Cashmere Update: soft as a baby's guilty conscience

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about what I thought were knock-off cashmere scarves at the giant mall by my apartment. Well, the Burberry tags are definitely fake, but apparently the cashmere is real - real enough to cause me all kinds of eco-guilt.

This is the story of how your sweater pollutes the air you breathe and how the rise of China shapes the world.

The country's enormous herds of cashmere-producing goats have slashed the price of sweaters. But they also have helped graze Chinese grasslands down to a moonscape, unleashing some of the worst dust storms on record. This fuels a plume of pollution heavy enough to reach the skies over North America, including Washington state.

The Wall Street Journal argues it would be worth it to move the decimal point one digit to the right for any future scarf purchases I have planned. Guess whether this snippet is about an Italian company that makes $950 sweaters or the kiosk at my local mall:
The yarn was then shipped to the Cucinelli factory, which is in a 17th-century castle. Each of its 1,500 employees has a key, says Mr. Caronna. They work each day from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., breaking for a 90-minute lunch. Many go home for lunch, but Mr. Caronna says that those who stay are served a free three-course meal cooked up by three local women who shop for fresh groceries every morning. Employees return to work from 2:30 until 6 p.m. and then head home.

1 comment:

towwas said...

Oh, dear. I haven't bought any cheap cashmere...and now I can't. Sigh.