Erratic climate conditions have been killing Pashmina goats in the Indian Himalayas, threatening the supply of precious silky wool used to make warm, luxurious lightweight cashmere apparel. These goats are cared for by thousands of nomads in the hostile terrain of Ladakh, a high-altitude desert known for its dramatic landscape of towering mountains and arid plains. In 2012, about 25,000 goats died of starvation, as the grass they graze from became buried under thick layers of snow for months, a direct impact of climate change across the Himalayan belt.
The Pashmina ecosystem (Pashmina goats, shepherds, yarn weavers, manufacturers, craftspeople and buyers) is under threat and requires immediate global attention. The communities linked to the ecosystem are declining at an alarming rate, as the impacts of climate change and pressures of urbanization across the Himalayas is displacing communities. KASHMIRINK Foundation operates the Pashmina Goat Project, hosting art exhibitions, fashion shows, conferences and interactive activations with the stakeholders to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by the Pashmina ecosystem. In a positive light, the campaigns also celebrate and showcase the Pashmina goats and their crucial role in the ecosystem.
As the global demand for pure and authentic Pashmina continues to grow, it is crucial to raise awareness, especially within the 100 plus countries that import Pashmina. The foundation has crafted a Goodwill Ambassador Program for celebrities and passionate individuals to become the voice for this project. The committee members of the foundation are currently accepting applicants globally for the Goodwill Ambassador Program to help promote the cause in their respective countries. The committee has approved Ashlee Monroe, a mother, an entrepreneur and a TV personality with diplomatic flair as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Pashmina Goat Project. She is an influential and driven professional in Canada, who will serve as a ‘Honorary Diplomat’ to help foster positive relationships and garner support from organizations, corporations, institutions and individuals from across the world.
In association with the founder of KASHMIRINK, Babar Afzal, a leading voice on Pashmina in Asia, Monroe will host social functions and lobby for the welfare of the Pashmina, attracting international support for the project. Ashlee has been strongly influenced by the Himalayas throughout her life and is passionate to promote the foundation’s program globally. Her enthusiasm to contribute to the world, especially to the Himalayas, will help the organization build a foundation of support and goodwill across North America. She is actively involved in the process of launching multiple campaigns, leading the initiative in Toronto and New York.
The ambassador vows to work selflessly and will not associate with any Pashmina manufacturer or marketer and will not endorse any corporate brand for any personal or commercial benefit. Monroe stated, “Pashmina goats are the root of luxury, as the wool from the goats has been used for thousands of years to make shawls that were intricately crafted and presented to royalty as priced possessions. In contemporary culture, pashmina has been present since the beginning of the luxury fashion industry.”