Protecting cashmere’s future: John Lewis to fund Inner Mongolia wool programme
John Lewis is upping its eco credentials, targeting its support of a sustainable cashmere programme. The UK department store retailer is to fund a three-year programme run by the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) to support the expansion of the body’s new Cashmere Standard from Mongolia to the Inner Mongolia region of China.
The retailer said its involvement will be part of a commitment “to ensuring all key raw materials in our own-brand products will be from sustainable or recycled sources by 2025”.
For its part of the support, John Lewis is funding the training of 420 herders in Inner Mongolia, on the global standard. Training will be provided by a leading animal welfare NGO, the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), together with experts from a local agricultural university.
In the first year, the programme will focus on animal welfare, and then it will be expanded to cover the protection of biodiversity and how to secure herder livelihoods in the long term.
Marija Rompani, partner and director of Ethics and Sustainability for the John Lewis Partnership said: “It’s very important to us and our customers that all of the raw materials in our products are sourced in a way that’s good for the animals, land and people involved in their production.
“We’re very proud to be a pioneer member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) and to play a part in developing their global standard for sustainable cashmere production. This work will protect the welfare of the goats, the land and the livelihoods of thousands of families who are dependent upon the production of cashmere fibres”.
Una Jones, CEO and founder of the SFA, added: “We are delighted to have the support of John Lewis, a respected brand, and their suppliers. Together with our other pioneering partners we are confident we can lead the way in developing the cashmere industry to achieve consistent high standards and protect the livelihoods of those dependent upon it”.
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