As you've probably noticed by now, I have a total weakness for sweaters. And just because summer is nearing, that doesn't mean my sweater obsession will be going away any time soon, especially now that I've found the perfect one for all seasons.
After posting about my HOPE Made in the World Boxy Pullover Sweater, which I received as a gift from my husband last Christmas (a.k.a. I totally picked it out myself), the company's co-founder, Sara reached out to me about doing a collaboration, and I couldn't have been more excited. When I laid eyes on the V-Neck Pullover Sweater, I knew it was "the one" ... though I did think it over for about a week or so to make sure I wasn't acting on impulse.
This lovely piece arrived in the mail on the eve of my trip to Florida, and immediately went into my suitcase. Did I care that it was going to be in the 70s (hence the total frizz ball on my head)? Nope. Why? Because unlike most of my sweaters, which are thick and warm — a necessity for getting through winter in the Northeast — this one is actually quite lightweight and totally works with summer staples ... like shorts, for example.
Since then, I've worn this sweater at least once — often twice — a week. #TotalOutfitRepeater The V-Neck Pullover is the definition of comfort — it's perfectly oversized (though I do recommend sizing down), constructed out of the softest alpaca wool, and can be worn year-round with ease.
Why wear alpaca, you ask?
Not only are alpacas absolutely adorable (sorry ... the alliteration was just too perfect), but they also produce one of the most luxurious natural fibers in the world — and in a sustainable and ethical way. Once known as the "Fiber of the Gods," alpaca wool has been around for thousands of years and there's good reason why. This unique, biodegradable fiber is incredibly soft, durable, and lightweight — even more so than cashmere or merino, and if cared for properly, alpaca clothing can last for many years to come, which ultimately allows you to consume less.
Alpacas themselves are also considered to be quite "green." Their efficient eating habits require less water compared to other animals and the production of alpaca wool is sustainable by nature. Every spring, Andean alpaca farmers shear them for an annual hair cut, which doesn't harm the alpaca in any way, but rather makes them feel more comfortable as the temperatures climb in the summer.
Alpaca wool is also highly resistant to pilling and stretching (my worst nightmare), and when it does get a few pills here and there, you can simply hand wash the garment in cold water and lay flat to dry, and the pills will absorb back into the fabric. I actually tested this out recently with my Boxy Pullover Sweater, which was in major need of a washing and it totally worked!
HOPE Made in the World believes that conscious clothing is not only possible, but necessary. That’s why their mission is to create clothes that not only look good and feel good, but are also made the way they should be — with integrity, intention, and transparency at the forefront of every decision.
Every material they use, from GOTS-certified organic cotton to REACH-certified dyes and biodegradable baby alpaca wool, is not only luxurious, but also environmentally-friendly. It's safe to say their clothing is irresistibly good — and at a reasonable price — making it easy to purchase ethically without sacrificing style or comfort. As far as working conditions go, HOPE Made in the World thoughtfully handpicks and oversees each of their vendors and farmers based on their environmental impact, working conditions, and product quality. They also have a Child Labor Free certification, with the hope that one day this will become a business standard around the world.
And it doesn't stop there... HOPE Made in the World has partnered with Verde Fulfillment USA, the first eco-friendly, third-party logistics center in the U.S., so they can ship their products to customers with as little environmental impact as possible ... because no step in the clothing production process should be overlooked.
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE COMPLETE HOPE MADE IN THE WORLD COLLECTION FOR SUSTAINABLe, CAREFULLY CRAFTED CLOTHING!
Big thanks to HOPE Made in the World for collaborating on this post and for gifting me this beautiful sweater! As always, all opinions are my own and I selectively work with brands that share the same values when it comes to ethical and environmental responsibility.