Mohair, the silk-like yarn spun from the hair of the Angora goat, symbolises luxury and sophistication. The fabric is a regular on the shelves of international fashion houses including Gap, Zara and Topshop. SA’s R1.5bn mohair sector is central to that value chain: about 50% of global production is supplied by 800 local farmers, most in the financially strapped Eastern Cape.

But while SA’s mohair producers have weathered the economic challenges thrown up by the country’s sluggish economy, manufacturers in the sector have not been so lucky. They are feeling the pinch of low economic growth and depressed consumer spend, says Denys Hobson, founder of Cape Town-based Cape Mohair...

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