Before the millennium almost every cashmere manufactured was sustainable and the quality was over the roof. However, Today, the story is different. Very few cashmere farms supports ethical and sustainable manufacturing, and the quality is degrading. This was the doing of fast fashion brands who now are withdrawing from the industry because of the reality of what they have done. Let me explain.
First, too much commercialization too fast. Before the millennium Cashmere was produced in limited amount for some brands around the world. The prices of raw material had already dropped and cashmere was much more affordable than any time before. Cashmere was picking up in popularity. Everyone wanted a Cashmere sweater. This coincided with the rise fast fashion brands. They wanted a piece of the cake. Fast fashion brands started ordering huge amount of cashmere from Chinese manufacturers. It was okay, in theory it probably made cashmere more affordable. But not really. Most cashmere purchase made by fast fashion brands were low quality, high micron cashmere. The rest nicer quality was still going to the high end brands and because these fast brands were integrated in business terms, it didn’t really made a difference to their profitability.
Second, Fast fashion brands are known for their large rejection and they did it here too. Every year large number of cashmere garments were rejected by these fast fashion brands. This practice meant Chinese farmers needed to farm more cashmere yarn. This led to a extreme pressure in the sustainable model of cashmere industry and slowly they became successful in making it unsustainable.
Purchasing low quality remains and large rejection by fast fashion brands also meant a rise of unethical practice in cashmere farming. Farmers, in order to make more money, started shaving the cashmere goat to increase yield instead of the more humane method of combing the goats.
Today, fast fashion brands want to portray themselves better. For that reason, they are exiting the cashmere industry. It is a blessing in a way. After all, they were the ones who made a mess of the entire industry.
Now, the choice is yours!