Cashmere is one of the finest, softest and warmest fibers in the world. The outstanding material is highly preferred for creating luxurious goods all from sweaters to shawls, socks, hats, and more. But in industrialized large-scale production, the incredible fabric does not always have the most peaceful story of origin. This is what Earres is striving to change by sourcing cashmere with a different story. A story of care, respect, and harmony for animals, people, and the environment altogether. Let’s take a closer look at the ethical aspect of cashmere and explore what is Peace Cashmere?
Peace Cashmere is a type of cashmere that is practiced with dignified care and respect in harmony with the animals, people, and the environment altogether. The cashmere is gracefully collected by being in tune with nature.
What is Peace Cashmere?
Earres has taken the initiative for Peace Cashmere, which is cashmere practiced with dignified care and respect for goats and people involved. A different cashmere story of responsibility, respect, and harmony for animals, people, and the environment altogether.
The initiative was taken due to a lot of confusion and distortion of cashmere and animal fibers in the industry. Cashmere and other animal-based fabrics are often associated as to be involved with cruelty and unethical practices for farmers, goats, and the environment.
We strive for craft Earres cashmere products from only cashmere sourced directly from small farm-and herder communities in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, each with a unique story of origin. We take care of our goats the same way we take care of our customers. All the goats are treated with total compassion and care. We are looking at the external and internal impact of every action taken and striving towards a harmonic and minimal impacting process of sourcing raw material.
How is Peace Cashmere Different from Industrial Cashmere?
Several cashmere businesses have faced critiques as a result of the current way of producing cashmere. These issues are creating confusion and the use of cashmere fiber has come under fire in the debate of ethics.
It is important to differentiate between industrial cashmere production and what we refer to as peace cashmere. The dilemma with the industrial animal-fiber culture is that it has become a mass productive factory-like way of taking a resource that is naturally created in nature to make comfort products for humans.
In a commercialized culture, the advanced industrial civilization and profit-based economy are fundamentally based on the exploitation of the innocence of helpless animals which from nature were gifted with a resource. A resource that human beings have patented. Unfortunately, this patent is compromising on ethics for animals across the globe for the production of comfort products for humans.
Not only the cashmere industry, but various aspects of our lives are also invaded by violence and exploiting people, animals, and the environment. Slowly clothing has lost the grip of gracefulness to mass-producing whatever humans desire.
A consequence of the herders is that oftentimes they have no choice but to sell the raw materials at a low price and compromise on the ethics to make more money for their livelihood. Hence having to live up to the requirements of large-scale manufacturing companies. This is what we are changing with peace cashmere.
Cashmere as Livelihood – The Herder Life
Unfortunately, a major percentage of cashmere today is industrially produced and bought by huge cashmere selling corporations with no story or interest of the origin or social security for the herders. But, luckily there is another story when it comes to cashmere. A story of pride and respect for goats and animals.
For the herders, their goats are their pride, livelihood and they are living in harmony with the animals in a very special and interrelated way. The herders hold the goats in their natural environment, protecting goats and nature.
The animals are not alone their pride but also their personal bank. Living in a rural high-mountain area, the cashmere is their only decent source of income, and every goat is a possibility for their wealth and security. Therefore the herders make sure that their goats all are healthy and taking care of each and every goat with a deep sense of interest and honor.
They live in unity with the animals, dependent on them for their own survival during the winter months, as well as for selling the fiber every year in the spring. We want to support these herders and their livelihood, and personal stories.
The Process of Collecting Peace Cashmere
The goats live in high mountain regions in an extreme climate, where temperatures drop down till minus 30 degrees during the winter months. In this time, nature has an incredible ability to protect itself from itself. Hereby, the cashmere goats grow a thick inner coat of soft, and warm wool to keep themselves warm. This is what we refer to as cashmere.
As there is a season for apples, there is a season for cashmere. When the temperature decreases, the goats naturally start to shed this warm inner coat, since they don’t need it any longer. During this time the herder’s trained eye can spot when each goat is ready to let go of the inner coat. The goats start to rub themselves on trees and other natural elements.
By combing off the cashmere, the herders are helping and assisting the process of the natural shedding. In peace cashmere harvest, the goat is carefully combed on the neck and belly area. They are not shaved and only what the goat naturally loses is taken, and no more.
After the combing process, the cashmere is collected from the herders and they are paid a good price per kilogram of cashmere. Hereafter the cashmere gets transported to the facility, rinsed, de-haired, and spun into a yarn. Now there are endless possibilities to create wonderful natural products of the cashmere.
The cashmere is not only collected with care and calmness. Creating the goods it is as well graceful in hands. The cashmere yarn gets transformed into incredible products, handcrafted by women. It is the fabric of their lives, which provides these an opportunity to work and sustain themselves in the best possible way.
The Priceless Relationship with the Herders
By the creation of a personal relation to these herder communities and buying the fiber directly from them, we can ensure that the goats and people involved in the process are living in a healthy and nature-rich environment, treated with care and respect, and paid a good price for their material.
Going to the communities, meeting the people, and getting involved in their personal stories. All from how the goats are raised, stories of their lives, and how they have dedicated themselves to protect the animals, is the most remarkable and fantastic aspect. This is something we would never be able to experience or offer by working with commercial cashmere from a large cashmere dealer.
We strive to source all our cashmere from these herder communities and support them maintain livelihood from their cashmere goats. We aim not only to source our material sustainably with as little environmental impact as possible but to support, restore, and replenish the environment in the regions where we source our raw materials. This by various initiatives, for example by our partnership with tree-planting initiatives.
To empower nature, we need to invest in it. We strive to provide subsidies for the herders to take care of goats, environment and not have to mass produce or sell their fiber on a low wage to huge companies that do not care about the source and the people. By doing so the herders, who know the environment and ecology in their region, can restore, replenish, and empower the natural environment for a better life for nature, goats, and the people.
Peace cashmere is the most ethical, natural, and harmonic way of taking the fiber. Not as an industrial extraction, but as an offering from nature. We hope you will enjoy Earres cashmere offerings created with sustainability in heart and ethics in hands.