CRUELTY FREE AND ETHICAL CASHMERE
During the last decade the demand for cashmere drastically increased. This has both had negative and positive effects on the land, people and animals involved in the cashmere industry.
As a conscious company it is therefore important for us to take a moment to explain our process and our commitment
to ethical manufacturing standards and to answer some of the most common questions our clients might have.
What is Cashmere?
Cashmere is a kind of wool but much rarer and more difficult to get to than regular lamb’s wool.
Cashmere Wool comes from the Cashmere Goat (also locally called Pashmina Goat), a breed of goats most commonly found living between the areas of Mongolia to Afghanistan.
There are also some farmers raising cashmere the goats in Europe and the USA.
Our cashmere comes from the Gobi desert in Mongolia (not inner Mongolia which is a part of China) and the Nepalese Himalayan Mountains, which both have the finest quality cashmere.
Here the goats are herded and cared for by local farmers and allowed to graze.
How is your Cashmere made?
This question is really important for us and we are glad you care about the origin of your garments. Vanadïs Milano is a cruelty free company, we are 100% committed to
ensuring that no animal should never be in any danger or feel any distress in the process of making our garments. That is our first concern.
All our garments are made by hand: working with small local cashmere mills in Mongolia and Nepal enables us to guarantee fair and safe working conditions for the employees,
as well as a natural and nomadic environment for our goats. It’s important for us not just to support the well-being of our animals, but also to give back to the artisanal know-how of our craftsmen.
Why is some cashmere cheaper than Vanadïs Milano?
Like for any product this is a question of supply and demand.
Over the last decade the demand for cashmere increased drastically, and with it, so did the pressure on manufacturers to supply cheaper products in greater quantities.
This meant that for the often poor countries manufacturing cashmere, large multinational corporations were coming in, seizing land and overcrowding mills to churn out
maximal production while taking advantage of the low wage rates in these countries, while doing little to take care of the artisans.
It also impacted the goats. The herds who previously had roamed free to pasture on steppes and mountainsides were now being forced to live in overcrowded spaces,
their furs sheared multiple times a year leaving them cold and without protection from the freezing temperatures.
The over farming this resulted in unfortunately also affected the local environment as land was polluted by coloring and erosion.
This way of maximizing quantities by draining the resources in an often cruel and unsustainable way is why some cashmere is cheaper than ours – that is not to say that it is the case for all of them.
Conversely, buying expensive cashmere does not guarantee that these practices are not being used, so please look into company policies for
yarn sourcing and manufacturing before purchasing cashmere. Where you choose to spend your money will do more to affect these practices than anything else.
Your cashmere is cheaper than other brands, does that mean that they have better conditions for employees and animals?
This is question is complicated but yes, and no.
We have chosen to work with local farms in Mongolia and Nepal where labor is cheaper than in Europe and laborers are not covered by the same laws and protection as in Europe.
However we only work with manufacturers who we deem have fair and safe working conditions. If we were to produce our Cashmere in Italy or Scotland
the prices would be substantially higher (due in part to the additional components shipping around the world) but by working with our chosen manufacturers
it has enabled us to give our clients good prices for exceptional quality while ensure ethical and cruelty free business practices and support for the developing
countries we work with and their history of skilled craftsmanship.
How do I know if the quality is good?
This is also a question with no easy answer. The best quality cashmere is found in inner Mongolia, and it is also where the best manufacturers in the world have their mills.
If you buy from any of the Italian and Scottish cashmere manufacturers with a recognized expertise in Cashmere, you can be quite sure that it should be of exceptional quality.
At Vanadïs Milano, our brand is our promise, and our good reputation is a guarantee for the quality of our product as well as our working practices.
My Sweater pills, what is going on?
Cashmere like any wool has a tendency to pill – it’s part of the process of a garment that can last a lifetime to get used to you.
The pilling is due to excess fibre pushing out of the yarn.
It usually occurs when first wearing the garment and in places where there might be more friction like under the arms and lower stomach area.
Some Cashmere is softer than others, why?
Different quality of cashmere can affect the softness. Cheaper quality is often less soft, this is due to the wool often being shaved off instead of being naturally combed of each spring.
The softness of the garment can also be affected by the gauges used i.e the looser gauge the softer the feeling.
The gauge can also affect the pilling and a looser gauge will sometime cause the sweater to pill more. Due to we try to keep a middle way when dealing with softness vs gauge,
however some design simply requires a higher gauge while chunkier designs needs a lower number.