Cashmere has long been the darling of the fashion community. Many people love its softness, warmth, and flattering appearance. But cashmere cloth manufacturing has also received criticism for causing environmental damage.
Enter sustainable and ethical cashmere.
To be sustainable cashmere, companies must meet the Good Cashmere Standard. This certification means the company complies with sustainable harvesting methods.
Shopping for cashmere sweaters this winter? Pay attention to the company’s cashmere source and commitment to sustainability.
Here are our top picks for where to find sustainable cashmere.
The Process of Harvesting Cashmere
Cashmere comes from goats that produce cashmere wool. There is not a breed of goat called cashmere. Pretty much any goat besides Angora goats can produce cashmere to varying degrees.
The wool from these goats gets harvested once per year. Harvesting the wool more often risks the health of the goats, who need the wool to weather the elements.
A single goat can produce between one to three pounds of wool. It takes the wool of several goats to produce enough cashmere for one clothing garment.
Why Does Sustainable Cashmere Matter?
Many people have had a lot of success raising cashmere goats in the Gobi Desert. There are a lot of financial gains when it comes to raising goats for cashmere. This has caused many herders to switch from camels to goats.
But goats have different hooves than camels. Their hooves damage the grasslands they graze, particularly on the Alashan Plateau. Goats’ feeding habits are also harming the ecology and hydrology of the area.
In addition, the increase in goat herding impacts wildlife of the Tibetan Plateau. The goats displace vulnerable and endangered species. These include the snow leopard, wild yak, saiga, khulan, and chiru.
Where to Find Sustainable Cashmere
When shopping for cashmere, there are companies that purport to be sustainable. Then there are companies that legitimately practice sustainable and ethical cashmere production.
These are our top choices for sustainable and ethical cashmere clothing manufacturers.
This San Francisco company uses sustainable organic wool to create its clothing. They make sweaters from recycled sustainable cashmere and sustainably-sourced alpaca wool.
Pura cashmere can track the production of their wool all the way from the goat to your front door. They offer both quality craftsmanship and affordable prices.
This two-tone cashmere sweater is an heirloom quality cashmere piece you’ll treasure forever.
This innovative New York designer practices 100 percent traceable fair cashmere wool sourcing. Naadam gets its cashmere wool directly from Gobi Desert farmers.
Reformation aims to create effortless silhouettes to flatter every figure. The company practices sustainability by blending virgin cashmere with recycled cashmere yarn.
Prioritize Sustainable Cashmere
Buying sustainable cashmere has a positive impact on the environment. It also benefits cashmere producers and the fashion industry.
More consumers supporting sustainable fashion reduces the impact on the environment.
Look for the Good Cashmere Standard on your clothing. Do your research when shopping for cashmere products. If you like this article, check out our other sustainable fashion tips.