What GOES INTO It.
- Cashmere Goats are herded and cared for in nomadic communities throughout Inner and Outer Mongolia, just as they have been of hundreds of years.
- Herders do all of the hard work and yet, they seem to be the ones smiling the most. Gratefully, at least for now, this lifestyle of days bygone, is veritably what brings 47% of the worlds cashmere hair to production and producers such as ourselves.
- Hands and Machines The cashmere hair is either shorn or hand-combed. Either way, the fine downy cashmere hair must be separated from the guard hair. In Mongolia, these separations are done by hand about 65% of the time. The more ideal story is that herders bring their harvest to market in Ulaanbaatar, right around late march or early April. Traditionally or at least historically, this is where The Scots, Italians, and Chinese inspect the hair for thickness and length and bid a price based on quality and demand.
- Global Dispersement If there is a moment when the supply chain gets muddled, this is it. We have questions: Is there a proper balance between the earth and her resources and the goats and our fine hats? The last data we have from 2017 (see primary resource here)is that Mongolia produced 9400 tons of the maximum global output of 20,000 tons. If your cashmere hat has come to you 100% through Mongolian channels, there is transparency of labor practices and an ideally symbiotic relationship between the goats and their herders. If it the hair goes through China, especially in the remote and vast territories of Inner Mongolia, the transparency is not there, nor is it accessible.
- In Our Hands From our knitting studio here in Burlington, we are 16 years into working only with this cashmere. We continue to witness and dig deep into the ways and potentials of this goat hair. We want our efforts to provide something worthy of lasting a lifetime. We also endeavor to never harm and to give back our mother earth. This pursuit of quality is our joy and responsibility. We are asking Italy and the Scotland, our majority yarn suppliers, how they continue to do it; do they believe like us-- that ethics are a variable of quality? We want full transparency and that takes real effort at this global scale. In the months to come (after Covid), we will be working more directly with Mongolia to see if more can be done in our alignment with quality in the ethical sense and ways we can improve on our relationship with this fiber. See more on the "politics of cashmere" here.
- With Our Hearts We are proud of our production process, of the slow, efficient and thorough way we make things. We hand-loom and hand-stitch our hats. We also repair them and golighlty guarantee them against any design breakdown (including moth-holes). Our knitters and team of people at both Ogoouepalace and chocolate + cashmere are like a family. We care for our work, for each other, and we are grateful to share a respect for well-made goods with you, our end-user. So thank you for your for venerating our endeavors. We hope you love our work.
- To Your Head that you are here reading this, means we have found you somehow! We are so glad you’re here. Beyond making a fabulous product, If you like what you see and feel, your referral is heart-felt.