Boulder, CO (December 14th, 2023) – Paka, the leading innovator in alpaca apparel, today launches their latest material innovation in alpaca fiber: Pakacloud. This alpaca-based fleece is the first of its kind and outperforms standard synthetic fleece in warmth to weight ratio, testing twice as warm in CLO value tests. 

The original “fleece” fabric in the 1970’s was synthetic, despite the word originating from natural animal fiber. With Pakacloud, Paka is bringing fleece back to its origin with a pullover crafted with fully traceable alpaca fleece. The alpaca wool in Pakacloud features hollow medullated air pockets, which reduce heat transfer and create an insulating buffer compared to synthetic fibers, which have a heavier, less insulating solid fiber structure. Alpaca wool also boasts exceptional moisture management, antibacterial and thermoregulating characteristics owed to alpacas’ evolution in the highly fluctuating alpine environment of the Andes. 

Traditional synthetic fleece, made from oil, is the largest contributor to microplastic water contamination in the clothing industry, shedding up to 250,000 microfibers in a single wash. Pakacloud offers a more sustainable option for the full fleece lifecycle: Paka’s alpaca fiber is renewable and ethically-sourced and the natural fibers in the fabric blend don’t shed microplastic pollution into our waterways when washed. 

“What’s crazy to me is that the word ‘fleece’ means the wooly covering of an animal,” Kris Cody, Paka Founder and CEO, said. “Yet 95% of fleeces currently made are from oil (polyester, acrylic, nylon). I’m so proud that we’ve re-infused nature back into fleece and made it 2x warmer in doing so.”

The Pakacloud fleece is made with baby alpaca fiber, named for the softness of the wool. Each pullover features a handwoven Inca ID crafted by women artisans employed at 4x the living wage in Peru, and cordlock system at the hem featuring pullers made from corn byproduct. The Pakacloud is available in a Unisex fit in Oat, Navy and Black.