ARCADIA HOME's earth friendly designs are comprised of 4 unique materials—alpaca, hand felted wool, recycled cotton and recycled plastic bags.
ARCADIA HOME's newest collaboration is with a Fair Trade group in Peru. We are working with them to create some extra special hand knitted items such as our new dog breed ornaments made of an alpaca blend. Alpaca is a natural fiber that comes from the worlds oldest domesticated animal. For thousands of years, alpacas have been bred exclusively for their luxurious coats. Alpacas are amazing animals that produce some of the most luxurious and beautiful fiber in the world. These lovely animals not only provide communities with a source for material to make clothing, but they also give small family farmers a steady source of income and some fabulous gardening fertilizer to boot. We also found out that the alpaca is one of the few herd animals that do not damage the terrain they graze on. The alpaca's two-toed feet are soft pads protected on the top and sides by toe nails. Unlike hard hooves, they leave the terrain undamaged. And as they graze, they only eat the top of the grass rather than uprooting it as many other animals do. The more we learn about this amazing animal and the even more amazing women who knit our products- the more enthusiastic we become in increasing the work we do with them. So please stay tuned for more great alpaca products.
ARCADIA HOME's unique eco-friendly felt designs are hand felted, hand appliquéd and 100% wool. They are lovingly created by a group of artisans in the Rajasthan State of India.
Handmade felt has been used for hundreds of years as simple floor coverings in traditional Indian homes. The art of felt making started to die out not so long ago as demand for felt floor coverings dropped due to the widespread availability of inexpensive Chinese rugs. The lack of consistent demand for this traditional art caused many artisans to seek other occupations and to migrate to urban areas, away from their villages, homes and families. However a small group of artisans continued to preserve the knowledge and the tradition of felt making. By partnering with ARCADIA HOME in the making of our Christmas décor, an entire new income stream for the artisans was established and continues today. In addition to helping create a full time livelihood for the artisans making the felt, we are also helping to support the sheepherders and the seamstresses. The women who sew the appliqué are able to work from their homes a few hours a day giving them income that they tend to spend on the health and education of their children thereby extending the benefit to the entire community.
We are very proud of the fact that after we began working with our artisan partners in Rajasthan, they were recognized by the Government of India and awarded the honor of "Best Innovation in Crafts for International Markets" based on the Christmas items they produced for us that are so popular in the United States.
ARCADIA HOME eco-friendly recycled cotton products are created using cotton salvaged from the apparel industry in India. The items are made from "khadda" - the unbleached hand spun rags left over from garment industry production. No harsh chemicals or dyes are used in processing the material. The 100% cotton products are water-resistant and handmade. The making of
the recycled cotton designs has created a new industry in an area where urban sprawl has edged out once plentiful jobs in the traditional farming community. With any available farmland now being used to construct housing, farming no longer provides a livelihood for most of the local population.
Instead of having to travel to another place for work these workers are trained to make our products and are able to live and work in the same community as their forebears using a new skill and providing for their families.
ARCADIA HOME eco-friendly recycled plastic designs are made in cooperation with a group that provides a means to earn an income for some of the poorest of the urban poor while cleaning up the environment at the same time. Our partner in India hires people to clean up their immediate environment by picking up trash - mainly plastic bags. Plastic bag litter is an enormous environmental problem in India just as it is in the United States. Once the bags are picked they are then sanitized and meshed into big plastic collage sheets. No harsh chemicals or dyes are used during the process and the sheets are each a unique work of art. It is with these sheets that ARCADIA HOME recycled plastic designs are made. Buying ARCADIA HOME recycled plastic products supports this wonderful program that brings the joy of creation to people who normally struggle for subsistence.