Recycled wool & Recycled cashmere
We use a mixture of pre and post-consumer wool and cashmere—like discarded garments and unused production offcuts—in order to diversify our material sources, give existing fibers a second life and repurpose unused garment waste.
Sheep shearing is an essential practice to maintain the animal’s health and hygiene as sheep are unable to shed their fleece coat alone. This must be done even if the fibers aren’t used for yarns. If the fleece is too long, the animals are at risk of overheating, becoming immobilized and more susceptible to predation.
We work with Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) sheep producers who care about the animals and practice careful shearing management.
Cashmere goats produce a double fleece that consists of a coarse outer coat, called guard hair, and a fine, soft undercoat, commonly referred to as cashmere. The fluffy undercoat keeps the animal warm over the winter and then sheds in spring. As the fine fibers loosen they are able to be removed by hand combing - a process that is neither distressing or disruptive to the animal if done correctly and responsibly.
Unlike sheep, goats destroy the grasses they eat, pulling them up by the roots rather than grazing the tops. For this reason cashmere production has been criticized for having a detrimental impact on the environment. The high demand for cashmere has caused increased herd sizes, and has resulted in the desertification of over 70% of healthy pasture land in Mongolia, which results in increased local temperature and air pollution.
By using post and pre-consumer recycled cashmere, we’re able to repurpose existing materials, meaning there is reduced waste generated by the industry.
Did you know that most fleece is made using synthetic materials? At PANGAIA, we have a commitment to move away from fossil-fuel derived materials and aim to use renewable or recycled materials where we can instead of new. That’s why our fleece main fabric is developed with 100% biobased content and includes recycled wool and tencel.
While we are excited to share this biobased option, please note that fleece can still shed microfibers. We recommend customers only spot wash to help reduce microfiber water pollution. We know this is only a step in the right direction and are continually looking for better alternatives.
The recycling process results in shorter fibers, which often need to be combined with virgin fibers to maintain a high quality, soft product. We use a blended composition of at least 50%+ recycled cashmere and wool, mixed with virgin cashmere from Outer Mongolia to maintain a softer hand feel.
The virgin wool is certified with the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) and the virgin cashmere is sourced from nomadic herders in Mongolia. The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that ensures the welfare of sheep and the land they are raised on.