Cashmere is a luxury good, one people will notice when you wear it. It also has a much larger environmental impact than other fabrics. Whereas it takes the hairs of four goats to make enough wool for one sweater, the wool of one sheep can be enough for five garments.
With the demand for cashmere rising, US clothing company Everlane has teamed up with Millefili mill in Italy to collect worn cashmere sweaters through a recycling program and upcycle them into new cashmere. To do this, Everlane sorts and chooses different colored sweaters that can be combed into new yarns, essentially giving “cashmere a second life”.
The mill conducted a life-cycle assessment of the program to measure the environmental impact of a product’s life – from manufacturing to repairs and recycling. It found that the recycled cashmere sweater has “a 50 percent smaller carbon footprint than traditional cashmere”. Not bad, heh?