The SFA’s Sustainable Cashmere Standard was established to tackle sustainability challenges in the production of cashmere, in particular: the welfare of the goats, the environmental impact of farming them and the social welfare of the herders who care for them. Developed in 2015 as the world’s first holistic sustainability cashmere standard, it is well used in the textiles industry, with clients ranging from luxury brands to household names.
The standard is based on extensive research and consultation with key stakeholders from herder cooperatives and conservationists to industry experts and governments. Following ISEAL best practice guidelines, the codes of practice are regularly refined to ensure they remain rigorous and relevant.
The SFA certification follows a chain of custody model to provide traceability of cashmere from the herders in Mongolia and China all the way to the final product. The SFA standard is based on the Content Claim Standard by Textile Exchange, a standard supporting many other sustainability certifications and so adopted already by the industry.
Those companies seeking to gain certification against this standard can apply and start the process with Control Union.
The SFA Cashmere standard holds similarities to Control Union’s own Sustainable Fibre Programme (SFP), with the key differences being that the SFA Cashmere standard is focused specifically on Cashmere, whereas the SFP covers all animal based fibres, it is independently owned and it’s Code of Practice covers the fibre cleaning process.