A US based dancewear brand has launched its Vegetable Cashmere athleisure collection, an animal friendly option made from plants.
David Lee, a former dancer in the Oakland Ballet Company and founder of dancewear brand KD New York, has created a true plant-based alternative to traditional animal fiber cashmere.
The brand explains: “We believe the future of activewear is garments made from fibres that are natural in origin, cruelty-free in their cultivation, flexible in feel, luxurious to the touch, stylish, fashionable, and sustainable.”
The vegan cashmere is a proprietary blend of plant-based fibers. The main ingredient is soy reclaimed from waste borne from tofu production.
The manufacturing process requires minimal energy and water and has a nominal impact on the environment.
Lee states its Vegetable Cashmere collection is 100% natural, biodegradable, and cruelty-free. The fabric looks and feels exactly like fine traditional cashmere, is fashionable, stylish, colorful, and ideal for daily wear.
The brand has launched 13 items, all of which are low maintenance, anti-bacterial, moth-resistant, shrinkage free, and machine washable.
Beyoncé, adorned in KD New York athleisure, as it appeared in Elle Magazine – KD New York
In a statement to Plant Based News, Lee stated: “I have been working on an earth and animal-friendly alternative for over five years. We are now ready to roll out our first Vegetable Cashmere™ athleisure collection through a Kickstarter campaign.”
Donate to their kickstarter here:
Traditional cashmere is a luxury item produced from the soft neck hair of specific breeds of goats, mostly bred in China and Mongolia.
Unregulated goat breeding to meet global cashmere demands has caused rampant erosion and desertification of the Mongolian grasslands. Moreover, overbreeding has led to undernourished goats and a lower quality produce, creating a vicious un-sustainable cycle.
“Mass-producing cashmere at a cheap price point is terribly unsustainable and detrimental to animals and the earth,” said Lee.
Several fashion houses have ditched the use of animal skin in favour of more sustainable and cruelty free alternatives.
Earlier this year H&M announced that it would stop placing orders on cashmere by the end of 2020 to address the ‘environmental and animal welfare challenges of sourcing cashmere’.
The brand stated: “If the cashmere industry in the future would meet our sustainability criteria, we could consider turning to virgin cashmere again.
“Besides our work to improve the industry, we will also continue to look at alternatives with an equally great feel and value to customers as cashmere, but with less environmental impacts.”
What else can the fashion industry do to stop animal cruelty? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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