Cashmere is a soft and luxurious fabric that feels great against the skin and looks effortlessly chic.<p">But behind this beauty, there is often an ugly history that few of us would want to be a part of, no matter how elegant or lovely the fabric made us look or feel.
At Pura Cashmere, we believe that real comfort, beauty, and style can only be attained when one has the confidence of knowing that they did not come at the expense of another culture or creature.
We'll take a more in-depth look at precisely what cruelty-free cashmere means in a minute, but first, let's take a quick trip to the region from which we source our cashmere.
Is Cashmere Cruelty-Free & Ethical at Pura Cashmere?
We source our pure cashmere from four farming regions in Inner Mongolia—Chifeng, Xilingol, Ordos, and Bayannur—known for their excellence and heritage as multi-generational herding communities.
But it's also true that the vast majority of cashmere is sourced from this region of the world—and you've likely heard horror stories about how many of these fibers are obtained.
Cashmere goats live on some of the highest and coldest plateaus in the world. To protect themselves against these frigid conditions, they grow a long, soft undercoat.
Bad cashmere is violently shorn, without regard for the pain or fear the goat experiences—and we unilaterally condemn it.
In fact, the cruelty experienced by many of these goats is one of the reasons we created Pura Cashmere. We love fashion, elegant cuts, and luxurious fabrics, but not at the expense of animals.
Pura Cashmere allows us to be part of the solution, working toward a world where animal cruelty is never acceptable.
How Can You Tell if Your Cashmere is High Quality?
That's an excellent question. A few decades ago, cashmere could only be found in the finest of retail shops. It was a genuine luxury item that was universally expensive.
Today, however, cheap cashmere is common and can found even at big-box retailers.
More often than not, this cheap cashmere is of inferior quality—and you'll notice the difference as it does not wear as well, last as long, or feel nearly as good against the skin.
Indeed, merely feeling cashmere is one of the easiest ways to assess its quality. It should feel soft but not overly soft. High-quality cashmere is durable enough to last for decades—and it softens over time in a genuine and authentic way.
Next, gently stretch the cashmere. It should spring back into shape quickly. Rub your hand over the cashmere. Does it begin to pill? High-quality fabric will pill, but not immediately. Cashmere pilling will occur only once in a while over the garment's lifetime.
Is Your Cashmere Cruelty-Free?
It would be convenient to tell you that all high-priced cashmere is cruelty-free—and vice versa. But that's simply not the case.
Price is not an accurate indicator of whether cashmere was produced in an ethical and cruelty-free way.
But there is an extremely easy—and accurate—way to know whether cashmere was sourced in a responsible manner.
Simply check the manufacturer and see if they or the yarn suppliers have been awarded The Good Cashmere Standard, issued by the international Aid by Trade Foundation.
To receive this certification, a cashmere producer must meet several criteria, including the Five Freedoms, as defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. These five freedoms ensure that no animal should be subjected to hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, injury, or disease. They must also have the freedom to express normal behavior and live a life free from fear and distress. The criteria that must be met ensure the ethical handling of the following:
- Feed, water, and nutrition
- Indoor/outdoor living environment
- Health, herd, breeding, and kid management
- Physical alterations
- Combing and shearing
- Handling and transport
- Euthanasia and slaughter
Proving that Our Product Selection is Cashmere Wool Cruelty-Free
If you're cynical, you have a right to be. We all know you can't believe everything you read, especially on the internet. And no one would be shocked by a company that makes false claims in an effort to maximize profits.
But The Good Cashmere Standard is more than a claim. It's a certifiable fact.
That's because the Aid for Trade uses an independent auditing firm to conduct an inspection of all cashmere producers that apply for certification. This is accomplished through regular visits and audits—and accreditation must be reapplied for each year.
If a cashmere garment has attained The Good Cashmere Standard, you can wear it with the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing it was ethically and responsibly sourced.
About Pura Cashmere
We founded Pura Cashmere because we love cashmere. We love the way it makes us look and feel. We love how a 20-year-old cashmere cardigan can turn a pair of jeans and ballet flats into an outfit that can take you anywhere. We love the concept of buying high-quality clothing that transcends trends—and always looks effortlessly chic and elegant.
But we also love animals, and we love the environment. That's why we spent years searching for high-quality, sustainable, and cruelty-free suppliers before launching Pura Cashmere. What's more, we sell our garments directly to you, enabling us to offer all of this at reasonable prices.
It's a win for the earth, the animals, and anyone who enjoys the luxury, warmth, and elegance of one of the earth's finest fibers.