KITX is proud to be partnering with Shokay for our No.24 collection. Shokay’s founder Carol Chyau pioneered the use of yak down as a luxury fibre. It is the yaks coat which enables it to live in the harsh, but unique conditions of the highest plateau in the world - the Himalayan regions. The fibre is 30% warmer than wool and 1.6x more breathable than cashmere. The average fineness of yak is similar to wool, measuring 18-20 microns with a length of 30-40mm. Unlike wool, the scales of yak fibre are in a waved mosaic pattern, resulting in a smooth texture.
Shokay sources yak fibres directly from Tibetan herders, enabling them to earn a sustainable living while preserving their traditional lifestyle. They invest in training these local herders on best practices and refined spinning and weaving techniques to produce durable yarns and fabrics.
Through their close work with community, Shokay are able to trace their supply chain down to the region where the yak fibre was grown and by sorting and carding fibres at the source, they guarantee quality assurance at each stage from fibre to fabric.
These low carbon emitting animals have gentle grazing habits on the grasslands and actually assist with the community-organised Grassland Conservation Project which Shokay pledges 1% of their profits to. Together with the Tibetan herders, they prepare the land and sow the seeds, before bringing in the yak herd to burrow the seeds into the ground by trampling on the land and fertilising the land with their dung. From here nature takes over to rewild the land.
Beyond this, Shokay launched an entrepreneurship program training young Tibetans to set up local businesses assisting them with on the ground training and sourcing. Shokay also commits 1% of revenues towards their Community Development Fund. Over 800 herders in Qinghai have benefitted from Shokay's healthcare programs. KITX is honoured to work with like-minded companies such as Shokay, who are advocates of education, empowerment, and environmental consciousness.
- Written by Kristy O'Loughlin, KITX's Sustainability Curator
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