Loro Piana: cashmere and sustainable development
Fashion & Leather Goods
For Loro Piana, uncompromising standards are an overriding imperative. The Italian house has made exquisite cashmere products since 1960, always putting quality before quantity. Now, thanks to extensive research into cashmere production, Loro Piana has developed a method that optimizes quality while ensuring sustainable development.
To obtain perfect cashmere – meaning fiber thickness of under 14 microns – Loro Piana launched an ambitious project in China in 2009 in the Alashan region, where the goats from which the fiber is obtained are bred. Joint research by Jilin Agricultural University, Camerino University in Italy and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) culminated in the “Loro Piana Method”.
Beyond improvements in cashmere quality, this method promotes a sustainable development model. Rising demand from the cashmere industry has led to more intensive goat breeding, jeopardizing the fragile ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, where the majority of Chinese goat breeders live. This is why the Loro Piana method is based on selective breeding that contributes to a balance between animals, the environment and local populations, while at the same time enabling production of exceptional quality cashmere.
The method emphasizes smaller herds and rationalized shearing, thus ensuring shepherds of higher annual volumes of better quality fiber, leading to increased revenue. To encourage them to adopt this model, the House has created the “Loro Piana Cashmere of the Year Award”, which this year went to two breeder couples from the Alashan region, recognizing the excellent results they obtained by applying the method, which will be brought to all neighboring regions as well.