Nearly New Cashmere Q&A

Antonia Devereux talks to Nearly New Cashmere, a sustainable fashion brand which uses recycled cashmere to make beautiful clothing without the cost. 

*This post is sponsored by Nearly New Cashmere*

Credit: Nearly New Cashmere

Sustainable fashion’s role within the fashion industry is a growing one, with vintage clothing trends on the rise and brands like Depop and Vinted taking the world by storm. Cashmere’s place in the industry was historically in luxury clothing, and since it’s derived from natural sources, a semi-sustainable one. However, as it becomes increasingly affordable, demand for Cashmere continues to grow, leading to questions over its impact on our planet. 

Derived from goat hair, each product is responsible for the water, food and land needed to provide proper care to these animals. Therefore, although Cashmere is natural, unlike other common materials such as nylon, it’s carbon footprint is bigger than expected. Nearly New Cashmere had a vision to end this cycle, and help to slow the production of cashmere, creating a sustainable and low waste alternative to your cashmere needs. In a Q&A with the team at Nearly New Cashmere, we find out more about the business and what motivates its sustainable practises. 

Credit: Nearly New Cashmere

When did you start Nearly New Cashmere and why?

I’ve always had a dislike of waste so when I was looking for a way of earning a living alongside juggling a family with four children I started buying and selling second-hand clothes through eBay. I always noticed that 100% cashmere items sold really well and so I decided to just focus on second-hand cashmere, this was back in 2015. Since then the company has grown and as a team we are driven by a fierce vision to be a leader in the sustainable fashion arena and raise awareness of the beauty of second hand.

Where do you source your materials from?

We buy the majority of our cashmere from the clothing recycling trade across the UK and abroad. This means that the majority of our product is post-consumer waste. The small fraction of our products which are brand new are either end of line samples from a mill in Scotland or sewn from yarn collected from the mill floor. 

How do you ensure ethical and sustainable practices throughout production?

Due to the nature of cashmere wool, our reconditioning process has a minimal impact on the environment. We wash garments at 30 degrees through our super energy-efficient washing machine. Then, we rack-dry each piece, ensuring it lays flat. 

Our zero waste policy drives us to create something out of everything, even the most tired of garments. If a second-hand jumper can’t be sold in one piece, we know how to get the most out of every inch of fabric! Buttons are removed and placed in a drawer ready for another creation and we take them to the cutting room. From one jumper we can make:

  • Fingerless Gloves – From the bottom half of the jumper’s arms
  • Elbow Patches and Small Hearts – From the top of the arm
  • Neck warmers/ Hats – From the fabric across the back and the main part of the body

We have managed to source the most eco-friendly packaging for our pieces to ensure our carbon footprint remains low. 

Credit: Nearly New Cashmere

What does sustainability mean to you and the brand?

Sustainability and the concept of circularity is at the absolute heart of our business – it’s what motivates us every single day both in how we conduct ourselves at work and at home.

Through us, thousands of pieces of discarded knitwear are intercepted every single year from both the UK and abroad (around 25% of the stock we see). We are always looking for innovative ways to reuse wasted cashmere yarn and plan to launch several new products this year.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for people wanting to reduce their impact through fashion? 

Consider second hand as your first choice! Do you need a new jumper? If so then does it need to be new? We also encourage our customers to think about the lifecycle of their purchase. Part of building a sustainable business is remaining a part of the customer’s experience with our product even after they have bought it. On our blog and over on our social media channels we provide information on how to properly care for cashmere. To help relieve the burden of the fashion industry on the planet, we all need to wear our clothes for longer. We want to help with that where we can.

Credit: Nearly New Cashmere

If you want to find out more about Nearly New Cashmere or treat yourself to a lovely new item without the guilt, head over to their website

Looking for some sustainable fashion hacks? Check out Wild’s list below:

Vinted/Depop – Shopping second hand on platforms such as Vinted and Depop can stop new clothing from being produced unnecessarily. Plus, it saves you a lot of $$$ too!

Hire Street – Fancy occasion? Know you’ll never wear it again? Hire street and other renting shops are perfect. You get the fanciest designer dress you’ve ever seen for a fraction of the price, it gets to be worn over and over again, and the planet doesn’t suffer – Everyone gets what they deserve! 

Good On You – Nowadays, so many brands label themselves as sustainable that it can be overwhelming to try to weed out the greenwashers. Luckily, the app and website ‘Good On You’ is here to help. Brands are rated across three scales, people, planet, and animals, making it easier for you to buy the clothes you love, without harming the planet.

About the Author: Antonia Devereux, WILD Magazine’s Managing Editor, is a 3rd year Environment, Economics and Ecology student at the University of York, currently working as an Environmental Consultant. She’s a self proclaimed Vinted enthusiast, seeking out all the second hand steals. 

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