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Cashmere: from luxury to fast fashion

Why recycled cashmere?

The story of cashmere perfectly illustrates the importance of a return to SLOW FASHION.

The cashmere sweater has long been a classic wardrobe essential, a luxury item to be cherished and passed on by its owners.  But in the last decade, cashmere has turned into a mass-produced low quality staple, as mass-market retailers started selling low-priced cashmere.  Due to its popularity, brands promoted the idea that filling up your closet with a wide array of cashmere items is perfectly attainable for every customer.

A speedy race to the bottom ensued, leaving a huge impact on the traditional cashmere producing peoples and their environment.

Simply put: Retailers increased the demand of cashmere wool, while pushing down the price. As a result, the wool suppliers (traditional cashmere herding families) needed a lot more goats to be able to make a living. More goats than the land can sustain. These goats are quite specific in the fact that their sharp hooves break up the soil. On top of that, they don’t just graze off the vegetation, but pull it out completely, roots and all. As a result erosion is now turning Mongolia’s famous pastures into a desert.

The fashion industry has yet to come up with real solutions to prevent this drama further unfolding. Our research has led us to the conclusion that it is just not environmentally or humanely responsible to source virgin cashmere wool. Instead we use 100% recycled cashmere yarns, made by an Italian family busines. They collect, dissemble and shred old cashmere items, spinning the fibers into new yarns, that make up our sweaters.

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Sources

www.newmill.it 
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/exploding-demand-cashmere-wool-ruining-mongolia-s-grasslands
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/cashmere-is-causing-rapid-desertification-and-destruction/