Cashmere World 2018 – Opening Ceremony
The only trade fair dedicated to cashmere and fine fibres made a welcome return to Hong Kong from 14 – 16 March and was honoured at its opening ceremony by the presence of Dr William Fung Kwok, Chairman of Hong Kong’s largest trading group. Li & Fung, as one of the officiating guests.
Dr William Fung Kwok, Chairman of Li & Fung
In his address at the opening of the fair, Dr Fung made several observations and comments on the current state of the cashmere industry, all aimed at improving its performance and future competitiveness in face of sharper competition from synthetic fibres.
Dr Fung showed his concern for the nomadic families that work with cashmere goats on the Mongolian plateau, for example, at the start of the supply chain. Sometimes they live in harsh conditions and these families must be taken care of, he stated.
He noted that there were signs that cashmere so famous for being one of the finest luxury and therefore warmest fibres on earth had tended to degrade in recent years to about 17 microns from the optimum 15 microns previously noted. This represents a characteristic and a challenge that needs correcting by nurturing cashmere goats and seeking the solution through optimum genetics.
Dr Fung offered some simple solutions for improvements of cashmere as synthetic fibres chase after its market share. For example, cashmere loses part of its famed warmth retention when wet and this requires attention so that by combining it with other materials, for example, this “weakness” might be eradicated and a form of cashmere active wear might emerge to help regenerate the industry.
Finally, he alluded to the concept of “baby cashmere” first proposed by his friend Mr PG Loro Piana which allows the finest fibres to be combed from baby cashmere goats and hence achieve finer micron levels for optimum cashmere quality.
All are workable solutions proposed by Dr Fung whose speech at the opening ceremony of Cashmere World 2018 clearly demonstrated his commitment and enthusiasm for this iconic luxury fibre, which he him self called “the King of Fibres”.