What is "Humane" Cashmere?

Recently, one of our customers e-mailed us and asked us a very important question:

It's my understanding that not all cashmere sources are "humane." Do you have any more information on the cashmere that is supplied to your company?
It’s true that not all cashmere sources can be considered “humane.” Cashmere has historically been defined as the gentle hand combing of fine neck hair and fibers from cashmere goats living in the plateaus surrounding the Gobi Desert, which stretches from Northern China into Mongolia.

 

However, demand for cheap $69 cashmere sweaters means that massive herds of goats are now being factory farmed all over the world. The goats are treated with antibiotics and hormones, resulting in a loss of fiber quality. Even worse, these mass-produced are no longer being sustainably de-haired by gentle combing practices. Instead, they are being completely sheared of their fleece!

 

This shorn hair is then frequently chemically processed, chemically dyed, and produced cheaply in sweatshops on behalf of brands and retailers hoping to profit off the demand for cheap cashmere. This is NOT what has traditionally been defined as pure cashmere and it is NOT what you will find in most leading cashmere brands. Ivory Row takes many steps to work with suppliers to ensure that our cashmere is ethically sustainable and humane. What does this mean?

 

  • Our goats are never shorn, factory farmed or mulled. They are gently combed in the most humane way possible.
  • Our goats have never been tied, tethered, or treated with chemical or hormones.
  • Our fiber is harvested from healthy goats that have been raised ethically and treated humanely.  Fibers are processed without the use of chemicals or industrial coloring.
  • We assess all our dyes to ensure that they are non-toxic.
  • All of our factories are inspected by independent auditors to ensure that workers are paid fair wages and are not operating in “sweat shop” conditions.
  • We regularly test yarns to ensure quality and verify supplier information.

     

    As always, if you ever have any questions about the quality of our cashmere or the nature of its origins, feel free to contact us at any time by e-mailing info@ivoryrow.com.