Shokay’s Carol Chyau on Yak Fiber and Sustainability

On condition that I work in vogue, I pay particularly shut consideration to any finalists whose firms are within the vogue sector. In 2019, that was Emily Levy, who co-founded a firm that makes wearables for individuals with persistent sicknesses. This yr, I used to be happy to get to know Cartier Ladies’s Initiative awardee Carol Chyau, the co-founder and CEO of Shokay, a sustainable textile enterprise that makes use of yak wool.

Fifteen years in the past, no merchandise have been manufactured from yak down, although it’s really hotter and extra breathable than cashmere or wool. Over the previous decade and a half, Chyau and her companions have basically created the marketplace for yak fiber, buying the fabric straight from Tibetan herders (80% to 90% of the world’s yak inhabitants resides in Western China) and creating clothes below the Shokay model, in addition to supplying to and consulting for main manufacturers reminiscent of Bonobos and a few of the H&M manufacturers reminiscent of COS and Arket (a favourite of our Who What Put on UK editors).

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