Taste for Cashmere eating into Mongolia’s grasslands

Feb 07, 2019, 7:25 AM EST
(Source: Jennifer Fleury/flickr)
(Source: Jennifer Fleury/flickr)

The tender warmth of a cashmere sweater, for sure insulates one from winter snaps, but should it numb the empathy for more than 1.5 million Mongolians, whose livelihood and economy is inseparably intertwined with grasslands being ravaged to meet an insatiable and unsustainable lust for luxurious wool.

There’s no dearth of studies incessantly reminding the world of the threatened Mongolian steppe, which were once lush and are now denuding into barren lands, courtesy an array of strains, including overgrazing by goats reared for cherished cashmere, notes Science.

Climate change has also played its role in shrinking the Mongolian grasslands. Capricious shifts in weather patterns, scanty rainfalls over the last decade and a spike of 2.07°C in annual mean temperatures in the region have exacerbated the degradation.

Can you call cashmere an environmentally conscious choice when it takes fibers from four goats to make one cashmere sweater as opposed to one sheep yielding enough wool to knit five sweaters, writes Evening Standard.