Shops We Love: Meet The Design Duo Creating Sustainable Blankets
Stephanie and Kyle Taylor’s sustainable yet luxe alpaca blankets are coveted as both wall art and a cozy layer. “Traditional wool blankets tend to be itchy and dated. Our goal was to make something incredibly soft and eco-friendly,” says Kyle — CEO and marketing director — of their company Blacksaw. The Sutton, Ontario-based couple both worked for fashion brands and had been looking for a business to build together. While vacationing in Peru in 2016, the avid travellers noticed herds of alpacas grazing amid the snowcapped Andes. “We realized the alpacas were the answer we’d been looking for,” says Stephanie, the designer and creative director. “We plotted everything for Blacksaw during a 14-hour bus ride.” Scroll down to learn more about the Canadian brand.
Founders Stephanie and Kyle work where inspiration can strike. Their fall collection was designed in Bali. “Travel is what led us to Blacksaw, and it’s our baby,” says Kyle.
Baby alpaca fibre (baby is a misnomer: it refers to the finest fur fibres, which grow on certain parts of the animal) is seven times warmer than wool, softer than cashmere and hypoallergenic. Blacksaw’s premium blankets are also double-sided woven and reversible. “They’re much heavier than traditional alpaca blankets,” says Kyle. “We wanted something that felt weighty.” The Yoko premium 100 per cent alpaca blanket was inspired by powerful female figures.
Bird silhouettes adorn a blanket from the fall collection. There is a sense of tranquility with the white-on-white palette, which makes a quiet statement in any space.
White whipstitching spices up the black Siempre Speakeasy recycled blanket. It’s made out of scrap materials from the other blankets, which are then woven into yarn, making its more rugged texture ideal for the outdoors.
Handmade by Peruvian artisans, this fair trade blanket — with chevron stripes and hand-braided fringe — will keep you warm on the coldest of winter nights.