Cashmere Authentico

Cashmere Authentico ®

Premium Cashmere

High quality cashmere grown and selected in small quantities to ensure your products are authentic.

From Mongolia

Cashmere fibres sourced from a small selection of Mongolian nomad families who adhere to high animal welfare and grazing practices.

Fully Traceable

Cashmere Authentico is all the way traceable from the Mongolian wild steppe to the Schneider Group dehairing plant in Ulaanbaatar to your textile manufacturing facility.

Our Vision became a Journey

Since 1997, we have specialised in supplying our customers with premium cashmere fibre. Ever since we have been selective in our sourcing practices to ensure a sustainable supply chain.

However, we wanted to take our due diligence a few steps further and source cashmere which can fulfil the requirements of our integrity scheme Authentico. Our vision was to source high-quality cashmere directly from Mongolian cashmere growers in areas of the Mongolian steppe which are still healthy and grazed sustainably.

We wanted to meet the families in person to ensure animal welfare and social conditions were respected. This approach should then ensure that the cashmere was traceable from the Mongolian steppe all the way to our dehairing plant in Ulaanbaatar. What started as a vision, became a journey with an outcome to be proud of.

Mongolian Steppe

Meeting the Cashmere Growers

Mongolian Steppe

Our journey started in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and the location of our dehairing plant in the Industrial area of Ulaanbaatar.

A team of our Mongolian cashmere and our European logistics experts travelled for 10 hours into the Mongolian steppe. We travelled into an area of Mongolia that still has intact grasslands as livestock have been managed sustainably to prevent desertification.

As the roads got smaller and the landscapes more impressive, we finally reached the location of the families of cashmere growers we were scheduled to meet with.

Mongolian nomad culture

In Mongolia, cashmere is grown by nomad families who live in the Mongolian steppe. The culture of Mongolian cashmere production has a tradition of hundreds of years. Families typically consist of up to 6 family members.

The families live in a round tent called Ger which can easily be moved. The nomad families are self-sufficient true survivors in a harsh natural environment. Mongolian winters are long and cold while summers can get very hot. Water, for example, is a scarce resource and is used cautiously.

The children of each family go to boarding school during the harsh winter months between September and May leaving their parents with the animals behind. When the children are home they help with preparing animal feed for the upcoming winter, combing of the goats and celebrating the Lunar new year.

Sustainable Grazing Practices

Each family has a herd of different grazing animals like goats, sheep, horses, cows and camels. Maintaining a herd of mixed grazing animals is one important part of good grassland stewardship.

Each animal breed has a different way of grazing as well as different hooves to walk on the grass. The combination of different ruminants helps the grasslands to stay healthy.

The families move twice per year to new grasslands to provide enough feed and nutrition for their livestock. This also lets grasslands rest a sufficient time to regenerate before coming back to it.

The number of cashmere goats our families have ranges between 100 and 200. This only allows us to source small quantities between 20-50 kg of cashmere but also ensures that the family manages their stock sustainably.

Combing Cashmere

While we were visiting, growers harvested the cashmere fibre to show us how they handle their goats. The first step is to lie the goat on the floor. To keep the goat still, his feet are tied together. This may look and sound cruel, but the goats are handled gently and remain calm.

Cashmere is not shorn but combed out of the goat’s undercoat with a special cashmere comb. The goats do not suffer any injuries and just get relieved of their warm undercoat which they don’t need during the hot summer months.

The whole process only takes a couple of minutes. Each goat produces around 250-270 grams of cashmere fibre.

Negotiating fair cashmere prices

Cashmere is an important income for each nomad family and an important part of the Mongolian economy. Cashmere being a luxury fibre it is important that Mongolian cashmere growers benefit and participate financially.

Our nomad families are equipped with mobile phones which enables them to communicate with other cashmere growers about current cashmere prices. This helps us in return to negotiate fair cashmere prices which provide for the livelihood of the families.

Our policy is to pay a premium price for the best quality cashmere. This helps to sustain and maintain the same quality for the next year. As we are so heavily invested in cashmere processing in Mongolia, this makes perfect business sense and also is, as we find, the right thing to do.

Back to the mill

Once we met with all the families and sourced their cashmere fibre, it is time to head on back to Ulaanbaatar to our mill. The cashmere fibre is transported directly by us in a truck. This means the cashmere always stays in our possession and in our control. This is important to ensure full traceability.

Sorting of fibre

At the mill, a team of very skilled workers start sorting through the purchased cashmere fibre. The raw cashmere is sorted by colour, fineness and quality. Most of our workers have been with the Schneider Group for 15 years. Our success relies on their skilled hands and eyes and lifelong experience. Our workers are paid salaries that ensure they can keep their families at home healthy, educated and happy.

Washing and dehairing

Once the fibre is sorted it is ready to be washed and dehaired. During the washing process we eliminate the dust and greas of the fiber. The next step is the dehairing process where we eliminate all coarse hairs.
At our dehairing facility in Ulaanbaatar we adhere to the highest industrial environmental standards of Europe. We have invested in state of the art water treatment facilities and also monitor and constantly reduce our energy consumption. We commit ourselves to this extra effort as we want to contribute to a sustainable future for Mongolia and our planet in general. Besides, our customers buying the cashmere want to also rest assured that they are sourcing a sustainably produced fibre.

Packing and transport

Once the cashmere has been processed it is packed into bales. All this while we have tracked each kilogram of cashmere so we know exactly where it came from, how it was processed and where it will head off to. The cashmere bales are loaded in containers and transported by train through Trans-Siberian Railway to China and than by sea Tianjin-Genova.
The destination can either be our warehouse in Biella in Italy or directly to the warehouse of our customers in Europe, Asia, Canada and USA.

Cashmere Authentico Requirements

No desertification

For Authentico Cashmere we source the fibre from a region that is not at risk of desertification. The families we work with have the knowledge to know which grasslands are suitable for grazing. In addition, they only have a small number of cashmere goats along with other grazing animals like sheep, horses, cows and camels. The combination of these animals is less strenuous on the grasslands as each animal grazes differently. The animals are rotating regularly to which lets grasslands regenerate sustainably.

High Animal Welfare Practices

We met with each nomad family personally to ensure they treat their animals well. The cashmere goats roam freely most part of the year. During harsh Mongolian winters, the families ensure that the goats get enough feed and remain healthy. Only when it is time to harvest the cashmere, they are handled gently by the families. Cashmere is combed out of the goat’s hair and not shorn.

Fair Prices

Our nomad families are equipped with mobile phones which enables them to communicate with other cashmere growers about current cashmere prices. This helps us in return to negotiate fair cashmere prices that provide for the livelihood of the families. Every year, The Schneider Group offers cashmere growers a premium price for the best quality cashmere to sustain and maintain the quality for the following year.

No middle men

As we buy the cashmere directly from the nomad families, there are no middle men involved. This allows us to trace the cashmere in terms of location as well as quality.

Limited Quantities

Cashmere Authentico is only available in small quantities. This is due to the fact that we need to put a lot of effort into nurturing the relationships with the nomad families which is a system that is not scalable. Therefore we can only source cashmere from a small number of families. Each family can only provide between 20-50 kg of fibre.

High Environmental Processing Standards

At our dehairing facility in Ulaanbaatar, we adhere to the highest industrial environmental standards of Europe. We have invested in state of the art water treatment facilities and also monitor and reduce our energy consumption.

Willy Gallia

Willy Gallia

Chief Sustainability Officer


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