Friday, April 30th, 2021...12:38 pm

Wool versus Cashmere

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By Da Beattie

Athleisure and synthetic fabrics are now one of the most popular industries. But it wasn’t always this way.

Back in the 1950s, wool was very valuable. Wool, which comes from sheep’s peaked in value in 1988 with wool exports in New Zealand valued at 1.9 billion dollars. There are many different kinds of sheep that produce different kinds of wool. Romney sheep produce coarse wool and they need to be sheared twice a year to avoid parasites flies. Female sheep produce 36 micron wool that is used for carpets and rugs due to it is hardness compared to male wool. Male wool 29 micron, finer, and best used for clothes and blankets that are softer (Source:

Other types of wool, you may have heard of are merino and shetland although there are many other kinds of wool and breeds of sheep.

On the other hand, cashmere comes from goats. There are also many breeds of goats and wool can also come from goats. For example, Pashmina wool comes from Pashmina goats and mohair comes from Angora goats. In 2016, the majority of cashmere was produced in China and Mongolia (Source:

While there are many ethical issues around farming animals for their skin like cows, or their hair there are also ethical issues surrounding popular synthetic fabrics. Synthetic fabrics are good at sweat wicking and are normally stretchy but because they are made of plastics and similar derivatives, they release microplastics into the oceans which are harmful to the coral and wildlife.

Overall, it is very important to be aware of other impacts the fashion industry may have such as fast fashion and the water and carbon costs of producing clothing. As always, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Another person’s trash could be your treasure.

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