Moves are underway to verify the origin of half of the world’s supply of mohair to give manufacturers, brands and consumers greater insight into the provenance of the raw material used in their products.

South Africa currently produces around 50% of the world’s mohair, accounting for nearly 30,000 jobs for local South Africans.

Industry body Mohair South Africa is teaming up with supply chain traceability specialist Oritain, which will use a combination of forensic science and technology to analyse mohair fibre and verify exactly which country it comes from.

Mohair is the fleece of the Angora goat, native to the Karoo, and shorn twice a year. Its unique qualities include lustre, lightweight, dye-responsive, climate control, durability, crease-resistant and non-flammable, making it highly sought after.

“The Mohair industry recognises the shift towards a fully traceable fashion fibre as the future of sustainable sourcing and we believe technology can play an important role in ensuring transparency from farm to store,” says Lindsay Humphreys, head of global business development and sustainability at Mohair South Africa.

“The partnership with Oritain perfectly complements the progressive developments in the mohair industry with the recent launch of the Responsible Mohair Standard and the intensified training and education programmes at a grassroots level.

“The focus of the South African mohair industry is a commitment to working towards a more sustainable and responsible future, taking the environment, the animals, and the people into consideration.”

Rupert Hodges, chief strategy officer for Oritain, adds: “Mohair South Africa’s commitment to innovation and sustainability is vital in not only protecting this luxurious and sustainable fibre but also in helping to drive a more innovative and sustainable industry.”