consumption. Fair, sustainable and divinely soft.
Small (baby) alpaca 1×1
👉🏼 Whether baby alpaca comes from the alpaca baby? Definitely not. It got its name because it is so outrageously fine.
👉🏼 The soft fur is only found on certain parts of the animal.
👉🏼 That it warms so comfortably is due to the living conditions of the alpacas, which live at up to 5,000 meters in the Andes with extreme temperature and weather fluctuations.
👉🏼 Alpacas are sheared by hand only once a year.
👉🏼 Alpaca wool is particularly dirt and odor repellent.
👉🏼 Alpaca wool does not felt (pill) and is therefore more durable than cashmere and cotton.
👉🏼 The fiber diameter of alpaca wool is very small – therefore the fabric is very light and thin.
Achiy is supported along the entire production chain by Carlos and Claudia and their company Peruvian Traditions in Lima. They only work with the best small and traditional communities in Peru to create better living conditions for the workers and to preserve traditional sewing techniques. Together they are working to ensure that Achiy can obtain the alpaca wool directly from the shepherds in the Andes in order to get an even more direct connection.
Investments in climate protection projects neutralize the transport to Europe.
The cuddly favorite pieces are shipped in reusable packaging from RePack. They are designed in such a way that they last at least 20 order cycles. After use, RePacks can be folded up to letter size. They will be returned via mailbox (free of charge!). For every RePack returned, Achiy donates two euros to the Kinsacchocha Community in Paru Paru Cusco, who keep the traditions of their ancestors alive at an altitude of 4010 meters and are an inspiration for Achiy.
Good to know: Achiy is a family business – Vivica Pietz has support from father and brother.
More about Achiy. Click here