Cashmere on the Cheap

Before it lands on your back, a cashmere sweater has completed an epic transformation. First, hair must be gathered during the molting season from the inner coat of special goats, the majority of which live in the coldest regions of China and Mongolia. Then the fiber has to be shipped to factories experienced in its production—the best are in Italy and Scotland—where it is spun into yarn, dyed and woven. The scarcity of the raw material has historically ensured a high price for the final product, sealing cashmere's reputation as a luxury fabric.

So what to make of...

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