Hardly any other natural material is as soft and fine as the coveted cashmere. But there is sustainable cashmere and what does organic cashmere wool mean?
Source & Copyright by Friendly Hunting
Author: Talisa Moser
Soft, fine and very special: cashmere is the star when it comes to wool. That is won Material Made from the wool of the cashmere goat and is in great demand due to its exclusivity due to its lack of availability. But even though it is such a luxury good, dealers in large parts of the world sell it at very cheap prices - how can that be? Why this is so, how you can recognize sustainable cashmere and organic cashmere wool and the most beautiful brands can be found here.
Why is sustainable cashmere important?
Cashmere is obtained from the fur of the cashmere goat and belongs like the wool from camel, alpaca and yak, to the noble hair. The so called cashmere goats mainly live in Central Asia. The fine hair serves as protection from cold winters in the region. Cashmere goats are not shorn, however, the shepherds comb out the coveted winter fur by hand. Only about 100 grams of wool remain per goat per season. The risk of this fine wool lies therefore within animal welfare.
Around 90% of the world's cashmere comes from China and Mongolia. According to the animal welfare organization Peta, the animals are sometimes brushed forcibly and worst case, the hair that is still overgrown is torn out, in order to get more of the coveted undercoat. If the are goats constantly too little, they are slaughtered. Therefore, in terms of animal welfare, it is particularly important to pay attention to sustainable and organic cashmere wool.
Sustainable cashmere standards and seals
The Good Cashmere Standard®
But how do you know whether the cashmere scarf, sweater or blanket was made sustainably? There are some companies that are committed to producing cashmere fairly and ethically. They mark the ethically correct extraction of wool with regard to animal welfare, Environment and occupational safety. There is also an internationally valid animal welfare seal especially for Chasmere, called the “The Good Cashmere Standard®". It guarantees animal welfare, protection of the environment through biodiverse agriculture and fair wages for the farmers.
Regenerated Re.Verso ™ cashmere
The Re.Verso ™ yarnoffers an innovative alternative to new cashmere. A regenerated Italian yarn made from industrial cashmere waste. The waste is sorted by hand in the factory by colour and type of fiber - since the fibers are not being dyed again. The fibers are then checked for chemical substances and quality and then processed into Re.Verso ™ yarn. The regenerated cashmere is certified according to the Global Recycling Standard (GRS). Known sustainable brands using recycled recycled cashmere are Stella McCartney and Patagonia. But there are even more brands offering sustainable cashmere:
Sustainable cashmere - insider brands
Here are the top brands with clothing made from organic cashmere wool:
- The Reformation
- Universal Standard
- Friendly hunting
- Noble goat
- Gobi Cashmere
- FTC Cashmere
- The Pangaia
- Rifó Circular Fashion
1. The Reformation
The mission of The Reformation is to create effortless silhouettes that celebrate the female figure. The sustainable cashmere pieces consist of a mix of virgin cashmere and recycled cashmere yarn. The sustainable brand from Los Angeles offers a variety of cashmere sweaters for women with worldwide delivery.
2. Universal Standard
This brand stands for inclusion: At Universal Standard products are therefore searched for by style and not by size. The conscious brand offers women's sweater made of organic cashmere wool for every figure from XS to XL. The special "Fit Liberty Program" further offers their customers to buy clothes in the currently appropriate size and to have them replaced with the new size if the figure changes - free of charge.
This company from San Francisco focuses on clothing and accessories made from sustainable organic wool and leather. Recycled sustainable cashmere and sustainably sourced alpaca wool are included Cuyana for use. Trousers, sweaters and coats for women are available with a simple design that can be easily combined with one another.
Source & Copyright by Cuyana
This New Yorker Brand is right for everyone who is open to innovative textiles . Here clothing is made Coffee x Cashmere x Cotton . For the fair cashmere wool sourcing Naadam goes to the origins of the fibre - to the Gobi desert - in order to work directly with the shepherds and thus guarantee 100% traceability. Available for women and men in a variation of styles.
Source & Copyright by Naadam
5. Friendly hunting
Friendly hunting For the production of his capes and scarves from sustainable cashmere wool, he works exclusively with suppliers who are committed to treating people, animals and natural resources with care. All products go from extraction to completion by knowing hands and are therefore also handmade in Nepal.
Source & Copyright by Friendly Hunting
NOBLE GOAT stands for sustainable woolen clothing in harmony with animals, nature and people. The garments are mainly made from 100% organic cashmere wool. The brand has its roots in Mongolia - the country of origin of cashmere - and offers sustainable cashmere for women's fashion.
Source & Copyright by Edelziege
7. Gobi Kashmir
The label Gobi Cashmere Cashmere sells fair fashion made from sustainable cashmere. Founded and built by a community of Mongolians, the Entrepreneur is the fourth largest employer in Mongolia. For the production of the cashmere wool, the process from harvest to trade with the shepherds to distribution is strictly controlled. There are clothes for him and her as well as accessories made from the fine wool.
8. FTC Cashmere
Equipped with its own sustainability seal, the German company FTC offers clothing and more made from an innovative cashmere-cellulose mix. The so called patented SeaCell ™ cashmere combines the raw cashmere with a specially processed cellulose sourced from brown algae. Not only clothes for women and men, but also interior design are available here made of cashmere.
Source & Copyright by FTC
9. The Pangaia
The trend label The Pangaia now has hoodies and sweaters made of recycled cashmere wool in its range. The company deliberately uses post-consumer materials, such as discarded items of clothing, instead of pre-consumer materials such as production waste, in order to give the fibers a second life and support the transition to a circular economy.
Source & Copyright by The Pangaia
10. Rifò Circular Fashion
The Italian design brand Rifò creates high-quality fashion from recycled materials. There is also a line made from recycled cashmere - sustainable, but not less soft. All their products are made in Tuscany. Fashion for him and her as well accessories can be found here.
Source & Copyright by Rifó Circular Fashion
Wash and care for the precious wool
Cashmere is a valuable and extremely challenging natural material that requires special care:
- Wash cashmere as infrequently as possible. So preferably only after every fourth to fifth time of wearing it. Until then, the self-cleaning properties of the wool ensure clean clothes
- Use wool detergent or even detergents specially made for cashmere. Preferably on a cold or wool wash cycle or, even more gently, wash it by hand
- Dry your cashmere clothes lied down. This protect them from loosing shape. Therefore spread them out on the clothesline and never put them in the dryer
- You don't actually have to iron cashmere, since its a nature its almost wrinkle-free. If the sweater does show some wrinkles, smooth it out carefully on the lowest heat level
Sustainable cashmere wool is a precious natural material
Sustainable cashmere is a unique natural material that is both biodegradable and harmless to human health. It keeps you warm, is soft and yet air-permeable and therefore perfect for different temperature zones.
However, production is controversial, and fair trade is not always given. The high global demand for cashmere also often makes the production chains intransparent. Many retailers therefore rely on alternatives such as yak hair or alpaca wool, which can now also be obtained in Germany or Austria.
If you want to buy fashion from cashmere, pay attention to fair trade of organic cashmere wool as well as valid seals. These guarantee animal welfare as well as environmental protection and fair wages for the workers.