Sustainability from Peru to Portland: Reviewing PAKA wool

Us PNW’ers all know the benefits of wool. From it’s breathability, to softness, to warmth – its a material that is utilized more and more in gear for outdoor activities.

PAKA is taking all the benefits of wool in some of their new gear and adding some cool new twists. For those unaware of PAKA an apparel company specializing in Alpaca wool and has a huge focus on sustainability. They source their fibers from Peru and have, for the past few years, created a connection between women artisans and the products they make. Each sweater is signed by the woman who made it – how cool!

Their new Traceable Hoodie goes a step further with the first ever traceable alpaca sweater, a part of their Origin program to “prove small-scale, regenerative agriculture is a path towards a more connected and sustainable future“.

Before getting into that, I will talk a little bit about the fit. Besides being super soft and comfortable in putting on, it fits just right. Not too loose and not too tight – with just enough flexibility to allow for range of motion. Honestly, it fits more ideally than the majority of hoodies out there.

But now on to the cool tech of it all. Because the fiber is sourced directly from small farms in the Andes Mountains, I was able to see the exact location of the alpaca that was the original source from this specific hoodie. I just had to scan a QR code on the hang tag to pinpoint the spot, as well as learn more about the the animals and farmers. It may not be the most necessary thing as far as clothing goes – but it’s really an amazing unique and really could be something for other companies to strive to emulating. But until then, its just so cool!

PAKA also sent us a few pairs of socks to try out – a standard pair and Thermal as well. The standard socks are crew length come in 5 colors, each adorned with their cool Peruvian alpaca logo. They are perfect for excursions outdoors (probably not running however) as they can hold up to the cold weather and the stink from a day full of hiking. They also have no business being as soft as they are.

I used the latter after a long and chilly half marathon and it was like heaven on my feet. They are very warm and cozy – begging to hug your tootsies on those colder days and events. They come in three colors. Word on the street is that PAKA is releasing run-specific socks in the near future and we can’t wait to check them out!


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Products & Price:
  • Traceable Hoodie | $129
    • 65% Royal Alpaca Fiber / 35% Recycled Nylon
  • Socks | Standard ($16) & Thermal ($25)
    • 50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Bamboo, 20% Nylon
    • 85% Royal Alpaca, 15% Bamboo Lining:100% Organic Pima Cotton

Thank you to Paka for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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