About Us

The Sustainable Fibre Alliance is a global multi-stakeholder initiative with a mission to ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector.

We promote the SFA Cashmere Standard to encourage the adoption of responsible production practices that minimise environmental impact, safeguard herder livelihoods and meet high animal welfare standards.

Covid- 19 Action Plan for Mongolia
The economic impacts of Covid-19 on herding families are considerable and concerning. Given herders high reliance on cashmere fibre, the dramatic fall in cashmere price is expected to have direct negative impacts on herders’ economic security and well-being, along with indirect impacts on animal welfare. This plan outlines our proposal for a collaborative response to these impacts that will also help prepare the Mongolian cashmere sector for future shocks. Click here to find out more.


Our Goals

The SFA works with the end to end cashmere supply chain, connecting herders to brands and retailers in the global fashion industry. We offer a globally-focused, locally-adapted solution for sustainable cashmere.

We promote the SFA Cashmere Standard to encourage the adoption of responsible practices that benefit people, livestock and the environment. Our standard allows companies to demonstrate their commitment to transforming the cashmere sector and make credible claims about the sustainability of their cashmere products.



Our approach is

Market-led and grassroots
We provide a voice for the cashmere industry and a deep understanding of rangeland systems and the challenges facing the livestock herders.

Inclusive
Our membership brings together the whole cashmere supply chain, from herders and farmers to traders, processors, manufacturers, brands and retailers.

Evidence-based
Our work is holistic and adaptive, incorporating social-ecological research with local traditional knowledge and best practice.

Collaborative
We work with others who share a common vision for cashmere, pooling our resources to maximise our impact on the ground.

The Nutag Framework

In Mongolian, nutag describes the concept of ‘homeplace’. It encompasses the herders’ nomadic culture, ancestral history and wealth of traditional knowledge, along with cultural norms of rangeland governance and use. In short, everything about pastoral life is described through the lens of nutag.

We believe that for cashmere production to be truly sustainable, we must look at the whole system. This includes environmental impact, herder well-being and animal welfare. This principle of holistic sustainability is at the heart of nutag and the heart of our approach. Our Nutag Framework incorporates local, traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge and best practice, in order to promote resilience for herders and the environment.

Members

Our Story

“Seeing the dramatic change of the landscape I knew as a child in Mongolia spurred me on to set up the SFA, I wanted to bring cashmere companies together to create a sustainable future for the environment and those living off the land.”

Una Jones, SFA founder and CEO




The SFA was co-founded with country director, Dr Batkhishig Baival, who over 20 years developed the ‘Nutag framework’. The framework is based on resource management and traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge and forms the foundation for the SFA’s work with herders and its Codes of Practice.


Johnstons of Elgin and Burberry are the pioneering SFA Members that have been with us from day one.


2020

  • The Chain of Custody pilot traces 90 tonnes of fibre through the cashmere supply chain, from herder through to finished garment.
  • Khan Bogd Cashmere is the first processor to be accredited against the Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice.
  • SFA x ICCAW (International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare). A joint code of practice is developed for the care of cashmere goats in farms in Inner Mongolia.

2019

  • RSPCA accompanies the SFA on a scoping mission to Inner Mongolia to look at the expansion of SFA’s work into the region.
  • Development of the Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice.
  • SFA takes part in the first cashmere blockchain pilot.
  • New Members: C&A Erdos, John Lewis & Partners, Yuteng Cashmere, China King Deer, The Scheider Group, MTR, Manifattua Tesssile Risaliti, Khan Bogd, Novetex, Falconeri, Artwell, J.crew, Madewell.

2018

  • The first herding community is verified against SFA’s Code of Practice.
  • SFA recruits and trains 48 new Rangeland Managers in 28 communities to manage land biodiversity.
  • The Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism is established ensuring the credibility of the SFA standard.
  • Khaan Bank (Mongolia’s largest regional bank) offers preferential loan rates to SFA registered herders to reward sustainable practices.
  • Launch of the Johnstons of Elgin Young Herder Training Programme to support young people and give them access to skills and knowledge and help reverse the declining number of young herders in the industry.
  • 2018 – SFA’s first Sustainability Awards takes place to recognise the achievements of SFA herders, it is sponsored by Johnstons of Elgin.
  • New Members: Inditex, Robert todd, Cashmere holding company, Brodie fine cashmere, The London Cashmere Company.
  • The SFA now works in 11 provinces in Mongolia with 28 herding communities, working with 3,843 herding household to manage their land. Over 300,000 cashmere goats produce 75 tons of cashmere fibre produced by SFA certified herder communities.

2017

  • The SFA standard is implemented by 8 herder cooperatives, reaching out to 346 herder households in 7 regions across Mongolia
  • The Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) is established, made up of well-respected scientists and experts in the field of conservation and pasture management. The committee comes together to advise and share information on good practices in rangeland management.
  • SFA’s first international conference was held in Ulaanbaatar and was attended by 160 delegates from 12 countries.
  • Sustainable Financing for a Sustainable Cashmere Project is established with funding from the British Foreign and Common Wealth Office.

2016

  • The SFA develops its Rangeland Stewardship and Animal Husbandry Codes of Practice in collaboration.
  • Following consultations on the codes of practice, training materials and programmes are produced.
  • Andy Wilkes joins as a board director. An economist and anthropologist with over 10 years experience working on community-based rangeland management in Asia.
  • SFA board is joined by Ruchira Joshi, a senior executive with twelve years of international experience working at board level and with CEOs in sustainable development.

2015

  • The Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) is established with pioneering companies including Johnstons of Elgin and Burberry to lead the way in a building a cashmere industry that is sustainable.
  • Alison Rodwell joins SFA as chair of the board. Alison has a solid track record in implementing board governance, financial strategy and complex stakeholder engagement. Alison is an expert in mitigating against risk, both reputational, and ethical, environmental and social risks, through the implementation of frameworks and assurance processes.

People

Board of Directors

UK Team

Mongolian Team

 

Latest News

Catch up on all the latest News, Events and Opportunities

Proposal for an ‘International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists’

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Public Consultation on Clean Fibre Processing (review) is now open…

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Public Consultation on SFA x ICCAW Goat Welfare Code of Practice now open…

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We’re hiring…

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Good Herding Podcasts

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The Chain of Custody has started!

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SFA X ICCAW Inner Mongolia Collaboration

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Sustainable Cashmere Working Group Meeting, 28.04.20

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Covid-19 Action Plan

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Newsletter October 2018

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Animal Welfare Working Group, 04.06.20

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Exhibition, London Design Biennale, 04.09.18

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Sustainability in the Cashmere Sector Conference, 23.05.19

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Parliamentary reception, London, 11.09.18

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Proposal for an ‘International Year of Rangelands & Pastoralists’

Read More

Public Consultation on Clean Fibre Processing (review) is now open…

Read More

Public Consultation on SFA x ICCAW Goat Welfare Code of Practice now open…

Read More

We’re hiring…

Read More

Good Herding Podcasts

Read More

The Chain of Custody has started!

Read More

SFA X ICCAW Inner Mongolia Collaboration

Read More

Covid-19 Action Plan

Read More

Newsletter October 2018

Read More
Event

Sustainable Cashmere Working Group Meeting, 28.04.20

Read More
Event

Animal Welfare Working Group, 04.06.20

Read More
Event

Exhibition, London Design Biennale, 04.09.18

Read More
Event

Sustainability in the Cashmere Sector Conference, 23.05.19

Read More
Event

Parliamentary reception, London, 11.09.18

Read More
Newsletter

Q1 Newsletter 2020

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Newsletter

Q2 Newsletter 2019

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Newsletter

Q1 Newsletter 2019

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