I just read an article in Mind Body Green about gifts for Minimalists.
I am always interested in companies offering new ideas and like to know what risk-taking entrepreneurs are creating out there in the wider world.
Because I live in South Africa, usually I am too far away from the US to take advantage of the ideas. But they certainly serve to inspire. Have a look at this one:
A company selling beautiful sustainable Mongolian cashmere clothing. I have a deep love for cashmere so was utterly thrilled to come across this company. For many years I have also had a strange fascination for Mongolia. I haven’t been there, yet, but the space of the Gobi desert, the people who live, and the wild history of the land appeals to me. They sell a $75 cashmere sweater. Thats R1000.
I love their streamline – Save the Planet – Wear Cashmere. And I enjoyed their feel good promo vid.
From the website: Naadam has created the only cashmere yarn that is Cradle to Cradle certified, which evaluates & sets a high standard to protect the earth and basic human rights for how the product is made. (Bonus points: Naadam’s Gobi Revival Fund supports 1,000 nomadic herding families in Mongolia and has provided veterinary care to over 250,000 goats.)
And: If you want the best cashmere in the world, you need to go to Mongolia. Naadam sources its cashmere from the Zalaa Jinst white goat, the only entirely white breed of cashmere goat in Mongolia. These softies live waaaay out there in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert (we’re talking 400 miles off-road from the nearest city within 500k square miles of desert). In our book, it’s worth the trek.
And: The harsh geography of this area means that only a very limited number of goats are combed by hand every spring. To make an average-sized sweater, you will need wool from approximately 4 adult goats.
And: Cashmere goats live in extremely cold and harsh climates. To survive, they grow long, fine fibers to protect themselves, which our herders hand comb since shearing goats can be “very stressful” (these goats don’t need any more stress after the winter they just went through)! Even though it takes more time & effort to hand comb, our herders have over 2,000 years of nomadic herding tradition to uphold, and this old-school approach is still the best thing for their goats and for the fibers for our sweaters.
And: It’s well known that cashmere should not be put in the washing machine. We recommend baby shampoo, it works like a charm! Use lukewarm water, gently swirl your sweater, and let it soak for up to 30 minutes. To dry, the trick is to lay out your sweater on a bath towel and gently roll the sweater in the towel, absorbing all the water in a cashmere sushi roll of sorts.
And: Pilling is a natural occurrence in cashmere and is usually caused by friction. A seat belt, purse strap, or even the synthetic lining of a jacket can all contribute. Persistent pilling happens when lower quality manufacturers use short fibers. A Naadam cashmere sweater pills only once (think of it like shedding a layer of skin). Since the fibers we use are longer, it will never happen again after you clean the sweater. Remember, longer fibers = stronger cashmere.
Can you tell I really love cashmere?