Cashmere SHOULD be a totally renewable and biodegradable natural resource.  Our friends, the cashmere goats are free range, grazing on the plains in Mongolia and China and in theory as long as they and their hearders are treated right, this luxury fibre has a high carbon footprint (4 goats= 1 sweater) but it is ultimately renewable and will biodegrade at the end of its life BUT with the explosion of cheap cashmere in the last 20 years, the number of goats in Mongolia and China has shot up.  This is causing problems with deforestation as the goats are aggressive grazers and their pointy hooves pierce the topsoil causing it to be blown or washed away and equally the goats are sensitive to climate change. (they like it cold) So if we are avoiding virgin cashmere just like companies such as Stella McCartney and Patgonia, how do we make recycled cashmere? So it’s made from post-consumer waste, aka discarded garments. They are then sorted by colour like this in Pakistan. Then all the buttons are cut off, the labels taken out and the garments are shredded back to their fibre state.  Then these are sent to Italy for spinning back into yarns.  Despite all this work, recycled cashmere offers a product that is 80% more environmentally friendly than virgin cashmere.
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