Unraveling Mongolia’s Cashmere Conundrum

by MR Magazine Staff

Cashmere, a fabric that remained the exclusive domain of European nobility in the 19th century, is now as ubiquitous at fast-fashion retailers at it once was in royal palaces. As a growing global middle class demands more—the market was estimated at $4.7 billion in 2016, according to Bain & Co.—retailers are keeping pace and using quantity to drive down prices. As this story went to print, H&M was selling cashmere sweaters for $20 (on sale), while Uniqlo’s standard price for the item was $80. Not the price tags you expect to see for what’s traditionally been considered the finest of fine fabrics. But then again, are they truly luxe? The answer, according to Ronnie Lamb, a 30-year textiles industry veteran and cashmere supply-chain consultant, is a resounding no. Any sweater priced in the double digits, Lamb says, is unlikely to be fit for an empress. Read more at Fortune.