Cashmere hat

As winter approaches, especially in northern and Mediterranean countries, everyone wants to be well equipped to face the drop in temperature.

And in order to avoid the accumulation of layers of clothing it is necessary to find the piece that will suit and protect us best!

Not surprisingly, the most complicated to find is often the stuff to cover our extremities.
Indeed, the "tips" of the human body are particularly sensitive in every sense: both to temperature changes and to different materials and products.

That's why the cashmere hat remains every winter the flagship product to cover the head for many people.

bonnet rouge

Cashmere, where does it come from? 

You can find it everywhere but very few people really know where their new cashmere hat comes from.

The first thing to know is that cashmere comes from the goat.
It is when the winter season starts that a very soft fuzz appears on the little goats of Tibet.

Indeed, the goats producing the best and most cashmere are found in the highlands of the Chinese region of Tibet and in Mongolia, mainly because of the ideal climate for the natural production of this down.

However, it is necessary to wait until the end of winter to harvest it because it is only at this time, with the rise in temperature that the goats naturally lose their coat.

cachemire chèvre tibet mongolie

The amazing price differences for a cashmere hat

Depending on the different brands, there are big differences in the prices of the articles.
If we look at our famous cashmere hats we can see an exuberant difference between 2 hats that, at first glance, look quite similar.

Indeed, the amount of a cashmere hat can go from twenty euros to several hundred euros. But what justifies such a difference?

The main explanation comes from the simple fact that the quality of a fiber is measured by its fineness but especially by its length: the finer the fiber, the more pleasant/soft it will be and the longer the fiber, the stronger the spinning will be.

So all the brands (often mass-market) displaying a "100% cashmere hat" at only twenty euros have certainly resorted to the technique known as "open end" which is to extend a fiber shorter and wider.

But unfortunately this practice makes your cashmere hat much more fragile than it already is.
It will then tend to pilling very quickly and be less soft.

Another factor determining the price of your cashmere hat is related to the amount of cashmere used.
Logically, a cashmere hat with a pompom will be more expensive than a simple cashmere hat.
Similarly, a cashmere hat for men will be more expensive than a cashmere hat for women.

Finally, the place of production and labor will also play a role in determining the value of your beanie.

pollution cachemire

Does cashmere pollute?

In recent years the climate situation is worsening and the possibility of saving our planet is decreasing.

A global awareness of the environment has therefore been established and many of us are now trying to adopt the most respectful lifestyle possible for our mother house.
So, everyone is trying to do something at his or her own level: by using less polluting transportation, by eating less meat, by buying less...

And if you perfect your efforts by buying well while enjoying yourself? It's possible and easy!

Let's get back to our hat, if I remember correctly it had to be soft and warm to avoid catching the annual winter cold and staying in bed all week.

Naturally, many of us think that cashmere is the IDEAL material to fulfill all these needs.
But in reality, there are other wools that are just as soft, warm and qualitative, but much less polluting.

Because buying cashmere is not good for the future!
This is due to many factors but the main culprit is the goat.

Indeed, the goat consumes a frightening amount of drinking water for the little material it produces.
To give you an idea, a goat can drink up to 10 liters of water per day and yet produce only 50 to 80 grams of cashmere per year.
Thus it would take about 5 goats to make 1 cashmere sweater.
The harvesting of the precious and expensive cashmere down encourages Chinese and Mongolian breeders to enlarge their farms, thus reducing natural spaces and the well-being of other species such as the snow leopard.

In addition to the pollution linked to agriculture, there is also the pollution linked to production.
Indeed, cashmere wool must be treated, bleached (by using bleach) and dyed before being sold in stores.
But these 3 steps are particularly harmful for the planet because they pollute the water and then the whole food chain up to humans.
This is due to the fact that all the products used: pigments, solvents, chlorine are ingested by the plants and animals we eat.

In addition to the ecological issue, there is the question of respect for animals.
Although combing is sometimes used to remove goats' hair at the end of winter, it is not the most common technique used.
Most of the time, goats are stretched at the beginning of winter for profitability reasons and are thus more exposed to cold and disease.

bonnets en cachemire

An alternative to cashmere: baby alpaca wool from BELLEPAGA. 

An alternative to cashmere: baby alpaca wool from BELLEPAGA.

It is therefore preferable to exchange your cashmere hat for a baby alpaca wool hat.

The latter will be just as soft, warm, silky and light but much more resistant and certainly more ecological than your cashmere hat.

First of all, don't worry, these are not baby alpacas that are stretched but it is the name given to the fiber coming from the famous down that is hidden under the "classic" alpaca wool.

And unlike our friends the goats, the alpaca can produce up to 2kg of this precious fiber, all without consuming 10 liters of water per day!

In fact, an alpaca only drinks 2.5 to 4 liters of water per day.
It therefore consumes less and produces more: fabulous, isn't it?

Concerning the problem of pollution linked to the treatment and dyeing, our "wool of the gods" does not require these steps or very little.

Indeed the alpaca is the animal which has the greatest diversity of natural colors.
Ranging from white to black through different shades of gray and brown, alpaca will naturally provide the hat color you want, thus avoiding artificial dyes.

As for our colored hats, at BellePaga, they are the result of a natural vegetable dyeing that respects the environment.

So if you are looking for a hat of extreme quality, comfort and softness, forget cashmere and turn to alpaca.

This last one in addition to bring you the same benefits as a cashmere hat will be much more resistant, warm while being thermoregulatory and hypoallergenic.

No risk of it pilling up after a snag or getting pimples on your forehead!