If you read our Journal article, Spotlight On: The Recycled Cashmere Sweater, you will know that our Recycled Cashmere collection is made using Re.Verso Yarn. A highly eco-innovative material, we wanted to delve further into how it is made and why it is better than virgin cashmere.
Global textile waste is a critical issue facing the world. With more clothes being produced and consumed than ever before, we’re in the midst of a devastating waste crisis. Did you know that each week, 11 million items of clothing end up in UK landfills each week? Our throwaway culture is estimated to cost the UK economy approximately £82 million a year due to landfilling clothing and household textiles. But the problem is widespread and our waste often ends up having devastating environmental and social impacts on countries worldwide. ITV’s feature on Ghana brought to light the dire consequences of our throwaway culture - you can read all about it here.
In line with this, as a consequence of climate change and increased production, the cashmere industry is facing many challenges. Cashmere is one of the rarest and most luxurious fibres in the world and is often chosen due to its warmth, breathability and comfort - but it has a high environmental impact. Did you know its impact is roughly 100 times that of wool?
Cashmere comes from a special breed of goat that is found between Mongolia, Southwest China, Iran, Tibet, Northern India and Afghanistan. They have very little fat so they grow very soft and fine fibres underneath their coat to keep them warm in the winter. When the temperature increases, the goats shed their coats and that is when a producer can comb out the fine hair. These hairs are what makes cashmere.
However, with increased demand, the goats can be the first to be affected - shearing them too early mid-winter means that they can freeze to death. Alongside this, the grasslands where they roam are suffering. Since there is a demand for lower prices, herders need more goats to produce the same amount of cashmere. Did you know it takes 4 goats to produce a cashmere sweater? Overpopulation of goats is damaging the grasslands turning them to deserts, and herders have to deal with the pressure of feeding increasing numbers of goats.
The problems are extensive, so that’s why we made the decision to partner with Re.Verso™ to create our Recycled Cashmere Sweaters. They are currently the first and only platform to re-engineer cashmere materials for the fashion industry.
What is Re.Verso™?
Re.Verso™ is the trademark of a truly innovative supply chain that relies on the collaboration of 4 key companies, all based in Italy. The yarn is essentially made from textile waste. Although there are different types, our Re.Verso™ Yarn is made from pre-consumer waste, such as industrial scraps from factories and knitters. Because it is pre-consumer, it means that it is more traceable and offers a great circular solution.
The result is a re-engineered yarn, which has the same soft, insulating qualities as cashmere - just without the negative environmental and social impacts taking place in the cashmere industry. :
And why is it better than using virgin cashmere?
Re.VerSo™ yarn offers the same quality as virgin cashmere, but with a much smaller carbon footprint. All ReVerso™ yarn is CO2 free, untreated and went through a Life Cycle Analysis, which identified that regenerated cashmere has a lower environmental impact in all categories analysed compared to virgin cashmere. As an example each kg of Re.Verso uses 92% less water than virgin cashmere. It’s a yes from us!
The majority of Re.Verso™yarns are not re-dyed, instead the materials are sorted by colour and fibre being sent for testing. They are also GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certified, which makes sure that the recycling process is verified and traceable.
All images courtesy of Re.VerSo™