ARMS OF ANDES
Born out of a love of spending time in nature and a deep connection to the Andes Mountains of Peru, Arms of Andes is an outdoor apparel company that aims to help people get out in nature. We wanted to bridge the gap between our ancestors’ heritage and the modern world, by creating uniquely sustainable outdoor clothing, made from the Inca’s most functional fiber: Alpaca Wool.
We are Meli and Rensso, sister and brother born to Peruvian parents in Los Angeles. Our parents were raised in small, mountain towns in the highlands of Peru and family vacations were always to our ancestral home. This allowed us to create a deep connection with our roots, learn about different ways of life, and really immerse ourselves in nature. We were fascinated by the contrast between our life in LA and how our Peruvian cousins lived. The way Andean communities thrive in such remote places – dependent on nature, using the earth’s resources respectfully – intrigued us.
With a love of travel and the outdoors instilled in us, we started to explore more independently, getting into traveling, hiking, and backpacking. We became interested in the different kinds of clothing available for the outdoors; and learning about the benefits of merino wool triggered a thought: why wasn't alpaca wool used?
Alpaca wool is well known in the fashion industry, but we realized that it had been overlooked by the outdoor industry. We did a lot of research and discovered that it has similar properties to merino wool and the potential to perform even better. If it was good enough for the Inca as they conquered the Andes, surely it would be good enough for the modern-day adventurer! From our initial tests and first royal alpaca wool mid-layer, we have now developed a unique fabric suitable for a range of outdoor apparel.
But we didn’t want to just make outdoor apparel, we also wanted to lead the way in sustainable manufacturing practices. We learned that the manufacture of most clothing involves shipping materials to different countries for each part of the production process; but we realized that by keeping production in one place – Peru – we could greatly reduce our company’s carbon footprint. Further, alpaca wool is natural, renewable, and sustainably produced, and we are incorporating additional sustainable practices, such as using other natural materials (like natural dyes and cotton for labels and stitching) and reducing packaging. In fact, our naturally colored shirts, beanies and neck gaiters are now 100% biodegradable, leaving no trace when composted!
Family and where you come from are major cornerstones of the Peruvian culture, and who we are as a company. This is even reflected in our name: “Arms” is a combination of the first name initials of us four siblings and our roots are “of the Andes”.
From our brand concept, to our main material, to us as the founders, our company truly originates in the Andes. We want to celebrate the wonders of nature everywhere, and help people explore our natural world in a sustainable way.
Go farther in nature with Arms of Andes