Cashmere, Stories first

Our origin: How it started

OUR ORIGIN

How it started
Three goats and an ideology

When Fons and Jacqui Burger travelled through Nepal after the earthquake of 2015, the country’s beauty stunned them. However, the economic and social damage was also evident. The natural disaster hit the country hard.

One day, during one of their hikes, they discovered something special. They saw raw cashmere, just hanging from the trees, left there by local goats looking to get rid of their winter coats when spring came. They realised that this could be an opportunity for this beautiful country to get some real economic perspective.

Cashmere has been used for the manufacturing of garments in Mongolia, Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. It was always a slow and delicate process. However, due to the fast fashion industry, the production process slowly disappeared from Nepal.

Fons and Jacqui decided to kick-start the production of quality cashmere in Nepal and bring it back to it origins. They imported 6 goats from Australia to crossbreed with Nepalese goats better suited for the local climate. A new breed that could deliver the qualitative cashmere that is needed for production, while still being able to withstand the wet and cold conditions in the remote areas of Nepal.

They involved local communities and farmers in their plans and a real cooperation was born. So Good To Wear became a reality. A cooperation consisting of entrepreneurs, farmers, spinners and weavers in Nepal and designers, activists, entrepreneurs and fashion retailers in the Netherlands. A real multinational. In the summer of 2019, the first crossbred goats were born. A joyful first step towards the new breed, which they named “Almathea”, after the Nepalese god of goats.

What’s next…

Our goal is to create a “whole chain” organization, where we can monitor what is happening from goat to shop. This way, we can guarantee that we produce and sell fair trade, animal friendly and sustainable products. We are working towards making this ultimate goal become a reality.

Text: Rosa Hoynck van Papendrecht
Image: Fons Burger

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