In early 2018, I had the opportunity to spend several hours with Paul and his colleague Andrea Trömpert at the Pascuali yarn studio in Cologne where both showed me the beautiful Pascuali range of knitting yarns.
Pascuali filati is an exclusive German yarn business founded in 2008. Pascuali filati yarns are made of fair-trade 100% natural fibres produced in an ecological and fair way.
Paul Pascuali is intricately involved in every step of the yarn making process. He personally travels to farms all over the world to choose the farms and animals that will provide fibres for his yarns. His criteria are animal welfare and fibre quality. The lama and angora wool for Pascuali filati yarns comes from a small farm in the north of Argentina. Alpaca fibres are from Peru. Sheep’s wool is grown Germany.
Some of the yarns are spun in Germany and Italy, the remainder are spun in the countries of origin.
The yarns are dyed in either Germany or Portugal which ensures a high quality standard. All yarns are dyed with plant pigments and are certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100. The yarn is quality checked at the public test laboratory in Mönchengladbach, Germany (yarn weight, color fastness, tensile strength, fiber length).
Pascuali filati values quality, fair trade and social justice. A proportion of the proceeds from Pascuali filati alpaca yarns is donated to build greenhouses for poor villages in Peru.
I love the idea of buying a beautiful quality product where farmers get paid a fair share, the production occurs with high environmental standards and a part of the proceeds goes into supporting people in poorer areas.
We will be adding more Pascuali yarns to our collection over time. You should try them out and see for yourself!
The video below shows Paul Pascuali explaining why he came up with the idea of building greenhouses. I have added an English translation of the audio below.
A future with Pascuali filati naturali
The trip to school is long and exhausting.
It takes 6 hours by car from Arequipa to the school that we visited.
The school is located 4500 meters above sea level.
Of course, one of the first questions I asked was what do the children need the most?
The teacher said: We would love to have a greenhouse here at the school.
“Why” was explained by Alonso from Pacomarca:
A greenhouse is not just for growing plants, it is also a room for small rodents.
The greenhouse keeps them warm so they don’t freeze to death in winter when temperatures drop to -20 degrees Celsius.
Until now it has been impossible to breed these animals this high up.
The children in this region do not know what vegetables are.
Their meals consist of meat and potatoes.
Everyday vegetables we can buy in the supermarket - lettuce, silverbeet, tomatoes - are completely unknown to them.
The children suffer iron deficiencies.
We suddenly understood and began to think about what we could do.
We came up with a solution: Together with Pacomarca, Pascuali will build greenhouses in schools.
We started with the two schools we visited and will continue to develop this concept so that the whole region can have access to greenhouses if they wish to have one.
At the same time, the children can take the idea home with them and the parents can see what is possible.
Then they can build a greenhouse at home. It is not complicated to do but we need to show them how to do it.
In winter, snow covers the whole region. The Alpacas have nothing to eat. One day is not so bad, but two or three days, especially when they are pregnant, many Alpacas do not survive the cold and die.
And that’s why greenhouses are so important.
You can grow 15-20% of the food for the Alpacas in the greenhouse, for example oat or high grass that grows quickly. This can be harvested once or twice a fortnight. The harvest can be stored for particularly dry or cold seasons.
This is a really interesting project that will provide solutions to many problems, for example proper nutrition, education, saving the Alpacas during difficult times.
The greenhouses can even provide additional sources of income, because the herders can also sell the small rodents.
We spoke about the project and decided that we wanted to start building.
We are financing these project from the proceeds of our yarns.
Because we buy our fibres from Pacomarca, we pay a higher price. The difference is meant for the greenhouses and the breeding program.
Every time we return to Peru, we will visit the schools where we have been before and other schools. We already have people in the area who supervise the building progress. They keep us informed through videos and photos - me, our company and our customers who buy our Alpaca yarns and thus support this project.