Worldwide market for cashmere clothing is expected to grow at 3.8 % over the next five years. The United States holds a 19 per cent share of the global cashmere clothing industry. The Asian region is a major manufacturing base with low labour and material cost. Most reputed brands have plants or cooperative manufacturers in the region. China is the world’s largest supplier of raw materials, accounting for about 70 % cashmere in the world. China is also the largest consuming market. Although China is the largest cashmere garment manufacturer, its own brand market share is very low. Most companies exist as OEM.
Cashmere is a fibre obtained from cashmere goats and other types of goat. The fibre is finer and softer than sheep’s wool. Recent years have seen the global cashmere knitwear market outgrowing the luxury apparel market, with dressed-down, comfort-led trends like athleisure becoming the main driver of demand. At one time, it was a highly expensive commodity. These days affordable, casual cashmere products have become popular. Brands such as H&M and Uniqlo retail pure cashmere knitwear products. Other brands are developing blends of cashmere and sport-friendly materials like spandex.