Article: Origins of our cashmere
Origins of our cashmere
Where does our cashmere come from?
We’re proud to use only traceable cashmere in all of our Belinda Robertson cashmere garments. But what does that mean? Can we identify each goat that produced the yarn for your cashmere piece? Well honestly.., yes! Each goat is coded by our partners to ensure that each batch of cashmere is traceable.
Our cashmere comes from goats who are raised by nomadic families in selected pasturing areas, including the Alashan area in the western part of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Tibet.
It is important for us to know that these goats roam and graze freely for a large part of the year and they are brought in for protection during the colder months. In short - they are happy goats.
The process of combing a goat happens in late Spring. Herdsmen use special techniques to shed the undercoat of the goat - this is the fine, soft down not their coarse outerhair. Without this process of combing prior to the warm summer months, the inner hair becomes a burden to the goats.
Skilled herdsmen use a wide-tooth comb firstly, then followed by a normal comb in the growing hair direction. Herdsmen in these pasturing areas comb evenly and without touching the goats skin to avoid hurting them at all.
Here’s a few things you might not be aware of:
Sustainable herding behaviour
- The number of goats in the pastoral areas our cashmere comes from is controlled to ensure sustainable development of the land.
- The manure and urine of cashmere goats is redistributed, by the herdsmen, across the grassland to improve soil structure and prevent hardening.
- No chemical fertilisers or pesticides are used in any pastoral areas.
- Herding families move twice a year to ensure the goats have plenty of natural pastures. This also allows time for grasslands to regenerate and prevent desertification.
- If any natural pastures are lacking in grass resources, areas are reseeded and supplemented.
- Due to the variations in temperature and sparse vegetation, pastoral areas are unsuitable for crops. Cashmere goats on the other hand, adapt well to the grasslands and so their grazing in these areas is the ideal sustainable economic method for these local areas.