Lurker 2 said:
At the risk of seeming dumb, what is the environmental problem with Cashmere?
Many of us are old enough to remember when cashmere was truly a luxury item, so expensive that only the wealthiest could afford a small scarf. Suddenly in the past 15 or so years it's everywhere at very affordable prices. Curious, I wanted to know why. So I googled it. What I discovered was disturbing. Cashmere is the soft under fleece produced during the extreme cold winters in China and Mongolia. It is harvested by hand. So far, so good, okay? Now enters the need to increase supply to meet demand. In this endeavor, herds have to be increased, leading to over breeding, and decreasing the overall quality of the product. If the problem ended there, we might say "so what?". However, the impact of increasing the herds is having devastating effects on the environment. When sheep graze, their tendency is to eat the plants right down to the root, leaving nothing for regrowth. We aren't talking about a couple hundred animals destroying a few acres....the herds are huge. Their simple need for food is literally creating deserts where there used to be grasslands. The long term effects impact the entire planet. In addition, the animals themselves are suffering from lack of adequate nutrition. That's it in a nutshell. If you want to know more, you can Google like I did. There are a number of informative articles.