Why We Need to Act
Cashmere production is the backbone of herders’ livelihoods in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. Without cashmere, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their livelihoods.
Today, the cashmere industry is facing increasing challenges to its ecological, social and economic sustainability. Political transitions and high international demand for this luxury fibre have led to a dramatic increase in goat numbers which, coupled with changing land use practices and climate change, has led to overgrazed and degraded pastures that are less able to support both domestic livestock and native wildlife.
In Mongolia, desertification and economic hardship are driving nomadic herders to the city to seek alternative work. The expanding slum of gers around the capital of Ulaanbaatar are evidence of just how tough life has become.
Time To Act
Consumer awareness of sustainability and animal welfare concerns is rising, and brands and retailers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate sustainability and transparency in their supply chains. There has been a rise in claims of ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ cashmere – although often there is little information to support these claims. In response to the needs of the cashmere sector, the SFA Cashmere Standard offers a globally recognised, credible sustainability standard that addresses social, environmental and welfare concerns. and can provide a common understanding of what we mean by ‘responsibly-produced cashmere’.