We’ve said this many times before: each Karukinka product is handmade from start to finish. But we realized many of our customers might not realize the magnitude of our production process and that when we say start to finish, we mean it.
So here’s a little more detail about the lifecycle of each product. Where it begins, where it’s constructed, where it’s checked again and again for quality before being shipped to your front door.
Step One: The Design Process
Inspired by the ancient designs of the people indigenous to Patagonia, our team design team is lead by Karla Villarroel, a fashion designer with over 20 years of experience designing products. She’s a technical expert in the craft of knitting as well as our manager of social responsibility, overseeing the wellbeing of our workers.
Karla and the rest of our team bring decades of experience in designing outdoor apparel. Our end goal is to deliver a premium product to you made from high-quality material that looks as good as it performs.
Step Two: Sourcing our Wool
We source wool from a small pool of local breeders in Patagonia, ensuring that the raw material comes from animals who are treated humanely, the quality is guaranteed, and that the people who raise these animals are compensated fairly for their work. The wool industry is one of the main economic drivers in this region and we are proud to support Patagonians who live and work off the land.
Step Three: Yarn Production
Once sheared, the raw wool is sent to the central valley of Chile, where it is spun into yarn in the Karukinka Fibers Mill. Fibers from merino sheep, llamas, alpacas, and guanacos are blended together in different ways depending on what garment or material they are to be used for.
Step Four: Knitting
The yarn is then sent to the Karukinka Factory in Patagonia, where our small but skilled team weaves and knits the fibers into high-performance material. The weave is almost as important as the material when it comes to producing material that wicks sweat, is flexible yet durable, and is warm enough for some of the harshest conditions. Plus, we also make a range of garments from base layers to insulating mid-layers, and that variety comes from how these materials are put together.
Step Five: Assembling
All chalking, cutting, tailoring, assembling, finishing, quality control, packaging, and shipping is done at the Karukinka Factory in Porvenir. Here’s a quick look atour team–the people behind our brand. Karukinka wasn’t founded to be just another fashion brand caught in a capitalist system that exploits its workers. It was created to give the people of Patagonia an opportunity to make meaningful careers that allow them to support their family and be proud of their livelihoods.
We’re proud of our process because it represents a new way of doing business. One that values our social and environmental impact over profit and one that is transparent to our valued conscious consumers. And that's the way of the future.