The Responsibility of Maintaining Luxury
Currently, South Africa produces approximately 50% of the world’s mohair.
As such, mohair production in South Africa comes with great responsibility. mohair South Africa was established to assume this responsibility, develop and maintain industry standards to ensure ethical and sustainable practices, and provide ongoing support for the South African mohair sector.
Mohair South Africa seeks to advance the mohair industry through international partnerships and alliances to enhance the production and consumption of mohair products. Our aim is to create sustainable demand and profitability for all role players from producer to processor, and from buyer to manufacturer.
We believe that shared knowledge, a vigorous commitment to continuous improvement, progressive attitudes and financial discipline are critical ingredients for the future success of the South African mohair industry. For this reason, we invest extensively in research dealing with all aspects of mohair production, with the aim to continually improve on quality, volume and sustainability.
Mohair SA’s Role & Function
An ethical, sustainable and globally-recognised South African mohair industry.
Sustainability is vital for long-term growth in any industry. Mohair South Africa seeks to ensure that the South African mohair industry is sustainable in every way possible, and continues to develop and evolve into the future. To this end, there are various areas where we focus our efforts to promote South African mohair and provide support to all involved in the Mohair industry.
We engage with key retail brands and other prominent players in the global textile and fashion industry, and regularly attend international trade shows and exhibitions in order to promote mohair fibre and provide education regarding its benefits and properties.
We lend our support to the fashion industry, especially student design, to promote awareness of mohair and encourage new and innovative use of mohair in fashion and textile design.
We sponsor extensive research into mohair production and the properties of mohair fibre. With the knowledge we gain, we are able to offer improved processes to ensure higher quality and increased volume production.
We support the South African mohair industry by working closely with all players in the industry, from processors to designers and manufacturers.
We assist emerging farmers through our Empowerment Trust, identifying and partnering with suitable candidates with the potential to successfully manage mohair farming operations.
Another prominent area of focus for Mohair South Africa is the development and monitoring of ethical practices. We have been developing processes to manage and monitor the production of mohair since as far back as 1999.
Beginning with unique producer numbers to monitor production statistics, the launch of the Sustainability Guidelines and farm assessments in 2009, and the appointment of a full-time Sustainability Officer in 2015, Mohair South Africa’s Sustainability Programme is in continual evolution. It is designed to respond to new findings and critical environmental factors, making necessary improvements as time goes by.
Today, the programme includes the development of a digital application to capture and analyse Angora farm data, as well as third party audits that can track mohair fleece from farm to production. This allows the traceability of ethically produced mohair to be traced to the farm of origin.
As part of this continual evolution, 2019 will see mohair South Africa and industry stakeholders drive a stringent shearing accreditation programme to ensure that the industry can continue to maintain, improve and ensure the ethical treatment of its Angora goat livestock.
Mohair South Africa has further illustrated the country’s commitment to building a sustainable and ethical mohair sector through their engagement with Textile Exchange. Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organisation that works closely with international members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards, and responsible supply networks.
SA Mohair Growers Association.
The representative body of Angora goat farmers.
Mohair South Africa works closely with the South African Mohair Growers Association (SAMGA). SAMGA is responsible for negotiating with government and non-government organisations to resolve issues regarding mohair production, in support of Angora goat farmers.
The Mohair Empowerment Trust seeks to support emerging black South African mohair farmers. Mohair South Africa works with this organisation to partner with farmers who meet the criteria and help to establish them within the South African mohair industry.
One of the primary aims of Mohair South Africa is to promote the use of mohair as the ideal fashion and textile fibre on a global scale, ensuring that mohair remains top of mind for international retailers, designers and textile producers.
We achieve this by engaging extensively with international brands and textile organisations, attending various international trade shows and exhibitions throughout the year, and lending our sponsorship to many international projects and events where the innovative use of mohair is supported.
Mohair South Africa advertises in a number of local and international publications, and produces an annual mohair journal detailing innovations and trends for each year.
Just how did South Africa become the producer of 50% of the world’s mohair? The story is quite fascinating.
In 1838, the Sultan of Turkey sent twelve neutered Angora rams and one ewe to Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Wanting to protect his country’s powerful monopoly in mohair fleece, the Sultan ensured that all rams were rendered infertile.
Unbeknown to anyone, however, the ewe was already pregnant and gave birth to a kid en route to South Africa – a ram that was, of course, not neutered. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The South African mohair industry has grown exponentially over the years. Today, the Karoo region of South Africa produces the most mohair in the world – all thanks to a single pregnant ewe and a Sultan’s mistake.