Tengri Set To Double Numbers of Mongolian Herder Communities Supported through Development of Khangai Noble Yarns

  • London-based fashion brand working with Mongolian nomadic herders launches Crowdcube campaign to raise £100,000.

  • Tengri aims to mobilise an additional 1,000 herder families in 2016, helping to preserve Mongolian herders’ nomadic traditions, protect wildlife and prevent further land-erosion.

  • Be part of a collective movement and social business bringing noble yak fibres to the forefront of the fashion and textile industries with 100 percent transparent supply chains.

Khangi LogoTengri, the first British brand and noble yarn technology specialist to introduce Mongolian yak fibres from the Khangai region to the UK market, will contribute significant change for good by addressing the humanitarian crisis on the steppes of Mongolia, as part of its growth phase two. Launching a Crowdcube campaign on 8th April, Tengri will offer investors a chance to support environmental and social change in rural Mongolia, whilst shaping the future of a directional fashion brand.

The dynamic London-based fashion brand, collaborative and social enterprise, is championing Mongolian herders via its prestige yarns and directional knitwear made from the noble fibres of Khangai yaks. Working as a collective movement, Tengri combines design, fashion, ethics, technology, business, environmental activism and individual consumer choice to do good. The Crowdcube campaign will provide a long-term investment opportunity, to be part of a company owned by it supporters, a fashion brand making measurable environmental change.

Tengri is working to bring noble yak fibres to the forefront of the fashion and textile industries, helping to preserve natural landscapes, protect wildlife and support the nomadic herders’ way of life. Founded by former charity worker Nancy Johnston, Tengri has established and pioneered a ‘fairshare’ business model with co-operatives supporting over 1,500 nomadic herder families in Mongolia, who are working with the brand to supply its hand-combed fibres from the indigenous and semi-wild Khangai yak species.

Tengri is set to double this positive impact in 2016 by working to establish a total of 2,500 herder households, providing sustainable income through co-operative trading in Mongolia. With the next round of investments the British brand is set to buy 10 tonnes of fibre from the nomadic herder communities, further developing the properties of yak yarn for the luxury fashion market. Introducing a ‘New Heritage’, Tengri will continue to draw together the skills and trade of its Mongolian herder co-operatives, combined with highly skilled British craftsman from heritage woollen mills in Yorkshire and Scotland for production. The British brand will also invest in the development of its ‘green tech’, working with some of the UK’s most influential textile researchers and innovative textile technologists for yarn development.

Twenty five percent of most woollen fibres are introduced to the industry as yarns and woven into fabrics, with approximately 75 percent being by-product waste. In addition to premium fibres, Tengri imports all waste fibres to the UK. Investments will allow further developments by top textile technologists who are looking at innovative ways to make use of this fibre, including a range of green technologies, closed-loop systems, ballistic-based technology and waterless and toxic-free dyes made from locally sourced plants to produce sustainable dye products.

With an exclusive and ethical supply of Khangai yak fibres, Tengri has offered consumers a progressive and sustainable alternative to cashmere since the brand’s launch in autumn 2014. Tengri, the brainchild of 38-year-old Nancy Johnston, who has recently been shortlisted in the Asian Woman of Achievement Awards, was born from Nancy’s first-hand experience of living with herder families during a visit to Mongolia in 2013. This lifelong dream trip took Nancy to the vast landscapes where she experienced the nomadic herders’ way of life, the strength and self-reliance of the Mongolian people living off the land and animals in a remote and isolated region. Nancy soon learnt that Mongolian yak fibres and the nomadic way of life and future of wild animals are threatened by rapid industrialisation and desertification of the land, largely because of the intensive grazing of cashmere goats.

Designing and manufacturing prestige, directional knitwear and bespoke luxury fabrics made by only highly skilled craftsmen, Tengri supplies a growing audience of discerning and conscientious buyers seeking premium quality as a sustainable alternative to premium yarns such as cashmere. Its Tengri Noble Yarns collections now provide premium manufacturers with a new and unique textile, combining heritage, luxury and craftsmanship with a sustainable and 100 percent transparent supply chain. Naturally as soft as cashmere, 5-10 degrees warmer than merino wool, odour and water resistant, this noble fibre is also hypoallergenic and breathable, offering a precious yet sustainable resource.

The introduction of these new, prestige fibres provides a conscientious solution to the weakened supply chains and quality of key raw materials such as cashmere, which, according to recent data provided by Bain & Company, represents a €4 billion share of the €60 billion global luxury apparel market. With the global supply of cashmere at threat from the effects of climate change and over-intensive grazing, Tengri Noble Yarns offer a solution which operates sustainably, with a positive impact on remote herder communities currently suffering as a result of rapid industrialisation and land degradation.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, 90 percent of Mongolia is fragile dry-land, under constant threat of increasing desertification. Conservation biologists have found that unsustainable levels of cashmere goats and other environmentally damaging livestock have consumed up to 95 percent of forage across the Tibetan plateau, Mongolia and northern India, leaving just five percent for wild animals to graze. In March 2016, extreme weather killed 350,000 animals in the remote regions of Mongolia, while the country is still recovering from the catastrophic winter weather of 2010 which killed 10 million animals, devastating communities.

Tengri’s Crowdcube campaign runs from 8th April-7th May 2016 www.tengri.co.uk/invest

Early stage supporters will be rewarded with new releases of products made with their premium noble yarns and other exclusive rewards.

About Tengri

Tengri creates sustainable luxury knitwear and yarns from Khangai Noble Yarns – Mongolian yak fibres that are as soft as cashmere, warmer than merino wool, breathable and hypoallergenic. We produce exclusive, design-led products for the discerning and conscientious, with 100 percent transparent supply-chain provenance.

More than just a label, Tengri is a collective movement built by people pioneering a new heritage. Based in London, Tengri is a social enterprise and a British label. We empower customers with information to make more eco-friendly and sustainable choices. We champion Mongolian yak fibre and purchase our supply directly from two cooperatives that represent more than 1,500 nomadic herder families. We champion emerging designers and celebrate craftsmanship: our products are designed and made in the UK. We lead multicultural events, where the starting point of the dialogue is the preservation of Mongolia’s nomadic heritage, its animals and iconic landscapes.

Nomadic Herding in Mongolia

Nomadic herders in Mongolia still maintain the traditional lifestyle of their ancestors. They move 4-8 times between four (spring, summer, autumn and winter) seasonal rangelands searching for good pastures for their livestock. This way of mobile livestock keeping is in symbiosis with the fragile ecological environment of grasslands in the Central Asian Plateau. Having collective organisation enables herders to establish land use agreement with local government and protect their traditional user rights. With increasing mining industry and urbanisation in Mongolia, there is an increasing threat to the customary rights of nomadic herders on the rangelands they have inherited from their ancestors. About 1,200 Pasture User Groups involving 40,000 herder households (men, women and children) exist in Mongolia.

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