Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca Review | Ethical Craft Supplies {Knitting}

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

You may remember that back in May I was totally set on finishing Nord until I ran out of yarn. Actually I had not ran out of yarn, but the last skein I had came in bits of thread rather than one continuous thread. At the time I had tried to contact the shop I bought the yarn from and I never got anything back (still haven't if you are wondering). However Cascade Yarns had read my blog post and contacted me - and sent me more skeins of Eco alpaca and more! 

Picture found on Ravelry
I had not written the post to get free yarn, and never thought I would ever get anything for free thanks to the blog. However it is very clever of Cascade Yarns to have contacted me, because I am definitely willing to buy more of their yarn - just not through that specific shop. And also I realised that the yarn I am using for Nord actually fits with my new ethical craft supplies endeavour as I am using the undyed Eco Alpaca yarn.  

The lovely skeins  I received from Cascade Yarns
I contacted Cascade yarns to get a bit more information about the Eco Alpaca yarn, and here is what I found out. The ecological yarns are undyed, which makes them eco friendly. As a distributor Cascade Yarns primarily visit the mills, and use the ones they find to have acceptable working conditions, but do not visit the farms themselves. The farms are located up in the mountains in Peru, where the sheep and alpaca are cared for by families.  

With respect to dyes (if you are not using undyed yarn), all of them meet European safety standards for dye safety, which sounds like they are more strict than American standards.Their Eco+ wool is the same wool base as the Ecological Wool, but it is dyed with Oeko-Tex certified dyes, which have an even higher safety standard. 

Pictures from Ravelry 
I asked about natural dyes as I am quite interested in finding major distributors that may consider using natural dyes. Unfortunately - but not unexpectedly - they do not foresee using natural dyes as the process is difficult to control for consistency at their scale of production. However, all of the wools are available in an undyed natural colour that can be purchased to hand dye

Here you are a few good options to stash on ethical supplies at a reasonable price. I am currently using Eco Alpaca for Nord, and it is so unbelievable soft, and knowing that Cascade Yarns have been looking at ethical issues makes the yarn I use (and the jumper) that much more special. Maybe it may even mean that I will actually finish it.  

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  1. What a great company! Interesting reading about the ethics too.

  2. What a wonderful thing for that company to do - a real good guy in the textile world! Enjoy using your yarn and because of your story I will serioulsy consider using their yarn in the furture.

  3. What great service. Boo on that yarn store.

  4. Thanks for the info on eco yarns - and also how great that Cascade put you right after that disappointing skein!

  5. How awesome! Its pretty rare these days to have such wonderful customer service, especially from a company for customers in another continent. I am looking forward to seeing your Nord sweater finished... I'm not too fond of knitting with alpaca personally but they do block out so beautifully.

  6. I've never thought to dye my own yarn! Have you tried it? I've done a little natural dyeing, and found it hard to predict and control the colors, but I'm interested in pursuing it more.

  7. I'm impressed with Cascade's response to your blog complaint. Also interested to hear about their ethical policies :)

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