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Where does Begg source their angora fibres from?

FlyingHorker

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I wasn't aware of the torturous angora industry until after I bought my Jura scarf.

Begg also hasn't answered my e-mail requests regarding the source either.

Anyone here know?
 

TheShetlandSweater

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I think they had something about this on their website some years ago, but a lot of pages on their website are down now so I can't find anything.
 

TheShetlandSweater

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"Begg x Co source these additional fibres responsibly, with their current Angora being classified at 13 micron – which surprisingly, is finer than cashmere."

Not really sure what that means...
link
 

dieworkwear

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I'm not sure Begg can answer that question, tbh.

Begg is a weaver and they buy yarns from a spinner. The spinner buys fibers from another company, and that company may be sourcing their fibers from auction lots, etc.

When I interviewed the manager of William Lockie, I asked about fibers. He said they just get their yarns from Todd & Duncan. And Todd & Duncan will have bought their supplies from another company. The market is very fragmented in this way.
 

mhip

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It'll get traced back to Hunter Biden...
 

FlyingHorker

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"Begg x Co source these additional fibres responsibly, with their current Angora being classified at 13 micron – which surprisingly, is finer than cashmere."

Not really sure what that means...
link
Well the vagueness of it all seems to confirm my suspicions.
I'm not sure Begg can answer that question, tbh.

Begg is a weaver and they buy yarns from a spinner. The spinner buys fibers from another company, and that company may be sourcing their fibers from auction lots, etc.

When I interviewed the manager of William Lockie, I asked about fibers. He said they just get their yarns from Todd & Duncan. And Todd & Duncan will have bought their supplies from another company. The market is very fragmented in this way.
I'm surprised at the lack of knowledge with the supply chain compared to something like tweed.

I'm going to assume the worst then.

I feel weird about owning this scarf now, but I guess there's no use worrying if I already bought and washed it.
 

dieworkwear

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Well the vagueness of it all seems to confirm my suspicions.

I'm surprised at the lack of knowledge with the supply chain compared to something like tweed.

I'm going to assume the worst then.

I feel weird about owning this scarf now, but I guess there's no use worrying if I already bought and washed it.
I don't think there's any reason to assume the worst. The production chain is what it is. It's not nefarious. It's just fragmented. This is true for everything we purchase. It does allow for nefarious things to happen way down the line, but it's not necessarily true that the lack of transparency means something bad is happening.
 

FlyingHorker

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I don't think there's any reason to assume the worst. The production chain is what it is. It's not nefarious. It's just fragmented. This is true for everything we purchase. It does allow for nefarious things to happen way down the line, but it's not necessarily true that the lack of transparency means something bad is happening.
I was reading a couple articles that said 90% of angora fibres are sourced from China, and there are no penalties for animal abuse or treatment of animals there. I know companies like PETA aren't exactly ethical or trustworthy themselves, and are known to doctor evidence for manufactured outrage.

If any of the abuse claims are true though, then at best I'm skeptical of the Begg fibre sources. At worst is basically what I've repeated.

Lack of transparency doesn't necessarily mean something bad is happening, but it does make it hard to trust.
 

dieworkwear

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I was reading a couple articles that said 90% of angora fibres are sourced from China, and there are no penalties for animal abuse or treatment of animals there. I know companies like PETA aren't exactly ethical or trustworthy themselves, and are known to doctor evidence for manufactured outrage.

If any of the abuse claims are true though, then at best I'm skeptical of the Begg fibre sources. At worst is basically what I've repeated.

Lack of transparency doesn't necessarily mean something bad is happening, but it does make it hard to trust.
Yes, there's animal abuse on angora farms. I don't think that's made up.

I don't know how you could get full transparency throughout the market and who would verify such transparency. You would need some kind of third party to visit such places and keep tabs.

Even if you bought a bespoke suit, the person making the garment -- who you know and see -- isn't the same person as the weaver. The weaver isn't the spinner. The spinner isn't the farmer, and so on.

Same goes with everything. The sandwich maker isn't the baker, the baker isn't farmer, etc.

When I see people making claims about ethical production, I don't even know how they would know. Likely, the person who's doing the writing isn't even the person in production. The market is very fragmented, specialized, and decentralized, with a million companies for any industry spread along a global chain.
 

Nobilis Animus

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Yes, there's animal abuse on angora farms. I don't think that's made up.

I don't know how you could get full transparency throughout the market and who would verify such transparency. You would need some kind of third party to visit such places and keep tabs.

Even if you bought a bespoke suit, the person making the garment -- who you know and see -- isn't the same person as the weaver. The weaver isn't the spinner. The spinner isn't the farmer, and so on.

Same goes with everything. The sandwich maker isn't the baker, the baker isn't farmer, etc.

When I see people making claims about ethical production, I don't even know how they would know. Likely, the person who's doing the writing isn't even the person in production. The market is very fragmented, specialized, and decentralized, with a million companies for any industry spread along a global chain.
Not to mention, the ones who did go that far are now mostly out of business - especially those trying to break into high fashion, like Vaute.
 

dieworkwear

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I don't want to seem dismissive of the abuse. I share concerns about animal abuse on farms. I'm just not sure what can be done.

When the Rana Plaza collapse happened in 2013, I was surprised to learn that some of the factories in that building manufactured for Gucci, Prada, and Moncler, which aren't the sort of brands you'd assume are associated with such terrible labor practices. And not to put a false equivalence between animals and humans, but I've also read about some horrible practices involving down feathers.

I think some of these violations happen because production is occurring in places with weak institutions, so it's hard to enforce laws even when they're on the books. Although, labor and animal abuses also happen in advanced industrial economies.

Patagonia is one of the few companies I've seen demonstrate a serious commitment to better labor, animal, and environmental practices. But otherwise, the supply chains are so long and complex, I think it's hard for anyone to know what's happening two or three steps out from where they sit in that chain.
 

mozi

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Take a look at what Begg advertises.

It may be very hard for us to know where Begg sources their fibres.
But it should not be hard for Begg to know. They can ask their suppliers, or ask their suppliers to ask their suppliers. And why exactly wouldn't they be able to check the source itself, or hire a 3rd party to do so?

In fact, Begg claims on their website they do precisely what @dieworkwear says is near impossible.
So either they are in fact clean, or they should stop trumpeting that all of their fibres are ethically sourced.

I don't hold most other tailors to the same standard because very few of them trumpet their ethical fibre sourcing in the same way Begg does. They just claim to cut a good suit and nothing more.


SUSTAINABILITY

As members of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance, nurturing close relationships with key suppliers is something that we take very seriously. The manufacture of products using natural fibres means animal welfare is a major concern, and the monitoring of good practice is paramount to us. Our sustainability team make regular visits to the farms in Mongolia and China to allow us to feel confident about high standards of animal husbandry, and certifies that any cashmere, angora or wool materials have been sourced ethically, without coming into contact with any harmful chemicals. We actively collaborate with a number of partners to ensure due diligence on all matters relating to the textile industry’s impact on the natural environment, and work hard to minimise the inevitable risks. If you have any questions or would like to know more about what we do, email us at [email protected]
 

Phileas Fogg

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Unless each of us is prepared to raise our own animals, harvest the fibers and turn it into fabric, then we have to believe what we are being told. I have no idea if these things are actually occurring. None of us really do.
 
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