Numerous brands have started to replace virgin cashmere with recycled cashmere, thus reducing a fiber demand that was too high and actually starting to encourage a more circular fashion, by recycling pre-consumer scraps and post-consumer garments. However, at the same time, Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit that creates leaders in the preferred fiber and materials industry, established the Responsible Cashmere Round Table in March 2019, with the aim to better understand the issues and opportunities on global cashmere production. Thanks to this, over two dozen global brands have signed a statement of support for the establishment of the Mongolia Sustainable Cashmere Platform (MSCP), a national-level umbrella mechanism with collaborative leadership and facilitated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The Platform has four key objectives in its two-year Collection Action Plan:
- To formulate and implement a collective action plan that addresses the root causes limiting the sustainability of cashmere in Mongolia.
- To influence and harmonize government policy that ensures a strong and coherent legal and institutional framework for sustainable cashmere in Mongolia.
- To establish partnerships and coordinated investments and actions that accelerate current efforts.
- To position Mongolia as a global leader for sustainable cashmere.
After just a few years of systemic efforts, nowadays, out of all the cashmere that on the market, 17,4% is produced according to Agronomeset Vétérinaires Sans Frontiers (AVSF), THE GOOD CASHMERE STANDARD® (GCS), Responsible Nomads (RN), Sustainable Fiber Alliance (SFA), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); while the remaining 83% is still produced conventionally.
As for all the evolutions in the fashion industry, change and improvents take time and a global effort. The hope is that, as the years pass, cashmere fibers production will be possible and – most importantly – in line with the animals’ and environment’s natural life cycle.