1000 Flowers for the Planet - #581 Rethink Cashmere
Cashmere is a beautiful soft fibre that comes from goats, and is very expensive in the final product such as coats and cardigans. Cashmere goats are bred in various places, but this Flower suggestion is to make you think about the exact source of any cashmere product you may consider purchasing. Much of the cashmere industry begins near the Gobi Desert in the north of China. With cashmere becoming more popular, the breeding of cashmere goats has increased substantially. This has led to a string of events: the goats take more land for grazing along the edge of the Gobi Desert, where they then eat all the vegetation, creating more desert area. The size of the Gobi thus increases and larger dust storms are the result. These dust storms even reach Beijing where they can cause health problems, such as respiratory disorders. This means there is an imbalance in the environment, which can only be worsened by an increase in demand for cashmere from this area. It can be improved by a decrease in demand. The outcome for this area depends on the choices we make, so rethink cashmere, ask about its origins, check for animal welfare rights and ensure you’re not adding to any environmental issues.