Tongue in Chic: The problems with cashmere: tips for smart shopping

first_img(Arielle Chen | Daily Trojan) Until now. Cashmere was once the provenance of the well-off; few could afford its hefty price tag. But nowadays, you can find cashmere for as little as $50. More people can just waltz into a fast-fashion store such as H&M or Uniqlo and stock up on cashmere sweaters, scarves and socks. How, you ask? The answer is as always when a price is too good to be true: through exploitation and overproduction.  Keep in mind that a $50 cashmere sweater won’t be anywhere near the same quality as a $200 one. Also, be aware that some products marketed as 100% cashmere have been found to contain yak fur or even rat hair. Save up and take care of your cashmere by occasionally dry cleaning them and storing them in bags, and it’ll last you a lifetime.  As a result, cashmere is knitwear’s ultimate luxury textile; it’s rare, it’s hard to harvest and it’s much more comfortable and delicate compared to scratchy fibers like lambswool or mohair. Starting all the way back in the 14th century, demand has always outpaced supply.  Cashmere gets its name from the Kashmir goat. These goats, which are native to the Himalayan mountains in China and Mongolia, must withstand extremely harsh weather. To cope with minus-30 degree Celsius temperatures, the goats grow two coats: a thick, coarse outer coat and a superfine, supersoft inner coat. The latter only makes up around a quarter of the goat’s total fleece, and they are the fibers that comprise cashmere. I was raised to revere cashmere. My mom owned a few cashmere sweaters, in grey, black and green, and when I touched them they were as soft and fluffy as clouds. Instead of hanging them up in the closet, she’d fold them neatly and slip them into Ziploc bags to stave off hungry moths. Historically, cashmere has originated from nomadic tribes who shepherd their flock of goats across the vast Mongolian steppes; in fact, cashmere is Mongolia’s second-highest earning export. But cashmere production has increased dramatically in recent years — almost 300% since the 1990s — which forces the herders to keep up by settling for lesser-quality wool and adding more goats. There are now over 61 million goats in Mongolia causing unsustainable, irreversible damage to the land through overgrazing. Kering’s Environmental Profit & Loss tool calculates cashmere as having 36%more environmental impact than plain old wool.  Cashmere is up to three times more insulating than sheep’s wool and much more expensive too. For one, it’s quite difficult to gather — most of this downy hair is collected by hand during the goats’ molting season. The average sweater requires hair from four to six goats, as the yield per goat is quite scarce, ranging from a few grams to about 0.5 kilograms — a number that gets reduced even further once the hair has undergone treatment and processing. One goat typically yields about 150 grams of cashmere per year.  Look, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from experiencing their own slice of cashmere heaven. Feeling the fine, gauzy texture of cashmere against your skin is one of life’s great pleasures (at least, I think so). But at the very least, consume cashmere mindfully.  Kitty Guo is a senior writing about fashion. Her column, “Tongue in Chic,” runs every other  Monday. I was careful never to accidentally toss them into the washing machine with all the other laundry — these sweaters required a special trip to the dry cleaners. She gifted me one when I went off to college; when I slip it over my head, it’s snug and downy against my skin, as if I’ve sprouted a layer of fur. last_img read more

How the Clippers have built chemistry with almost no practice time with all the pieces

first_img What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ “There’s times we look good on the floor, but visually I can see us, we’re just finding a way – which is great,” said Rivers, whose squad is currently playing without Landry Shamet (ankle), Rodney McGruder (hamstring) and perhaps JaMychal Green, who left Sunday’s game with a tailbone contusion after a hard fall.“That may, at the end of the day, teach us a lot about our team, and that may end up being a very good thing. But you also have to get some continuity at some point, and that’s what we don’t have right now.”That’s where the patience is at play. Especially, it turns out, on the offensive end, where the Clippers have been uneven, interspersing outputs of fewer than 100 points with 150-point explosions.“That’s gonna come, I think soon enough,” George said. “There’s still more games to be played, more minutes to be together. We’ve gotta get to a point where we all see the same things.”“Of course,” that’s easier said than done, acknowledged Clippers guard Lou Williams – a 21.7 points-per-game scorer this season – especially for a team incorporating talented players who’ve honed their crafts in other systems.Related Articles Patience, dear fans, patience: “I think,” the Clippers’ super-stoic superstar said Sunday night, “it’s just gonna take time.”As Kawhi Leonard and the other Clippers continue to espouse the virtues of playing the waiting game, they’ve impressed even themselves by winning enough to more than keep their heads above water – despite what understandably could have been a choppy start.The Clippers enter Tuesday’s home game against Portland (7 p.m., TNT) in third place in the Western Conference, going 15-6 against what ESPN determined as the 10th toughest schedule so far.They’ve succeeded despite having their superstar pairing of Leonard and Paul George together on the court for only six games so far (five of them victories) – and without having had a single practice with a full complement of personnel. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum center_img For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Leonard is averaging 25.9 points, George 23.4 and Montrezl Harrell is putting up a career-best 18.8 off the bench. As a team, the Clippers have an offensive rating of 110.8 – seventh-best in the NBA as of Monday morning.“You’ve got three guys averaging over 20 points a game in the last three seasons, and then you’ve got Trezz who’s coming into his own, averaging nearly 20 points a game as well,” said Williams, who combined with Leonard, George and Harrell to score 110 points Sunday.“We’ve all come from three different teams where we’re used to having the basketball in our hands. You put all those things together, you kinda gotta take a back seat to other guys at certain times of the game. So that’s just a natural progression that we just have to build out that chemistry.”Harrell said he believes it’s helping chemistry that the Clippers are able to learn on the fly, during games, without taking too many lumps in the loss column.“For us to be able to still come out with the wins and then the fashion that we win them in, it’s great to be able to do that right now while we are still learning and figuring it out,” Harrell said. “I’ve never had a season where my best two players, going into game 21, have yet to have a practice together on the floor,” Doc Rivers, the 21st-year head coach, said before Sunday’s 150-125 victory over the Washington Wizards.“(Leonard and George) had one practice where they were opposing, but they have yet to be in the same lineup and have a practice. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of that. And yet that’s us right now.”What’s more, because of their recent five-games-every-other-night homestand and the quick three-game road swing that followed, Rivers counted only three shootarounds since George returned following rehab for offseason surgeries on both shoulders.Though a few solid practices might help the cause short-term, George said he appreciates Rivers’ long-game approach: “Doc has been very pleasant on our bodies, keeping us off the court, but just keeping us mentally active and engaged through our film sessions.”In the meantime, the Clippers will live with growing pains and flashes of brilliance alike.last_img read more