How and why we started
CONSCIOUS ANTWERP was created and designed in 2020 by our founder, and consultant in sustainable business development, Nikki Elewaut in the fashion capital of Antwerp. Our sustainable label was born from her desire to make a sustainable and positive contribution to our social life and our fragile planet. We want to achieve this by supporting responsible consumption and production and reducing waste in people's daily lives.
According to this ideology, every product we offer is designed with love, passion and knowledge of aesthetics and sustainability. And it is also produced in an environmentally friendly and ethical way, with the aim of a more conscious consumer, a more sustainable society and a healthier planet. And all this for a price where everyone in the production chain has also been fairly reimbursed. You can read how we do this below.
In order to produce clothing that is as sustainable and qualitative as possible, we started researching slow fashion design, materials, the different production methods and the logistical and ecological impact of all these different options. Ultimately, we ended up with a minimalist and timeless design, the use of material surpluses, and local production to keep our production chain as short, honest and transparent as possible.
For the production of our clothing we use surplus yarns and fabrics from other brands. Many major brands and producers all too often have a 'leftover' of fabrics and yarns from previous collections that they no longer use. And if the stock of all these surpluses becomes too large, they sometimes simply go to the waste. We select the highest quality yarns and fabrics from these surpluses, thus saving these materials from oblivion and the mountain of waste. In this way we give them a useful second life for the production of our collections and because no new materials need to be produced for us, there is no CO2 impact. A win-win! And because we do not do mass production, it is always a limited edition so that you get a limited edition piece. ;)
The benefits of alpaca wool
For our first sweater, we selected a yarn blend of alpaca wool. Alpaca wool comes from the annual shearing of the animal of the same name. It is the most prestigious natural fiber in the world because it has many unique properties.
Alpaca wool stands out for its insulating capacity, which is 7 times higher than that of sheep's wool, and its unparalleled softness. This wool thus protects you much better against the cold, with softness, without ever making you sweat thanks to its thermo-regulating properties. So it keeps you warm when it's cold and cool when it's warmer.
It is also incredibly light and pleasant to wear, respecting the most sensitive skins. Alpaca wool, unlike sheep wool, does not contain lanolin. This makes the wool hypoallergenic, the chance of an allergic reaction is much lower and you can wear it directly on your skin. Alpaca wool has a very low "itching factor".
Alpaca wool is also much more durable than goat wool, such as cashmere. Alpacas do not uproot plants to feed themselves, unlike the cashmere goat, which in Mongolia desertifies the fragile climate. These goats eat the vegetation with roots and all, making the land drier and sandy. Where alpacas graze, the vegetation can simply grow back. The herd thus has a very low impact on the ecology of the environment. In addition, you need the hair of four goats for one cashmere sweater. You can make four sweaters from the hair of one alpaca. So with alpacas you need a smaller herd that emits less methane for the same amount of wool.
Finally, the alpaca wool does not need any treatment or chemical dyes, which means that the environment is protected. So it is super soft, very durable, completely ecologically sound and safe to wear.