Transforming the cashmere industry


The Good Cashmere Standard® (GCS) is an independent standard for sustainable cashmere, developed by the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), that aims to improve the welfare of cashmere goats, the working conditions of herders and to protect the environment.


What does the standard encompass?

The Good Cashmere Standard was created to improve the welfare of cashmere goats with respect to the Five Domains of Animal Welfare as well as the economic, social and ecological conditions experienced by cashmere herders, their families and communities in Inner Mongolia. The standard specifies a clear and comprehensive set of criteria for a sustainable cashmere production. Regular checks are performed by independent auditors in order to monitor compliance with these criteria.

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Audits and Certification

Independent audits are in place to guarantee the reliability of the standard and to verify regularly if cashmere farms and production sites (buying stations and dehairing stations) meet the Good Cashmere Standard’s® criteria. The cashmere producers receive the certificate with a validity of 12 months.

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An exclusive raw material

Cashmere is an animal-hair fibre that is obtained from cashmere goats. The goats take their name from the Himalayan region of Kashmir from which the species originates. Cashmere is prized for its softness, lightness and its excellent insulating properties.

Cashmere was once a purely luxury product, but a reduction in the cost of cashmere paired with a sharp increase in demand have meant that herders have struggled to meet both demand and price expectations in a sustainable way. The Good Cashmere Standard aims to provide a solution to this vicious circle by promoting more sustainable practices within cashmere farming, which protect the welfare of the cashmere goats, the quality of their wool, the environment they live in and the herders who take care of them.


Where our cashmere comes from

Cashmere goats are farmed in a number of countries and regions throughout the world. The initial focus of The Good Cashmere Standard is on the cashmere farms of Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of northern China.

Inner Mongolia has a population of around 25 million inhabitants and a total area of 1.18 million square kilometres. The region is China’s leading producer of cashmere, accounting for around 6,600 tonnes of global cashmere in 2018, representing 26% of the world’s cashmere production.

Sheep and goat farming in Inner Mongolia have increased substantially in recent decades and this has led to widespread degradation of the grasslands that make up 67 % of Inner Mongolia’s land area. This degradation has not only affected cashmere farms, but has also had a significant ecological and environmental impact, such as an increase of desertification and a decrease in biodiversity.The Chinese government has recognised the problem and has responded by introducing goat-grazing bans and extensive reforestation programmes. By encouraging sustainable farming practices and promoting the uptake of sustainably produced cashmere we aim to help herders in Inner Mongolia secure animal welfare and protect the region in which they live and work.


Make The Good Cashmere Standard part of your business

Sustainability, transparency and traceability – these are three increasingly important drivers for the purchase decisions of consumers across the globe. Stakeholders throughout the cashmere value chain need to respond to this growing consumer demand if they are to ensure their future success and want to drive positive change in cashmere production. The Good Cashmere Standard, an independent and voluntary standard for sustainable cashmere, enables enterprises and herders within the cashmere industry to rise to this challenge.

Latest News

The Good Cashmere Standard Boosts Its Sustainability Credentials With Focus on Animal Welfare and Transparency

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“It was essential for us to ensure that the sourcing of our cashmere  corresponded to our values and standards”

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The Good Cashmere Standard Establishes Model Farms

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Interview with Dr Marlene Kirchner & Jessica Medcalf – FOUR PAWS

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Interview With Tina Stridde and Christian Barthel from the Aid by Trade Foundation

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Interview with Anna Heaton

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Discover the world of cashmere!


Join us behind the scenes

Come with us for a behind-the-scenes look at the cashmere industry. Follow our blog and find out what we’re doing to foster animal welfare and improve the production, implementation and uptake of sustainable cashmere.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Get in touch with us
E-mail address: gcs@abt-foundation.org Telephone: 040 – 25 76 755 – 0