The Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) is a non-profit standard-holding and capacity-building organisation with offices in the UK and Mongolia. It is a global alliance of supply-chain actors from herders to retailers, as well as other stakeholders and industry experts who have come together with a mission to ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector. SFA’s vision is a future where cashmere is produced in a way that minimises environmental impact, safeguards herder livelihoods and meets high animal-welfare standards. The Alliance works with the end-to-end supply chain, connecting herders to brands and retailers in the global fashion industry.
It launched its certification programme in Mongolia in 2017 and expanded to China in 2020 in partnership with ICCAW (International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare). The SFA’s close links with herder communities and strong private-sector support have helped it grow to over 50 members from 11 countries.
The SFA Cashmere Standard, launched in January 2023, defines responsible cashmere production as upholding five principles: that herders ensure their animals’ welfare, safeguard biodiversity in responsible land use, promote decent work, preserve and enhance fibre quality, and operate an effective management system. The SFA also developed a Chain of Custody system to ensure the accuracy of claims regarding the content of SFA Certified fibre and provide a means of tracking fibre from the animal to the final product.
SFA co-hosts the annual Natural Fibre Connect conference, in which the IYRP was presented in 2022. SFA and the IYRP international Support Group are collaborating in an initiative to set up a Global Rangelands Stewardship Council.