Knitwear fashion brand Tengri provides an alternative to unsustainable cashmere production by sourcing yak fibers from herder families in the Mongolian mountains.
Tengri produces knitwear and yarn from yak fibers, providing a consumer alternative to cashmere clothing. Cashmere goats are domesticated animals bred for their fibers. Only the finest of fibers make it to market, resulting in the majority of fibers usually being treated as waste. Yaks, on the other hand, are an indigenous species living sustainably in the Mongolian mountains, and the fibers they produce are considered a by-product of herders’ breeding.
Tengri creates yak yarn and fabrics from this by-product, producing three times as much yarn from one metric ton of fibers as cashmere. The company sources their fibers directly from co-operatives representing 1,500 nomadic herder families in Mongolia. Tengri enables Mongolia’s nomadic herder community to export goods directly to the international market without intermediary or third-party support.
Why you should care
Intensive grazing of cashmere goats has been suggested to be a contributing factor to declining populations of large, wild mammal species across the Tibetan Plateau of Mongolia and in northern India. Mongolia’s indigenous yaks offer a more sustainable alternative, having co-inhabited the lands with humans for thousands of years.