Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Ethical clothing with gray goats hair

  • "I'm not a family farmer, but after studying agronomy, I've worked in the first sector in Iparralde. There I have learned that there is another way of doing things.” These are the words of the young Areta Lorea Markalain. Her father is from Abaurrea Alta and has launched a special cattle project in the village: Grandson. Angora breeds goats and produces and sells clothing with hair. “I started with 17 goats and the idea is to reach about 80 things, this will be a small hacienda,” he said.
Areta Lorea, angora ahuntzarekin.

29 January 2024 - 06:24
Last updated: 2024-01-30 11:13:08

The Angora race originates in Turkey, but Lorea explains that it is spread around the world: “They are mainly in South Africa and the United States, on large farms. Mohairra, the hair of the Angora goat, is bought by large companies at low prices, that is the dominant model.” The farmer explains that the breed for use is easy, as they are small and have a rather quiet character. Its main peculiarity is hair: “Here we are accustomed to soft hair goats and backpack, but they are long and warm and white.”

Lorea has no eco-certificate but, like herself, is based on producing in a sustainable model. “I try to achieve indigenous or ecological forage to make production as rational as possible.” In fact, in the absence of land, at the moment it does not produce enough grass to feed all its livestock: “I have three hectares rented and the grass I buy from a farmer in the neighboring town.”

Mohair collective process to clothing

Mohair is brighter than wool and is also a good insulation. “It protects from the cold and heat of both and does not touch.” Flor cuts her hair twice a year to the goats and, after a manual cleaning and sorting, sends her to Castres, south of France. “In their workshop they transform the mohair and return it to ropes and clothes. We have an association with other producers like me, we transform into a collective.”

Some of the garments it receives around the factory – caps, stacks… – are sold directly by the producer, but others, such as the ordered products, are handmade. For this, he has an assistant. It markets the products mainly from the Internet store directly. “I’ve now started organizing guided tours. I want to raise people's awareness, teach them the countryside and animal husbandry. It’s important to see what a production is, how much it costs.” In this sense, food sensitization is perceived. “Clothes are still not looked at so much, but I think we are gradually on that path.”

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