Where to buy the perfect sustainable coat to keep your baby or toddler warm this winter

Watership Alpaca's toddler and baby coats

Watership Alpacas' children's coats are made from 100 per cent sustainable alpaca fibre - Credit: Watership Alpacas

The nights are drawing in, and as the weather gets colder, it’s time to dust off our cosy winter coats once again for the chilly months to come. 

If your baby or toddler has outgrown last year's coat and you're on the hunt for a new one, or perhaps you’re searching for an environmentally-friendly gift for Christmas, then look no further. Alison Thompson from Watership Alpacas tells us how their UK-made children’s coats are the ideal, high-quality and sustainable solution for keeping your little ones warm this winter. 

Q: How does your material compare to a woollen coat? 

Light fawn speckled toddler's coat from Watership Alpacas

The alpaca coats are silk-lined and incredibly warm and soft - Credit: Watership Alpacas

A: Our children's coats are made from alpaca fibre from our farm, which is a warm and natural material that’s perfect for outerwear. Our 100 per cent sustainable clothing has a very fine and soft texture, similar to a cashmere, and the coats are silk-lined. 

Alpaca fibre is a cosier alternative to wool, which is often mixed with an artificial fibre and can feel more rigid in children's wear. Our handmade, lightweight coats are designed with ease and comfort in mind and are suitable for babies and toddlers from nine months to two years old, with a range of colours available.

Q: Does your coat production support the environment? 

Sustainable alpaca farming at Watership Alpacas

Watership Alpacas farm promotes sustainability and supports a variety of wildlife and their habitats - Credit: Watership Alpacas

A: Yes. We now know that minute particles of artificial fibre from clothing are ending up in the sea via the laundry wash, which is why choosing environmentally friendly clothing made from natural fibre is a great way to move towards a sustainable future. 

We’re advocates of sustainability and animal welfare at the Watership Alpacas farm and we aim to ensure that our agriculture choices support a varied array of wildlife and their habitats. We try to follow a regenerative form of farming, reusing the manure to enrich the land and avoiding chemicals and fertilizer. The many herbs that then grow naturally result in a health-giving pasture.

Alpaca on the farm at Watership Alpacas

Nutritious herbs and compost provide excellent alpaca nutrition - Credit: Watership Alpacas

As part of our sustainable farming practices, we remove manure from the alpaca paddocks, mixing it into a composting pile, where it will remain until it’s ready to be recycled back into the land over a year later. This provides nutritious grazing for our alpacas as well as a safe, healthy environment for other wildlife to enjoy. Swallows return to us every year, attracted by the insects present due to the animals and their manure. The recent addition of a deep wildlife pond has been a great success with the swallows – they swoop over it, just skimming the water for a drink. 

Q: How does buying your clothing support local, British businesses? 

UK-made children's coats from Watership Alpacas

Watership Alpacas' coats are made in the UK and support British apparel manufacturing - Credit: Watership Alpacas

A: A lot of British clothing is made outside the country and is difficult to trace. The entire cycle of our coat production happens within the UK and we’re very proud of our traceable clothing. 

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The carding process (teasing out the alpaca fibre into a spinnable yarn), spinning and weaving are all done at a small family-run mill in Wales. The cloth is sewn into our coats by a small manufacturer in England who are proud of the meticulous quality of their work. Buying ‘slow fashion’ (clothes that have more time spent on the design and production) not only means higher quality clothing that will last longer, but it also respects the manufacturing process and protects the environment. 

We are a member of a fantastic group called ‘Make it British’. They support British apparel manufacturing, keeping British people in employment and helping to reduce the air miles used for production. 

If you want to help the environment, support local business and get your child a cuddly coat that will last for generations to come, visit watershipalpacas.co.uk. For enquiries on buying alpacas or purchasing a sustainable child coat, contact 01264 889206.