The founders of Animaná and Munkh, 2 companies that are making a positive impact through luxury fibers
Story by Diana Keeler / Photography courtesy of Animaná
Animaná founder Adriana Marina began her company with the goal of making positive
changes in sustainability and social development within the fashion industry,
and works with local artisans in Patagonia and the Andes to create high-quality
baby alpaca fibers for heirloom products meant to last for generations. Munkh
founder Bayarmaa works in a parallel manner with Mongolian goat herders who
produce some of the world’s finest fibers from sustainable goat cashmere.
Adriana Marina, the founder of Animana, was born in Southern Patagonia where
the immensity of the landscape contrasts with the Patagonian coasts,
plateaus, desert, and the rugged peaks of the Andes.
Changing social norms have forced the fashion and design industries to confront core
concerns about its place within a progressive-minded society. “There’s
been increasingly more awareness of all these problems over the past few
years, including the impact [fashion manufacturing] has on the environment
— pollution, contamination of the water, etc.,” says Animaná founder
Adriana Marina, who credits that reckoning to the public’s increased
access to information.
"Consumers are more cautious now when they buy their food, clothing, and home accessories."
- Animaná founder Adriana Marina
Andean artisans weave baby Alpaca wool into luxuriously soft accessories for
Animana. The Animana brand was founded on the pillars of respect
for native peoples, animals, nature and Andean traditions.
Andean artisans weave baby Alpaca wool into luxuriously soft accessories for Animana.
The Animana brand was founded on the pillars of respect for native peoples, animals,
nature and Andean traditions.
With her Buenos Aires-based brand, Marina is working to meet those challenges
head on. In the company of like-minded firms like the Mongolian knitwear
specialist Munkh, Animana employs local artisans in Patagonia and the Andes,
creates a marketplace for high-quality natural fibers, and produces luxurious,
heirloom products meant to last for generations — the opposite of the
fast-fashion that has until recently been the industry’s preferred mode of
operation. The concern for durable value is evident in the brand’s range for
Bloomist, which includes lightweight, super-warm throws knit from baby alpaca
wool. “They’re soft, light and warm, perfect for traveling and using all around
the house,” Marina says.
"Our company works directly with herders who continue the centuries old tradition
of tending domesticated goats."
Munkh’s founder and creative director, Bayarmaa
Mongolian nomadic herders shearing cashmere off their goats.
These fibers will be spun and woven into soft, light throws for Munkh.
Munkh works in a parallel manner with Mongolian goat herders, who produce what
some judge the world’s finest cashmere fibers.
Bayarmaa also stressed that her brand’s environmentally responsible
initiatives extend into manufacturing and hiring. “Our factory process has a no waste-concept,
and our company is involved in several social responsibility initiatives.”
Both founders emphasize that their efforts will only intensify as public opinion shifts —
creating a powerful momentum. “There is still a lot of work to do,
especially in a more systematic approach,” Marina says.
"Governments, multinational companies, international organizations, universities
should work more together to promote changes from the [bottom] — and on a bigger scale."
- Adriana Marina