Introduction to the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI)

January 17, 2024

10:00AM - 11:00AM (ET)

Join Jim Coleman, CCMI, on January 17, 2024, at 10:00AM (ET) as he discusses the purpose and mission of The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI).  Zulfiqar Ali with The Cashmere Chronicles will be the moderator for the digital lab. Register early and save! Rates increase after January 3.

AATCC Individual &
Corporate* Members
Early Registration
(register by Jan. 3)
Regular Registration
(after Jan. 3)
*Corporate members must contact Kim Nicholson to register at the discounted member's rate.
  • The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI)

    A group of 40 companies that have been improving the quality and sustainability of cashmere and camel hair to protect customers, the products and the supply chain.

    The proper and transparent content labeling of products made of cashmere and fine wool protects the right of consumers to recognize quality products and distinguish them from those of lesser value. The CCMI has supported such accurate labelling for years through random testing and enforcement programs and has always acted to counter frauds. It has also tried to warn consumers about disingenuous “great deals” on cashmere products that are sometimes promoted on the basis of generalized claims that can be neither proven nor disproven, like “world class,” “best,” or “sustainable,” but are not necessarily of high quality.

    True sustainability in all phases of the supply chain, from breeders to retailers, is a goal, not a characteristic. It begins with consumer recognition that cashmere and fine wool are premium fibers uniquely suited for high quality and luxury goods. Education of the public plays an important role in explaining this important fact, and in avoiding undue emphasis on increasing the volume of cashmere production at the expense of quality, such as by using poor quality cashmere fiber, or taking “recycling” cashmere from used garments to make less durable and lower quality fabric.

    Among the members of the CCMI, there are big multinational groups and smaller family-owned companies with great tradition and unmatched craftsmanship. Most have decades, if not over a century, of history that is the best demonstration of social sustainability of the communities in which they operate. Some of our members are also investing directly in initiatives to reconstruct an economy and support local communities in places where war has been the only reality for decades.

    All members are committed to quality products made through the best practices with the highest standard in environmental protection, against cruelty and abuse of all animals; furthermore, they invest to improve their processes further year after year.

  • Meet the Moderator and Presenter

    Zulfiqar Ali or Zulfi (Zull-Fee), for short was born and raised in, what is commonly known, as the Valley of Kashmir. The valley is part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. After he finished his Master Degree, in Kashmir, due to a variety of circumstances, Zulfi decided to leave home and come to the United States, to pursue an MBA. After graduating, he returned home but again, fate conspired to bring him back to the US. After the struggles of trying to make a life for himself, in, which was then, an alien world, Zulfi finally found a job and then a career, as a freelance business consultant and program manager. That's what Zulfi does for a living and fortunately, enjoys it.

    Zulfi's interest in history and art, drove him to read and research the history of the Kashmir shawl. The more he studied, the more he realized how little, as a Kashmiri, he knew about his own artistic heritage. The more Zulfi read about the oppression that the shawl weavers endured he felt an almost spiritual calling to tell their story. Zulfi began to collect every piece of Kashmir's heritage arts - a passion that continues to this day and that fuels his continued struggle to restore to the art forms of Kashmir to their former glory and elevate the Kashmir (Cashmere) shawl, to their rightful place as one of the finest textiles in the world.
    Jim Coleman began his half century cashmere career with Forte Cashmere Company in 1973. Early in his career he became frustrated with the plethora of fraudulent cashmere in the market, especially with those he knew were cheating with yak, which led to Forte and a few others founding the CCMI in 1984. Jim directed all Forte operations including processing factories in the USA, Europe, China and Mongolia. Seeing the writing on the wall with respect to cashmere manufacturing in the US, Jim led Forte’s diversification into the finished garment sector in the early 1990’s, spearheading successful market penetration and which led to the sale of the thriving business to Dawson Cashmere of Scotland. Jim then spent six rewarding years successfully reinventing the American Textile History Museum as its Director & President. He ended his full-time cashmere career as Director of Operations at Alashan Cashmere Company in June 2022. In July 2022 he was contacted by the CCMI to lead it’s mission in the US and actively contribute CCMI’s worldwide goals.

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