There is a new it animal in the fashion world and it couldn’t come at a better time. Alpaca, the wool shorn from those cute, cuddly South American creatures (they look like a cross between a llama and a camel) has become the go-to fabric among fashion designers of late Gucci, Rachel Comey and MaxMara to name a few, are all using the nubby fiber for everything from sweaters to coats this season. Has the time finally come to say bye bye to cashmere and hola to alpaca as our favorite new cozy fabric Not too long ago, cashmere was considered a rare luxury— made from the finest wools from traditional mills in Europe— not something you picked up at sale table at Uniqlo for $39.99. But in the last decade, as cashmere became wildly popular, suppliers started increase their production. (Translation: raising a lot more goats in Mongolia for their wool.) Soon enough, the demand for cashmere caused an environmental disaster as hungry goats turned grasslands into arid deserts. Not only did cashmere production became unsustainable, the quality suffered as well. Enter alpaca, which looks and feels as luxurious as cashmere, but the production has much lighter environmental footprint. (One of the main reasons is that alpacas are much more efficient in growing their wool than goats.) Alpaca is not only easier on planet earth, it’s easier to wear— the hollow core fibre will keep you warm without making you break a sweat. It’s a lot more durable, especially when it comes to cleaning and de-pilling. So that means you don’t have to buy a new piece every season. Here are our favorite designs available right now.