On February 25, John Lewis, a brand of high-end department stores announced to fund a 3-year program which is run by the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA). The main aim of this funding is to assist the expansion of the SFA’s new Cashmere Standard from Mongolia to the Inner Mongolia region of China.
The cashmere industry relies on fragile ecosystems, but climate change and increased global demand for cashmere are putting pressure on it. To tackle this and to promote best practices in animal welfare, land management, supply chain transparency, and fiber processing, SFA has developed a global standard. This will ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector.
On the global standard, the training of 420 herders in Inner Mongolia will be funded by John Lewis. The International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) along with experts from a local agricultural university will be providing the training. Self-assessments against the requirements of the standard will be carried out after the completion of the training. Before giving the SFA accreditation, independent farm inspections will be conducted.
The program will focus on animal welfare in the first year and then it will expand to the protection of biodiversity and how to secure herder livelihoods in the long term.
Partner & Director of Ethics and Sustainability for the John Lewis Partnership, Marija Rompani said that for them and their customers, it is very important that the raw materials in our products are sourced in a way that during the production, animals, land, and people are not harmed. Their commitment ensures that all key raw materials utilized in the manufacturing of their brand’s products will be from sustainable or recycled sources by 2025.
Becoming a pioneer member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) and playing a part in the development of global standards for sustainable cashmere production makes them feel proud. The land, welfare of the goats, and the livelihoods of thousands of families who depend on the production of cashmere fibers will be protected through this.
CEO and Founder of the SFA, Una Jones said that to have the support of a respected brand, John Lewis, and their suppliers make them delighted. They are confident that together with their other pioneering partners, they can lead the way in developing the cashmere industry in achieving consistently high standards and will protect the livelihoods of those dependent upon it.
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