Cashmere fiber is renewable and comes from cashmere goat hairs. More than 80% of the world’s cashmere is produced in China and Mongolia. The main environmental issue of cashmere is due to the fact that goats pull the grass out by the roots when they eat instead of cutting it. As a result, the grass does not grow back, leading to land desertification. This, combined with an overpopulation of goats, results in environmental damage and a threat to the local population.
Mongolia is now suffering the consequences of this overgrazing by cashmere goats. The breeding of more than 20 million cashmere goats is the principal cause of the massive desertification threatening 90% of the country.
There are cashmere farmers that don't allow over-grazing and work with regenerative farming practices, traceability down to the fiber origin can help brands choose cashmere from regenerative farms.
Recycled cashmere is also recommended, pre- or post consumer, still very soft and beautiful.
bergstrand material GUIDE ranking*
Recycled cashmere or traceable cashmere from regenerative farms, are considered preferred fibres. Virgin cashmere is approved.
Preferred materials are considered to be the most environmentally friendly, sustainable, and ethical options for clothing production. These materials are often made from natural, renewable resources, and are processed using eco-friendly methods that have minimal impact on the environment. These materials are typically more expensive than synthetic alternatives, but are considered to be worth the extra cost due to their positive environmental and ethical impact, as well as longevity.
Approved materials may be less expensive than preferred materials, but may not be as ethical or sustainable in their production. While approved materials are not considered the best option, they may be used in clothing production as long as certain standards and guidelines are followed.
* The Bergstrand Material Guide Ranking is only a guide. Our consultants can help with accurate assessments of your brand’s use of materials.