First Sustainable Cashmere Certifications
Aid by Trade Foundation issues its first certificates for sustainable cashmere production following the successful verification of farmers and cashmere producers by an independent verification body.
Hamburg, 13 May 2020. The first cashmere farmers in Inner Mongolia have been certified according to the requirements set by the non-profit Aid by Trade Foundation.
This represents a key milestone in the introduction of The Good Cashmere Standard, which governs sustainable cashmere. Eight cashmere producers with 4,300 farms and around 1.2 million cashmere goats participated in the verification process, including ERDOS, the world’s largest cashmere supplier. “We can now provide the textile industry with 500 tonnes of certified cashmere wool, thereby making our first important contribution to improving sustainability in the cashmere industry”, says AbTF Executive Director Tina Stridde, commenting on current developments.
A certificate can only be issued upon verification by independent auditing company Elevate. Before verification, each farm is required to complete a self-assessment encompassing more than 50 points. In addition, farmers and cashmere producers must meet social, environmental, and animal-welfare criteria. They are also subject to certain exclusion criteria. If this process is completed successfully, the producers receive a certificate that is reviewed on an annual basis and reissued only if they pass the verification process again. The certificate authorises them to label the cashmere produced by the verified farms with the seal of The Good Cashmere Standard.
AbTF is now developing training material for farmers and producers, taking into consideration the results of the self-assessments and verifications. “We can build on our years of experience with Cotton made in Africa. We know that training material is necessary for the successful and sustainable implementation of a standard. Overall, the verifications painted a positive picture of the situation on the ground, but some areas still require improvement, for example the goat shelters or the continuous record keeping of farm activities. We are working with our partners and animal-welfare experts to develop training material and to find out what else will help the farmers to implement the criteria of The Good Cashmere Standard even better”, says Tina Stridde.
GCS licensees already include fashion brands like Peter Hahn, BESTSELLER, H&M Group, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Lacoste, Madewell, Miles, and Wünsche Group.
About The Good Cashmere Standard® and Aid by Trade Foundation
The Good Cashmere Standard® by AbTF is an independent standard for sustainably produced cashmere wool. Developed in 2019 in close collaboration with animal-welfare specialists and independent cashmere-production experts, its goal is to improve the wellbeing of the cashmere goats and the working conditions of the farmers as well as the environment in which they live. The standard will begin by focusing on the framework conditions for cashmere production in Inner Mongolia. It is administered by Hamburg-based Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF), founded by Prof. Dr. Michael Otto in 2005. With Cotton made in Africa, the foundation already brought a sustainability standard to the market 15 years ago, offering businesses in the textile sector a sustainable and internationally recognised alternative to conventional cotton.
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