We all want to try and do our best to reduce environmental damage by living a more sustainable lifestyle. Collaborative small steps can really make a difference, and choices such as what to eat, where to shop and what to wear can all have a positive impact if we make the right decisions and share them with others around us.
Here at Orwell + Austen, we are passionate about producing sustainable and ethical cashmere products – taking much time to research the latest methods to improve the way we manufacture our collections before offering them to you. We create pieces using either a cashmere blend or recycled 100% cashmere, while still maintaining the highest levels of design creativity and quality along the way.
So, why is recycling cashmere so important?
We can all agree that cashmere is very beautiful. But, did you know that it also has the highest impact environmentally than any other raw material in the clothing manufacturing chain, and has almost 100 times more environmental impact than wool does? How come? Well, this comes down to the fact that it takes the hair of approximately four goats to make one single cashmere sweater, and as demand for cashmere increases, the goats are increasingly overpopulating and destroying the grasslands in Mongolia, where they live and breed. Ninety percent of Mongolia is currently fragile dry-land, under an increasing threat of desertification.
What does the cashmere recycling process consist of?
Essentially, recycled cashmere (or regenerated cashmere as it is sometimes called) is still 100% cashmere. It is made using a recycled yarn component blended with new yarn. The recycled cashmere we use here has 60-70% recycled components (made by shredding down old 100% cashmere garments) plus 40-30% virgin cashmere (so newly farmed never woven fibres). The two components (the recycled element plus the virgin cashmere) are then combined and spun to make a new cashmere product, which is crafted into one of our own designs. Pretty cool really when you think about it.
Is recycled cashmere much better for the environment?
Regenerating cashmere is a lengthy process and one which has many intricate procedures i.e. sorting the cashmere into colours, removal of labels, collars and buttons. However, we believe that the extra effort is 100% worth the end results. Not only does it mean that fewer goats are needed to produce each individual sweater, but the manufacturing impact and CO2 production is proven to be a fraction of the impact of manufacturing a pure cashmere garment.
Our recycled cashmere products
We are constantly adding to our range of recycled 100% cashmere sweaters, and you can find our current range here.
If you have any questions about the way we produce our products, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.