Verena von Eschenbach: Kashmir's values ​​and ethics in a new perspective

Verena von Eschenbach opens the doors to her production in Mongolia and reveals why her brand has to work specifically to offer not only aesthetic but also authentic cashmere.

Interview with Verena Ebner von Eschenbach, founder Verena von Eschenbach

Verena von Eschenbach - cover
Source & Copyright by Verena von Eschenbach

Author: House of Eden

With a passion for fine cashmere and the conviction that true beauty can be found in nature, Verena Ebner von Eschenbach founded her brand of the same name. The collections not only reflect the grace and purity of nature, but also make a strong statement for sustainability and ethical fashion.

Verena Ebner von Eschenbach opens the door to her production facilities in Outer Mongolia and Nepal and reveals why her brand has to work in a special way to ensure that its products are not only aesthetic, but also authentic and ethical. It's not just about fashion, but also about values ​​that are close to the designer's heart. She shares her views on how the fashion industry needs to change in the future to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly and how she wants to use her brand to mark this change.

Verena von Eschenbach - portrait

Source & Copyright by Verena von Eschenbach

How would you describe your label in one sentence?

Verena von Eschenbach is luxury from nature, noble and pure.

What motivated you to found it in 2014?

My grandfather used to own a tailor salon. The materials and possibilities fascinated me early on. I was originally a trained fashion designer, but after entering the conventional working world, I quickly realized that I couldn't be creative at the push of a button "from 9 to 5". While I was working as a freelancer, a colleague at the time told me one day that she had cashmere scarves woven in Kathmandu, Nepal. This immediately caught my attention and I asked if she could have me made a scarf. Without realizing what a complex process it would be.

Two weeks later she called me and said that it was technically not possible and that I had to take at least 20 of the requested parts. I then asked my circle of friends whether they were interested in the parts and was able to place a profitable order. I received my cashmere products and at the same time realized what kind of process was behind it, i.e. what it means to weave on the loom and how much depends on it for the local people. I couldn't sleep for a few weeks and wondered what could be made of it. About four months later I founded my brand Verena von Eschenbach.

On your homepage it says “Cashmere symbolizes charisma”, what does that mean exactly?

If someone is charismatic, you can tell because the person radiates inner peace and dignity and has a sparkle in their eyes. We see it this way: If a person you have never seen before enters a room and you notice how the room suddenly fills up, then that person is charismatic. I have often observed exactly this effect occurring with my customers as soon as they try on our cashmere, put on a scarf or touch a blanket. At the latest when the customer actually wears the item of clothing, you can see how the expression on their face softens and you can feel the charisma unfolding. For me, that's exactly what the symbolism of Charisma is: feeling the charisma and protection of natural wool.

Cashmere coat

Source & Copyright by Verena von Eschenbach

What is the precarious situation with the material cashmere?

During my travels, I discovered that most companies are not necessarily there to cooperate with cashmere suppliers. For most companies, at the end of the day, all that matters is sales and they often simply buy the cheapest raw material. I have found that my partners in Mongolia handle things differently because their animals provide their livelihood. They treat the animals very differently and carefully comb the cashmere goats, yaks or baby camels once a year. The yields are limited and the animals are not combed, shaved or worse.

This happens more often among other pet owners, mainly in China, due to demand and profit. In addition, I believe that wool processing is often shaken up. Counterfeiting of wool has reached terrible proportions. The raw material is, for example, extended with silicone or other synthetic materials so that the wool shines more. There is also wool that is coated with acid - sheep's wool - and mixed with cashmere. You can feel this because the cashmere is soapy and slippery. In terms of price, the products are also a complete no-go; these costs are not technically possible.

Where does Verena von Eschenbach produce and what makes the brand different?

We produce exclusively in Outer Mongolia, which is where I ended up in my search for the best cashmere. Additionally, we have a weaver in Nepal who weaves our shawls and blankets. Collaboration only works well if you work intensively together, stay on site and keep in touch. By disclosing the entire supply chain right up to the product handover to the customer, I can present the process transparently. This way we can show that we have nothing to hide and that we work fairly. Although there are certifications for sustainable cashmere, most of them are very expensive and animal owners often cannot afford them. Only through personal presence and cooperation with the animal owners can I keep my promise.

Verene von Eschenbach - blankets

Source & Copyright by Verena von Eschenbach

What was the biggest challenge on the path to sustainable and fair cashmere?

The most difficult part was to represent my point of view alongside the many cahsmere companies that have been operating in the area for over 20 years. We work differently, we work sustainably - maintaining this was a huge challenge and still is. Next year we'll be ten years old and it's been a tough road, but it's been very exciting, exciting and, above all, important. We have worked sustainably and ethically from the start. For example, right from the start there was no plastic in the packaging. But you have to work on something like this regularly so that it works well.

Which values ​​are particularly important to you?

In any case, it's honesty. Respect for the people, for the employees, for the suppliers, for the people who make it possible for me to process the wool. Balance, politeness, love. Love is very important, towards animals, nature and people, even if I don't know them. The loving, careful respect of meeting each other on an equal level and of course appreciating each other. Appreciation is an absolute must.

Verene von Eschenbach - clothing

Source & Copyright by Verena von Eschenbach

Do you want to make a statement with your brand? How does the fashion industry have to change in the future?

I think it takes a lot of conversations between people. This cannot be replaced by online programs or anything similar. You also have to ask questions, which is essential for all sides as it provides important answers. It's not enough to just carry on in the fashion industry as in previous years. The question is therefore: How do the trends have to develop so that they distance themselves from this problem? For example, what happens to the products when they are no longer worn?

I believe that the microplastic issue, the plastic packaging, the fast pace of life must change so that people are told that clothes can be repaired and worn longer and have a longer validity through new combinations.

Thank you very much for the interview Verena Ebner von Eschenbach.


Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

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