September 15, 2010
If we were to sum up our reasoning for creating NuBe Green in one real-world example, it could easily be the story of the mass-production of cheap cashmere goods, consumed like candy in the US around the holidays. Over-consumption of foreign goods is punishing the environment and workers' livelihoods around the planet.
Chicago Tribune photo: Pete Souza
From the Chicago Tribune:
- In less than a decade, a deluge of cheap cashmere from China has transformed a centuries-old industry, stripping the plush fabric of its pricey pedigree and making it available in big-box America.
– 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 in turn fuels a plume of pollution heavy enough to reach the skies over North America.
- This stretch of China's mythic grasslands, one of the world's largest prairies, is running out of grass. The land is so barren that herders buy cut grass and corn by the truckload to keep their animals alive. Goats are so weak that some herders carry the stragglers home by motorcycle. The goats are expected to live 10 years, half the life span of their parents.
Our solution, as always, is to source goods locally from US-growers and manufacturers, and to re-purpose materials as much as possible. Dealing directly with artisans and craftspeople may mean a higher price tag, but it ensures standards that we expect for ourselves: fair pay and livelihood.
For cashmere, that means recycling fabrics and fibers from post-consumer cashmere goods. Re-use the yarn, or refashion the garment. This holiday, find up-cycled cashmere gifts for grandkids, sig others, or yourself at NuBe Green and feel confident about supporting local artisans and earth-friendly goods!
Recycled Cashmere Kids' Cap by ROMP
Repurposed Cashmere Scarves by AnnMade Candles
Recycled Cashmere Ruffle Sweater and Wrap by Vintage Creations