The Real Cost of Cashmere
Were we to create knitwear that had a lower price point, something would have to give. Our garments wouldn’t be as soft, nor would they be considered premium. We would lose our certifications with our factory, risk unsafe working conditions for employees and pay an unfair wage, all to keep the cost of the final garment down. Our cashmere goats that are reared in healthy fields would be sourced from acres that have been over grazed and be shorn even during the blistering cold months, leaving them to die from cold stress.
Breaking Down the Cost of Our Cashmere
The Goats (Rearing)
Cashmere is a highly sought-after fibre. It doesn’t just take the fleece of one goat to make one sweater… Sometimes it takes 4 to 6 goats. While this adds to the ‘exclusivity’ of cashmere it also means quantity is limited. Those who produce cashmere garments work on a far smaller scale (like us) than fast fashion brands, who turnover product weekly.
The other reason cashmere is so beloved, is because it keeps us super warm and super cosy in Winter. Imagine how warm it keeps the goats during the winter months in Mongolia…
To produce cashmere at a larger scale (and keep the cost down) more cashmere fibres are needed. To achieve this, a higher number of goats are left to graze in a much smaller area, resulting in desertification. Their coats are then shorn off during the cold months when they’re at their thickest, leaving them to freeze in the harsh winter weather.
This is not how we operate.
Mia Fratino Cashmere: Cashmere fleece is taken from the underbelly of the goat winter coat, collected only during the warmer months when the fleece is naturally shed. Traditional rearing methods contribute to a higher quality fibre and increase the cost of the final garment vs those that are machine sheared, which are often less desirable in quality due to the fibres being shorter. Our cashmere is certified to the SFA (Sustainable Fibre Alliance) and OEKO-TEX and is fully traceable from the goats to the herdsman and our factory.
The Fibre Extraction (Spinning)
At MIA FRATINO we work in partnership with one of the most highly regarded cashmere spinners in the world. Our spinner visits and inspects all herding communities. They certify all complying farms, and each goat is coded, with its fibre recorded for traceability through the entire production system. This ensures that only approved fibre is used, and no substitution occurs. The cashmere is then double twisted to ensure consistent quality is achieved.
The Factory (Making)
All Mia Fratino garments are ethically manufactured; made entirely in our Australian owned Sri Lankan factory. Our factory maintains the highest quality workplace standards and ensures no workers are exploited. All our staff are afforded privileges & entitlements comparable to the conditions of any European or Australian factory. Our factory is a fully audited, ethical facility; compliant to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), SMETA and OEKO-TEX standards.
So, if you find yourself looking at cashmere with a price point that seems too good to be true… it probably is. Cheaper goods often mean cutting corners, especially when it comes to ethics and sustainability. For us to provide you with cheap cashmere means we wouldn’t be Mia Fratino. It would mean going against our core values and our stance on ethics and sustainability. Therefore, we encourage mindful purchasing and seek to educate our customers throughout each season. Mindful purchasing does not just apply to cashmere, and is not solely attributed to the fashion industry. It applies to all aspects of consumerism.