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China’s Biggest Cashmere Yarn Exporter to Boost Alpaca Production 30%

Consinee Group, considered China’s largest cashmere yarn exporter, has committed to increasing its alpaca yarn production by 30 percent in the next five years.

This decision was announced at the recent Shanghai Fashion Week, when the Consinee Center in Shanghai hosted the Peru Fashion Night Gala as the first phase of a new partnership with South American alpaca and vicuna producers made possible through the facilitation of the Peruvian government.

Consinee produces 10,000 tons of premium yarn products a year, including 20 percent to 25 percent of the global total cashmere yarn output and 1,500 tons of alpaca yarn annually, which accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of the global total production of the natural fiber native to South America.

Consinee yarn is woven from high-end natural fibers, including baby cashmere from Inner Mongolia; mohair, vicuna and alpaca. While alpaca yarn accounts for approximately 15 percent of Consinee’s total production, Boris Xue, chairman of Consinee Group, said he expects the fiber will contribute to 20 percent of the company total by 2026.

Consinee Group, China’s largest cashmere yarn exporter, has committed to increasing alpaca yarn production by 30 percent in five years.
Consinee Group chairman Boris Xue welcomes the Peruvian Ambassador to China Luis Quesada and others to the Consinee Center in Shanghai. Courtesy

“In recent years, we’ve noticed an increase in demand from our international brand clients for alpaca wool yarn,” Xue said. “We believe this is driven mainly by an industry-wide commitment to sustainability, as well as by the unique luxury qualities of the alpaca fiber.”

This summer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) engaged with Textile Exchange claiming that the group’s Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS) fails to prevent animal suffering and urged brands to forgo using the material altogether.

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PETA has said it has engaged with more than 55 brands that have agreed to ban alpaca from their ranges. Labels including Ann Taylor, Chico’s, Columbia Sportswear, Express, J Brand, Marks & Spencer, Rebecca Taylor, Ted Baker, Uniqlo, Vince, Valentino and Victoria’s Secret have removed the fiber from their offerings.

According to the company, Xue told the trade show gathering that Consinee not only advocates for animal rights and nature preservation with all of its raw material suppliers, but it also promises to work with alpaca wool producers and the local government to optimize industry standards and invest in sustainable solutions.

While the U.S. and Europe remain the top destinations for Consinee yarn, domestic Chinese brands have been outpacing international clients in growth in the past year.

Consinee Group established the Consinee Shanghai Center to serve domestic brands and design professionals as a hub for industry dialogue. The company credits its dedication to quality, sustainability and investment in research and development as the driving forces behind its success.

In 2019, the company activated a fully automated yarn production factory, developed in partnership with German innovator Siemens AG. The unmanned, energy-efficient factory also does not require lighting to operate while shortening production to 15 to 20 days from the standard 45 to 60 days. This investment allowed Consinee to weather the pandemic, promising three-week product delivery to clients also suffering from pandemic-related supply chain setbacks in 2020.