cashmere wrap cardigan comes from Cashmere goats that live in the mountains of Jammu & Kashmir, China and Mongolia. These goats produce a double fleece that consists of fine, soft undercoat of hair mingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating called guard hair.
The average Cashmere goat is capable of producing 80-170 grams of fibre per year – so it would take 1 goat roughly 4 years to produce enough hair to make a sweater.
When you factor in the numbers – it takes the wool of 2-3 Cashmere goats to make 1 scarf – you can imagine how many animals are tortured in a year to produce the millions of sweaters that you see on the racks at Marks & Spencer or in a J Crew catalogue.
Unfortunately, whether it’s cashmere or pashmina, goats raised for their hair are subjected to dehorning, castration, ear notching – all without anaesthesia. Young goats with perceived imperfections in their coats are slaughtered, as they won’t be able to produce quality fabric.
You don’t have to wear Cashmere (or wool, angora, or mohair, for that matter), to keep yourself warm.Natural fibres like cotton, cotton hemp and linen can be used to make cardigans and sweaters. Other alternatives include synthetic materials like polyester, polyamide, nylon and rayon. Some cruelty-free fabrics contain a blend of synthetic and plant fibres, and many, like acrylic, are made to look like animal-based fibres.
It's a simple argument. On the one hand, it’s evident that animal cruelty is involved in the production of Cashmere and Pashmina shawls. On the other, there are umpteen plant-based alternatives at our disposal, so purging our closets of animal wool is achievable and accessible.