Mika & Milo is a multi-award winning Scottish woollen company which was born out of a rich history in textiles.
Our founder's family have been working with natural fibres for well over a century. And, it all started with Aiko Stevenson's Great-Grandfather who ran his own woollen mill producing fine Scottish Tweeds on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
By the time her father Peter joined the team, their own brand of Macnab Tweeds was sold throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He then added cashmere to the mix.
In the past, Scottish cashmere was the finest in the world. However, as labour costs rose in the UK, it started to become too expensive to produce and unable to compete with the meteoric rise of China.
Fast forward 100 years and today most of the world’s top-grade cashmere now comes from the blustery plains of Inner Mongolia where the bitter winter cold helps the goats to grow a fine inner coat in order to keep them warm.
Temperatures drop as low as 40 degrees celsius in the depths of December.
And, these little goats grow a fine inner coat to keep them warm, and it is this fine inner coat which makes the most delicious cashmere jumpers.
But, did you know one goat only produces enough yarn to make one baby-sized jumper a year? And, that's why a good quality cashmere sweater can be rather pricey.
Please note that the goats are only shorn in the spring when they no longer need this inner coat as the mercury soars over 30C during the summer and it is a kindness to remove it to keep them cool.
After all, we all shear our dogs during the heat and the same principle applies to the goats.
However, did you know that fine top-grade cashmere is now under threat as many goat herders interbreed their goats with coarser haired goats in order to produce more of this highly sought after yarn? However whilst increasing quantity, they are only forsaking quality.
In fact, the average cashmere fibre length has been getting thicker and thicker every year (0.07 microns a year to be precise).
And, if it maintains this pace, it will be thicker than wool in 20 years time.
This marks yet another reason why one should stay away from fast fashion and at Mika & Milo we only use the finest cashmere.
It is not only softer for our Little Ones, but it protects the livelihoods of these goat herders who depends on this natural yarn for their income.
After all, who will buy their cashmere in two decades when it is just as coarse as wool?
In fact, one of the suppliers which we work with has its very own fine haired goat farm committed to protecting top-grade Inner Mongolian cashmere.
After all, our children and the Earth which they will inherit, deserve only the best.
How Our Founder Set Up Mika & Milo