Welcome back the Fabric Lowdown by Jewelz, if you have missed parts 1, 2 & 3 be sure to check them out as well. Today we unravel the ins and outs on two natural animal-based fires wool and cashmere. Remember at the end of the day Jewelz’s is a fan of vintage but if you’re buying new or looking at developing a sustainable or ethical brand then some of her thoughts on fibres/fabric are differently worth a reading.
Wool as most of us know comes from sheep. Wool has several sustainable attributes being that it is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Wool can be produced organically and can be fire-resistant, durable and has some natural water repellence. Like previously mentioned in my hemp review chemical-based dyes used can change organic fibres to non-organic. The production of wool can have a toll on our climate by damaging soil, contaminating water and in some cases deforestation for farming land. Vegans & some vegetarians will not support wool as they consider the wool process to be cruel to sheep. Unfortunately, wool is often blended with manmade synthetics. And whilst wool is one of Australia’s biggest exports it is rare that we find 100% wool garments in the Australian fashion industry.
Cashmere is a strong, warm, lightweight and soft to touch wool that is produced from goat fibres. Many of us know cashmere to be a luxurious and expensive textile or yarn. As it is a natural fibre it is biodegradable. Whilst cashmere is better for us & the environment than man-made chemical fibres such as polyester or acrylic, cashmere is not a victimless textile. Goats are not killed for their coats to produce cashmere however they are shorn mid-winter to maximise their coats, some goats in cold terrains will die due to the fact they have little body fat. For this reason, vegans and some vegetarians won’t support the production of cashmere products. Cashmere is rarely used in fast fashion as the textile or yarn is considered too expensive. Whilst some might say that cashmere is sustainable due to its natural content and longevity others will disagree saying that it is not sustainable as most cashmere farming is done in Mongolia and China where natural environments are suffering & the goats are often malnourished & often don’t have enough grass to eat throughout the year. Cashmere has always been a personal favourite textile of mine as it is so soft and warm, but research into the origins of the garments and/or textiles is recommended.
For future reading on this head over to