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Aid by Trade Foundation presents first standard for sustainable cashmere

Aid by Trade Foundation launches the first standard for sustainable cashmere. The Good Cashmere Standard lays the groundwork for improving the welfare of cashmere goats while incorporating social and environmental standards in cashmere production, says a press release.

Aid by Trade Foundation standard sustainable cashmere
Figure 1: The Good Cashmere Standard lays the groundwork for improving the welfare of cashmere goats while incorporating social and environmental standards in cashmere production. Courtesy: Erdos Cashmere Group

Its first focus will be Inner Mongolia/consumers, producers, and businesses will receive an independent quality seal for sustainably produced cashmere Hamburg, 23 January 2020. The non-profit organization Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) has developed a new standard for sustainable cashmere.

In view of the current discussion about the welfare of the cashmere goats, the increasing demand for transparency and corporate responsibility, the foundation is thus taking a timely and necessary step.

The Good Cashmere Standard improves cashmere production on many levels. It covers both the welfare of animals, the protection of nature and the working conditions of farmers and farm workers. It has been developed in close collaboration with animal-rights specialists and independent cashmere-production experts.

“The Good Cashmere Standard provides a standard for the important resource cashmere. It meets an increased consumer demand for sustainability, quality, and transparency. Many consumers want to be certain that the textiles they purchase were produced in accordance with social and environmental standards and that no animals were harmed in the process.”

Tina Stridde, Managing Director of AbTF

Farmers and buying stations for cashmere wool in Inner Mongolia are certified only if proven to be in compliance with the standard’s criteria. The cashmere farmers first complete a comprehensive series of questions on their livestock-keeping practices. Based on these results, independent third parties visit their farms to verify the proper implementation of the standard.

The standard is starting off with 2,000 farmers in the region of Inner Mongolia in northern China, where cashmere goats are kept by settled farmers rather than roaming broad pastures with nomadic herders.

Tina Stridde, Managing Director of AbTF, says, “The Good Cashmere Standard provides a standard for the important resource cashmere. It meets an increased consumer demand for sustainability, quality, and transparency. Many consumers want to be certain that the textiles they purchase were produced in accordance with social and environmental standards and that no animals were harmed in the process.”

The new standard now offers businesses their first opportunity to sell products made from certified, sustainable cashmere wool from Inner Mongolia.

Tina Stridde, AbTF
Figure 2: (First from right) Tina Stridde, Managing Director of AbTF. Courtesy: Aid by Trade Foundation

“The demand for The Good Cashmere Standard is correspondingly great. This sends an important signal to the entire textile and fashion sector”, continues Stridde.

A key stakeholder for The Good Cashmere Standard is the ERDOS Cashmere Group, one of the largest producers of cashmere and based in Inner Mongolia. ERDOS has been an important partner and supporter for the new standard from the beginning and they will offer and process certified cashmere wool already this year – in addition to four other producers.

On the demand side Peter Hahn, one of Germany’s leading cashmere retailers, has been the first retail partner of The Good Cashmere Standard. Patrizia Strupp, Head of Sustainability at Peter Hahn, says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with this new standard from the beginning. It meets our high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection and creates greater security for our customers and even more confidence in our company. With The Good Cashmere Standard, we can offer them products made of cashmere wool that meets the strict criteria of the standard for animal welfare and environmental protection.”

Peter Hahn has already been joined by additional fashion brands including BESTSELLER, H&M Group, J. Crew, Madewell, and Lacoste.

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