Is it worth buying sustainably sourced cashmere clothing?

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Is it worth buying sustainably sourced cashmere clothing?
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Cashmere sweaters are a must have for every winter closet. They allow you to create great outfits in five minutes. Cashmere scarves, in turn, perfectly wrap around the neck with their soft fabric and protect us from the cold and cold wind. So how can we buy cashmere products responsibly, so that we do not contribute to environmental degradation and human slave labor, and can wear them in accordance with our conscience?

What is the reason for the cashmere phenomenon?

Cashmere clothes are characterized by amazing, almost wrapping softness and lightness, well fitted in terms of size, perfectly fit the figure and emphasize its shapes. In addition, they are also characterized by exceptional warmth, which they provide on cold winter days. There is no wonder that this material is so adored by so many people. It is all thanks to the fact that it is the only woollen fabric that has thermo-regulating properties; it cools in summer and warms in winter. In addition, cashmere clothing with the passing of time gains in quality, by becoming more fluffy. Hence the high price of cashmere clothing, which usually starts at about 300 PLN and can reach up to several thousand

Sustainably produced cashmere – what kind of cashmere?

The enormous popularity of cashmere and the properties of this knitwear, well known to almost everyone, mean that every year in the autumn and winter collections you can find sweaters, scarves and other clothes made just from cashmere. However, products from these stores are not exactly a good choice, especially in terms of ethics. Why?

Cashmere belongs to a type of raw material that is extracted from the fur of cashmere goats, with one goat only able to produce 200 grams of cashmere per year. The processing of this material itself, after it has been combed out of them, also requires a lot of work, which consists of cleaning the fur from dirt, grease and other impurities. Dyeing the obtained fibers, spinning them and weathering them to prevent sticking

In order to reduce the cost of creating cashmere, this work is usually done in Asia, where employment conditions in cashmere factories often leave much to be desired. Hence the large price range of cashmere clothing, because some of them are produced without respect for human rights, in unethical conditions, while others – more expensive are usually produced in small manufactories, where workers have appropriate working conditions, remuneration for it and social care. In addition, it often happens that “cheaper” cashmere clothing is dyed with substances harmful to health. Therefore, it is worth considering buying this type of products at bargain prices, especially if the welfare of other people and care for the environment are the most important values

What to look for when buying ethically produced cashmere clothing?

Now that you know what the differences in prices for cashmere clothing are, it’s also worth knowing how not to be fooled into buying overpriced products still made in an unethical way. The first mark of a sustainably produced cashmere garment is the label, which is usually placed on the label, confirming that the raw material is certified by an international organization.

In the case of sweaters and other garments made of cashmere originating from Nepal, it will be the mark of the Chyang Pashmina organization. Such certificates are issued only for cashmere which has passed laboratory tests and the place where it is produced does not raise any objections

If you have any doubts about the products you buy online, it is also good practice to ask the store if they can provide certificates of authenticity and sustainable production for their clothes. Most of them in such a case, if they provide true information next to their products, do not have the slightest problem with it, so that buyers have complete confidence that they are not contributing to human slave labor, environmental pollution and animal suffering

Main Photo: Serafima Lazarenko/

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