This documentary will make sure that, knitters around the globe, acknowledge that they can knit in sustainably produced alpaca yarn and at the same time directly support local Peruvian producers' living conditions
Imagine you have carefully selected a knitting pattern for your new hand knit sweater, your have chosen to knit in soft baby alpaca yarn and your have decided for the colour light blue. You are pleased with your delicious yarn selection, but have you considered where the yarn is from? And under which conditions it has been produced? Few of us question who the people behind the yarn are and how they have been treated in the production process. It is very easy to find and buy alpaca yarn produced at big factories in Peru and the yarn is soft and colourful. But many people don’t know they are knitting with yarn produced with high profit for the industrialists and underpayment for the alpaca breeders, who gain a negative profit that they can't live of.
The documentary, made by Frisenvang Yarn, will make the knitters around the globe aware of the possibility to buy high quality sustainable alpaca yarn, produced directly by local alpaca breeders and in direct support of their living conditions.
The alpaca breeders are forced to sell their wool fibers below cost price
80% of all alpaca wool fibers produced in Peru are purchased by big Peruvian industries paying the alpaca breeders prices way below cost price. How can that happen? Simply because selling to the big companies is the only way the people in the remote villages can get an income from their fibers, and this situation is being heavily exploited by the big companies.
The 150.000 families which live in the Peruvian high Andes are struggling to make a living from their alpacas. The life above 3500 meters is hard, the climate changes with very cold winters and extreme heavy rains in the rain seasons make their lives even more difficult and combined with the underpayment, this means that many families live below the extreme poverty line. Almost 50% of the children in some rural areas (Marcapata) are permanently malnutritioned, many alpaca breeders are illiterates and medical care is simply not within reach.
How to gain back the control of the alpaca yarn production
The alpaca breeders need to gain back the control of the alpaca yarn production in order to be able to change their living conditions.
Our small Danish company Frisenvang (3 owners) opened our webshop in 2015 and has for the last 3 years cooperated with a cooperative of local alpaca producers in the region Marcapata in the Peruvian Andes mountains. The alpaca breeders are producing Frisenvang yarn by carding, dying and handspinning the alpaca fibers. By controlling every step in the production process they are able to keep the total profit from the production for themselves.
The spinning is taken care of by the women, which provides the families with an extra income and give the women a stronger position in the society.
Producing for Frisenvang means that the 265 people of the cooperative gain an income that is 3-4 times higher, than when they sell the wool fibers to the big companies. This provides them with a possibility of building better lives for both themselves and their children.
We have just added one more production group to our cooperation and they are now training to become producers for Frisenvang. We hope to be able to add even more alpaca breeders in the coming years.
Frisenvang is the only costumer that the cooperative holds outside the Andes, and we are therefore, at the moment, the only way for the alpaca breeders to reach quality and sustainable conscious customers outside of Peru.
The production of Frisenvang yarn is also creating a stronger future for the environment
Alpaca breeders are experts in handspinning yarn, which is a craft that has been passed on for many generations. Our yarn is produced according to organic principles and dyed with plants and seeds from the Andes.
This old production method is also good news for our planet and Frisenvang yarn is without any doubt presently among the most sustainable alpaca yarns in the world .
Our project in Peru supports the following UN sustainable development goals;
- 1. No poverty.
- 2. Zero hunger.
- 3. Good health and well-being.
- 8. Decent work and economic growth.
- 12. Responsible production and consumption.
- 17. Partnerships for the goals.
Unica yarn of extremely high quality
Frisenvang yarns are unica products of extremely high quality, which is acknowledged by a larger number of very loyal consumers buying our yarn again and again. Both quality and concept is so unique that we, even though being a very small Danish company, have customers and resellers in several European countries, North America, Australia and South Africa.
Knowledge of our alpaca breeder project is essential
Until now we have not been able to take profit out of our small company. We live from our personal savings and occasionally small jobs that are available. Sales are increasing month by month but in order to continue our cooperation with the alpaca breeders we need to continue gaining new resellers and customers. An increased sale for Frisenvang yarn will also lead to a higher level of indirect economic support to the families in Marcapata, giving them the possibility of education and further development in the local rural areas.
We know from experience that the best selling argument is simply bringing the story to the customers through images and storytelling. Therefore increasing the knowledge of our cooperation with the alpaca breeders will be key, and we believe that the best tool is a strong and involving documentary telling the story about the alpaca breeders and our Frisenvang yarn production.
The story of the documentary
For an involving film production we have the absolutely best movie stars - The alpacas - those are by far the most peculiar and cute animals we have ever seen and their funny looks are very catchy.
The alpaca breeders who originate from the incas are beautiful and colorful people, and the scenaries in the high Andes are breathtaking - everything is in place for a fantastic and involving documentary.
The documentary will, with a handheld camera and in a honest and close dialogue with the alpaca breeders, bring the tough lives of the families and our uniqe yarn project into life. The documentary will follow Frisenvang on a trip to Marcapata where we together with 2 experienced photographers will be part of the life in the villages and follow the production of a batch of Frisenvang yarn.
The film will wrap it all up by showing the arrival of a batch of yarn in Denmark where the sorting and labelling is taking place.
The documentary will be shown on national Danish TV
With funds raised from this Kickstarter project we will be able to produce a high quality film (30 min) which national Danish channel DK4 has already confirmed to bring on air.
Besides the TV documentary, we will create smal films, that will be used at lectures, which we have already been performing for the last couple of years. Those can, with a strong visual support, be extended to a wider target group (non knitters) helping to spread the knowledge about our project and Frisenvang yarn.
Coming back with strong visual material from Peru we will build a strong PR programme planned to be rolled out in Q1 2019.
A strong documentary and unique photos will enable a strong and wide media reach.
We are so greatfull for our sponsors (KLM, Lama Tours, Sparnord Holbæk) who have already brought us closer to the target, but funds from this Kickstarter project will be essential to make our dream about a high quality documentary come true.
We will be on air in Q1 2019
We are very much hoping to raise our targeted funds via this Kickstarter project and are planning our trip to Marcapata to take place late October/early November 2018. This will give us enough time to have postproduction done in late 2018 and to bring the documentary on air in Q1 2019 which is still in high knitting season.
Your support will make a huge difference
Your support will make an immensely big difference for both our small company Frisenvang and the alpaca breeders in Marcapata.
Our documentary will be an important part in the struggle of keeping an old, traditional and highly sustainable yarn production alive and this Kickstarter is for you who want to directly support the lives of local Peruvian alpaca bredders.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Risks and challenges
We are so lucky that there has already been an interest in the documentary from larger sponsors. Frisenvang does therefore already have coverage for the flight tickets, transport and translator sponsored by KLM Scandinavia and Danish travel agency Lama Tours. The trip to Marcapata will therefore take place even if this Kickstarter project does not meet the targeted support amount.
Having that in mind there are no risks in this project - only upsides.
Frisenvang will be able to do the film shooting ourselves. But the quality of the filming and the postproduction and thus the potential media channels, PR and reach of the documentary is heavily depending on the the possible support that this Kickstarter project will have.
- (30 days)