FAIR Mongolian Cashmere partners nomadic culture, Italian artisanal tradecraft and exquisitely detailed fabric techniques for luxury knitwear.
A new chapter in luxury cashmere, made to promote prosperity, sustainability, and dignity throughout Marco Polo’s ancient silk road circuit, has – for the first time since Genghis Khan’s age of Eurasian empire – united cashmere herders with international partners.
Inspired by the herders’ tenacity and spirit, FAIR was born by going straight to the source at the remotest of the Mongolian steppe. Partnering with the Gobi Revival Fund, an international alliance was established to help herding communities in achieving greater financial security, healthier herds, and cashmere of unsurpassed quality.
Representing 70% of Mongolia’s export, cashmere trade is a staple of the Mongolian economy – providing income to over a third of the population. But it is a hard tenuous life, under threat from social factors and environmental change. Herdsmen live in a state of constant uncertainty, moving five or six times a year to seek fresh grazing.
In recent years, pasture land has become increasingly scarce, forcing some herding communities to leave behind their skills, livelihoods and an entire way of life. This trend threatens deep-rooted cultural traditions, artisanal knowledge and the economics of the country.
FAIR contributes directly to the herders’ economic security by placing cashmere orders before shearing and paying a fifty percent cash deposit up front. This money allows the communities to plan ahead. FAIR also subsidizes two health and sanitation programs: inoculating 170,000 goats against disease and sanitizing 500 corrals. Were the herders to do this themselves, it would cost them up to one-quarter of their annual income.
Improving sanitation extends the herds’ lifespans and lowers the risk of herders and their families contracting animal-borne illnesses. These improvements have an added benefit: they result in yields of a higher quality cashmere that harmonizes perfectly with a sustainable supply chain.
But the circuit also depends on reliable production partners.Over the past century, the Botto Giuseppe family has earned a reputation for making the finest cashmere on the planet while carefully balancing sustainability, innovation, and tradition. Their approach, respect for the environment and luxurious products made them a perfect partner for FAIR Mongolian Cashmere.
Meticulously testing the cashmere for tensile strength, staple length, and diameter, the result is heirloom-quality cashmere with an incomparable sheen and quality that is dyed in accordance with Cradle to Cradle TM’s rigorous certification standard.
Brands such as Maiyet have initiated market demand for fair, sustainable cashmere – which they use for their exquisitely detailed fabric techniques in luxury knitwear including; knitwear dusters, ponchos and sweaters. Hopefully others will be inspired by the richness of the silk road standard.