Join Us

The SFA represents a global network of supply chain actors and stakeholders that are working together to transform the global cashmere sector. Joining us offers a way to take decisive steps towards securing a more sustainable future for cashmere.

OUR MEMBERSHIP OFFER 

We encourage participation from all stages of the cashmere supply chain, from processors and manufacturers to brands and retailers. Membership is voluntary and based on an annual fee. Companies can join as individually or as groups, and the membership fee is dependent on the annual turnover of the company or group.

We currently offer two categories of membership:

Full Membership provides access to the full suite of member benefits, including the ability to participate in our chain of custody development and make on-product claims for SFA Certified cashmere.

Supporter Membership offers a 12-month membership trial at a reduced fee but with restricted benefits. Most importantly, Supporter Members are unable to make on-product claims for SFA Certified cashmere.

Membership Fee Structure

Turnover
(GBP)
Full Member
(GBP)
Supporter Member
(GBP)
under 3.9m20001,000
4 – 6.9m40002,000
7.9 – 9.9m60003,000
10 – 109.9m10,0005,000
110 – 209.9m15,0007,500
210 – 309.9m20,00010,000
310 – 409.9m25,00012,500
410 – 509.9m30,00015,000
over 510m35,00017,500

1. Groups should consider their turnover to be the sum of the turnovers of the trading entities joining (each trading entity must be listed on the application form in order to be counted as a member). 

2. Companies and groups that do not deal solely in cashmere products, but trade as a single entity, should consider their turnover to be the turnover of the entire company/group, not only that part of it related to cashmere.

3. Supporter Membership is a one-time offer – at the end of the 12-month period, members must either upgrade to full membership or cancel their membership.

SFA MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Consultation & Support

As an SFA Member, you will be regularly consulted for your input into the SFA Cashmere Standard. You will also have the opportunity to participate in our working groups, working alongside independent experts and interest groups to facilitate knowledge transfer and provide advisory support for the SFA and the wider cashmere sector in addressing key sustainability concerns. Current working groups include:

  1. Covid-19 Working Group
  1. Chain of Custody Working Group
  1. Animal Welfare Working Group
  1. Standard Setting and Revisions Committees 

Sustainability Reporting

Monitoring and evaluation of our progress is crucial to ensure we achieve our long-term impacts of environmentally friendly, socially responsible and high welfare cashmere production. As a member, you will not only have the opportunity influence and strengthen our reporting process, but you can utilise SFA impact reports as part of your own sustainability reporting efforts.

Commercial Benefits

  1. Managing reputational risk:
    Being a member will help protect your company’s reputation in the face of mounting pressure to demonstrate good welfare practices, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. It will reassure your consumers and investors that, as part of a global alliance, you are supporting better production practices to secure a long-term future for cashmere. 

  1. Credible claims:
    As a member, you can make credible claims regarding your support of responsible cashmere production, based on our independent, third-party accreditation process of the SFA Cashmere Standard. These claims will be accompanied by access to our reporting data, testimonials and case studies from the field, adding value to your communications and marketing initiatives. Once our chain of custody model is in place, full members will also have access to credible on-product claims regarding SFA Certified fibre. 

  1. Value for money:
    Being an SFA member reduces your need for spending and consultancy costs related to sustainability management. Our network enables an improved understanding of the end to end cashmere supply chain and provides access to a wide support base of industry experts and stakeholders.

Influence and Lobbying

SFA Membership links you to a unique global alliance, helping to shape the future of responsible pasture management and better production practices for cashmere fibre. Outputs from our working groups and research projects include policy briefs for government and wider stakeholders, helping drive planning and policy decisions that will support our efforts to transform the sustainability of the cashmere sector.

Individual Work Programmes

Increasingly, brands and retailers in the cashmere sector are looking for ways to enhance their corporate social and environmental responsibility. As full member of the SFA, you will have the opportunity to invest directly and efficiently in multi-year, field-level sustainability efforts in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia through our individual work programmes. These programmes are targeted at a smaller scale than our core work and offer an opportunity to support something unique and individual to your brand that contributes to the 2030 SDGs. The SFA will provide support in selecting a program that best fits your requirements. Your selected programme will become your story to tell, providing you with measurable impact to share with your consumers that will demonstrate your commitment to a sustainable cashmere sector. Examples of our individual work programmes are listed below:

  • Young Herder Training
  • Sustainability Awards
  • Women empowerment
  • Improving animal welfare
  • Water stewardship
  • Breeding improvement

Link to Individual Work Programmes pamphlet


BENEFITS OF FULL AND SUPPORTER MEMBERSHIP


SupporterFull
Certificate of SFA Membership✓ 
electronic
✓ 
hardcopy
Your logo on our website1
SFA Quarterly Newsletter
Access to Sustainable Cashmere Working Groups
Discount on SFA events25%50%
Access to the SFA Monthly Bulletin
Use of SFA general marketing claims 
Access to exclusive details in the SFA Register
Access to Members Area of SFA websitelimitedfull
Invitation to participate in the Standard Setting and Improvement Committee
Use of SFA logos and approved information on your website and sustainability reports
Ability to make claims regarding SFA-Certified product content claims2
Guidance and support on using SFA-Certified product content claims 
Access to compelling testimonials, case studies and KPS for your own marketing
Invitation to input into media opportunities when they arise
Opportunity to support individual work programmes3
1-1 consultation service

1. Groups will be listed under either the group name, or a single brand name only.
2. Once our chain of custody system is in place.
3. Overview of potential programmes available on in the Members Area.


WHAT YOU COMMIT TO AS A MEMBER

As an SFA member, you commit to supporting our mission by promoting the SFA Cashmere Standard and encouraging the adoption of responsible production practices. You also understand and follow the Member Code of Conduct in all your dealings as an organisation. Breaches of this Code of Conduct may lead to termination of your membership

Member Code of Conduct

The SFA is focused on bringing about behavioural change that leads to better outcomes for people, animals and the environment. Credibility is crucial to our success. The SFA and our members strive to act with integrity at all times. In practice this means:

  • Members commit themselves to the mission and strategic aims of the SFA.
  • Members promote and communicate this commitment throughout their own organisation and to external partners
  • Members act responsibly and are transparent in their engagement with the SFA.
  • Members follow our Claims Framework and do not make any misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the production, procurement or use of SFA certified cashmere, nor about the impacts of our work programmes.

CLAIMS

You can start making claims as soon as your SFA membership has been approved. General marketing claims can be used by all members on your website and marketing materials to demonstrate your support of the SFA’s mission and our work on the ground to improve the sustainability of cashmere. Permitted claim statements include:

“We (or name of the organisation) is/are a proud member
of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA”

“We (or name of the organisation) are/is committed to
improving cashmere production practices globally
with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA.”

“We (or name of the organisation) is/are member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance and supports the responsible production of cashmere. The SFA works with herding communities and domestic industry, providing training in rangeland stewardship, animal welfare and clean fibre processing. With the SFA Cashmere Standard, we promote production practices that are better for people, animals and the environment to help ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector”.


ON-PRODUCT CLAIMS (FULL MEMBERS ONLY)

Membership does not validate your company’s sustainability claims or represent certification of cashmere products. On-product claims such as those included on labels and swing tags will be permitted once we have established a robust chain of custody system for tracing SFA Certified fibre through the supply chain. It is vital that we do not jeopardise any future claims of SFA certified cashmere made by our members, or cause problems for our own membership with ISEAL. A chain of custody model is being piloted in 2020 with select supply chain pathways and we hope to roll this out on a larger scale from 2021. On product claims will not be available to supporter members.

Detailed information about claims allowed for SFA members is outlined in the SFA Claims Framework. Please contact us if you have any queries about the claims you can make related to your membership.

HOW TO APPLY

Application Process

  • Submit a completed Application Form to membership@sustainablefibre.org, along with your logo/s to display on our website.
  • Your application will be processed by our team.
  • An invoice will be issued to you within 7 working days.
  • Upon receipt of your payment, we will issue you with a Certificate of Membership and a Members Welcome Pack.

Upgrading to Full Membership

Supporter membership is offered at a discounted rate for a 12-month trial period. At the end of this trial period you will have the option to upgrade full membership offer or cancel your membership. This is an automatic renewal process (see Renewing Membership).

Supporter membership is only available once – if you cancel your membership and re-join, you will have to apply for full membership.

Supporter members may upgrade to our full membership before the end of your 12-month trial period, in order to access the greater benefits of this offer. The costs of upgrading will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on how many months are remaining in your trial period.

Renewing Membership

Membership is an automatic renewal.
As we approach the end of your membership period, we will issue a reminder and then an invoice for your next year of membership. For supporter members reaching the end of their trial period, the automatic renewal will be an automatic upgrade for full membership.

Process:

  • Renewal reminder issued along with any relevant information (e.g. automatic upgrade warning)
  • Invoice for next membership period issued

Cancelling Membership

Membership can be cancelled at any time.

Full refunds will be provided if the cancellation is requested within the first 14 days of membership. Beyond this 14-day period, we are unable to offer refunds on any fees paid.

Membership will be cancelled with effect from the end date of the currently paid membership period (i.e. it will not renew automatically).
Unless otherwise specified, you will still be eligible to receive all the benefits of your current membership up to the end of your paid membership period.

Process
Contact us at admin@sustainablefibre.org or through the website enquiry form and request cancellation of membership.
Details of the cancellation will be agreed and put into effect as appropriate.


Please click here for a PDF document of our 2020 Membership Offer.

Membership FAQs

Click here for a copy of these FAQs in Chinese.

What does it mean to be an SFA Member?


SFA Members pay an annual subscription fee which provides them exclusive access to influence and benefit from the SFA Cashmere Standard. At present, SFA members can only make general marketing claims about supporting our work in Mongolia and China. With consumer awareness about sustainability on the rise, SFA membership also demonstrates your company’s commitment to sustainable cashmere supply chain. SFA Members cannot currently make product-based claims regarding the content of SFA-Certified fibre in their products. This is because SFA is still testing our chain of custody system, so no product-based claims are currently allowed.

If I have a Certificate of Membership, does this mean I am SFA-Certified?

No. A Certificate of Membership is proof of your status as a member of the SFA. It does not represent certification against the SFA Cashmere Standard. Your Certificate of Membership should not be used in a way that implies you are accredited by SFA, as this would represent a violation of our Claims Framework.

For first-stage processing plants (scouring and dehairing) that are SFA Members, it is possible to hold Certificate of Membership and a Certificate of Accreditation following an independent assessment against the requirements of the Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice.

How does my company become SFA-certified?

So far we offer accreditation to herder organisations and first-stage processors (scouring and dehairing of cashmere fibre). Herders are certified against the SFA Animal Husbandry Code of Practice and the SFA Rangeland Stewardship Code of Practice, while processors are certified against the SFA Clean Fibre Processing Code of Practice. To become SFA accredited, herder organisations and processing plants must be audited by an independent assessment team.

In 2020, accreditation is only available in Mongolia. From 2021, we hope to offer accreditation to goat farms and first-stage processors in China. Please contact us if you are a herder organisation or cashmere processing plant who is interested in becoming SFA accredited.

How do I find out which cashmere producers are SFA-Certified?

SFA members can visit the SFA Register for a list of herder organisations and processors that have been audited and certified against the SFA Cashmere Standard, as well as those that have signed up to the Register and have committed to being assessed in the following year. The SFA Register is a benefit of membership and not available to the general public.

Our suppliers are members of the SFA. If we apply for membership, can we use hang-tags with the SFA logo on our cashmere products? 

We understand how important it is to promote SFA Membership and we will be delighted to see the SFA logo on products in the near future! However, we are still testing our chain of custody system so product tags are not currently being issued. To protect the credibility of the SFA Standard system, it is vital that SFA members do not make product claims until a chain of custody is in place. 

We are piloting our chain of custody model in 2020 and hope to roll this out on a larger scale in 2021. In the meantime, SFA Members can use logos and agreed phrasing on websites and documents, but not on product tags. We recognise the importance of making product claims and developing our chain of custody is one of our key priorities.

What claims can we make as an SFA Member?

You can start making claims as soon as your SFA membership has been approved. General marketing claims can be used by all members on your website and marketing materials to demonstrate your support of the SFA’s mission and our work on the ground to improve the sustainability of cashmere. Permitted claim statements include:

“We (or name of the organisation) is/are a proud member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA”

“We (or name of the organisation) are/is committed to improving cashmere production practices globally with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance/SFA.”

“We (or name of the organisation) is/are member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance and supports the responsible production of cashmere. The SFA works with herding communities and domestic industry, providing training in rangeland stewardship, animal welfare and clean fibre processing. With the SFA Cashmere Standard, we promote production practices that are better for people, animals and the environment to help ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector”.

Detailed information about claims allowed for SFA members is outlined in the SFA Claims Framework. Please contact us if you have any queries about the claims you can make related to your membership.