At GIR, we are committed to play an active role in transforming the cashmere sector by minimizing environmental impact and safeguarding herder livelihoods while meeting high animal welfare standards.
We are aware of the increasing challenges the cashmere industry faces for its ecological, social and economic sustainability. Political transitions and high international demand for this luxury fibre have led to a dramatic increase in goat numbers which, coupled with changing land use practices and climate change, has led to overgrazed and degraded pastures that are less able to support both domestic livestock and native wildlife. Moreover, in Mongolia, desertification and economic hardship are forcing nomadic herders to relocate to city outskirts to seek alternative work, but job prospects remain few and far between for former herdsmen.
We have chosen to only use yarn certified by Cashmere Standard of the Sustainable Fiber Alliance (SFA), an industry benchmark for sustainable cashmere production.
In Mongolian, Nutag describes the concept of ‘homeplace’. It encompasses the herders’ nomadic culture, ancestral history and wealth of traditional knowledge, along with cultural norms of rangeland governance and use. In short, everything about pastoral life is described through the lens of nutag. Like SFA, we believe that for cashmere production to be truly sustainable, we must look at the whole system. This includes environmental impact, herder well-being and animal welfare. The Nutag Framework incorporates local, traditional knowledge with scientific knowledge and best practice, in order to promote resilience for herders and the environment. This principle of holistic sustainability is at the heart of nutag approach used in our SFA certified cashmere.
BY LILY VOGT
Transparency is one of our main ethical values. Being as open and honest as possible about what’s going on behind the scenes is crucial for us.
All of our fibers are sourced by a SFA member, the Consinee group. They are also the Vice-Chairman organization of China Association for the Promotion of International Agricultural Cooperation and the International Cooperation Committee on Animal Welfare (ICCAW). The SFA has collaborated with ICCAW and developed a joint Cashmere Goat Animal Welfare Code of Practice for Inner Mongolia which represents the core of the certification of all of yarn we use in our products.
Using a risk-based approach, our due diligence process includes encouraging suppliers to be certified under the relevant scheme, conducting third-party audits, or conducting verifications as part of supplier visits or regular reviews. At the moment over 90% of our products are manufactured in China by Draper HK in their China factory: Dongguan Cason Knitting Company Limited. Besides being a member of SEDEX, the sites receive annual auditing verifying the social and environmental compliance of all their operations using the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA).