Natural, ethical and sustainable luxury. Traditional Peruvian craftsmanship combined with German quality promise. Learn more about the special story behind the start-up WEICH Couture Alpaca.
The first encounter...
Jannik Weich had his formative encounter with the beauty of Peru at the age of 16, when he traveled to the country for the first time. Since then, he has been fascinated by the natural elegance and tenderness of the sustainable alpaca fiber. He still has a close bond with his former host family. Up till this day they accommodate him when he visits Peru.
...is the beginning of a long journey
Discovery journey through a magical country: After graduating from high school, Jannik Weich travels through Peru for a few months to get to know the country, culture and language, but above all the people and their special connection to the friendly, affectionate alpaca animals. Their exceptionally fine fiber is the basis for the livelihood of many farmers in the Peruvian Andes. He is particularly impressed by the respect with which the farmers treat their animals and learns that none of the animals is harmed in the process of gaining their fur or wool.
Two like-minded people get acquainted...
During a semester abroad on the west coast of California, Jannik meets his future friend and partner David Kuttschrütter. They not only share a passion for travel, but also the ambition to start their own business. When Jannik shares his experiences with Peru and his enthusiasm for alpaca with David, the spark ignites and the idea of a joint start-up becomes more concrete.
…providing a basis for their start-up in Peru…
In the year between their Bachelor’s and Master’s studies, the starting signal was given for the unique story of WEICH Couture Alpaca. The company name is quickly found. It is the last name of one of the founders and at the same time the outstanding characteristic of our products. However, finding the manufactories and producers that match the values and demands of the founders requires extensive and personal research, the infrastructure in Peru and a high degree of adaptability and perseverance. On a trip through Peru in 2017, the founders extensively analyze the market and select the manufactory whose services fully meet their requirements for quality, sustainability and product understanding.
...and found a unique start-up.
With the right manufactory, raw materials of the highest fiber quality and the guarantee that no animals are harmed before and in the process of fur production, the first prototypes are designed. In the former children’s room of Jannik Weich’s parents’ house, strategy and plans are worked out and the company logo is developed. Shortly before starting their master’s studies, Jannik Weich and David Kuttschrütter found the company WEICH Couture Alpaca – a new brand for a special, natural and sustainable luxury.
The adventure in the Peruvian Andes
Back in Peru, the founders gain new inspiration and ideas for their product range at local fairs and markets, but also in personal exchanges with alpaca farmers. At an altitude of 5,000 meters, in the highlands of the Peruvian Andes and far from any civilization, they experience the unique challenges that humans and animals face in the harsh mountain landscapes. They gain authentic insights into the breeding and living conditions of the alpacas and personally convince themselves of the good and species-appropriate treatment of the animals.
Investor Peter Pohlmann and WEICH Couture Alpaca
One of the most decisive steps in the still very young company history: The two founders are able to win Peter Pohlmann, founder of a well-known furniture store chain, as shareholder and strategic partner. The todays existing WEICH Textil GmbH is founded, the capital and strategic partnership are used to build brand awareness and open the first store. The rollout of the first accessories line takes place at the Maison & Objet in Paris, where the world’s unique WEICH hot water bottles with the most delicate alpaca wrapping are presented for the first time.
Launch of the Living & Giving wool collection
WEICH Couture Alpaca expands its product range. After the launch of the home textiles and accessories collection made of alpaca fur, the first Living & Giving collection made of the most delicate Ultrafine Alpaca wool is designed and introduced. The start-up initially presented plaids in various designs with matching pillows, but also adds accessories such as scarves, hats and gloves for the winter. The basis for a successive expansion of the range has been created.