Samantha launched her own alpaca label in May 2003. It was during her last job working for a small international trading company importing cashmere from Nepal that she developed her interest in luxury fabrics and traditional craftsmanship. This led her to alpacas. Passionate about mountainous countries, Samantha travelled to Peru to make contact with small producers who helped her produce an exclusive collection of handcrafted luxury gifts, fashion accessories, babywear and homeware. Moving away from the more rustic ethnic designs associated with South American crafts, Samantha is concentrating on classic, universally appealing designs.
Samantha works closely with various small independent producer groups in poor communities, mainly in the rural areas surrounding Puno in the south of Peru where unemployment is very high. The groups are principally family businesses and individual home workers who, prior to working for Samantha, despite the fine quality of their workmanship, had never made products for the British and European markets.
Since her first contact four years ago, Samantha now works with a network of over 500 handknitters. She visits them each year and ensures that they are fairly remunerated and work in good conditions. Each worker normally knits for no more than four to five hours a day.
Samantha is committed to fairtrade and whilst her business is not formally registered with the International Fair Trade Association, she adheres closely to the code of practice it promotes.
For more details please visit http://www.samanthaholmes.com/.