There are few things that feel as luxurious against your skin as cashmere, and everyone should have a good cashmere scarf in their wardrobe. The scarves by Fibre Tibet are ‘good’ in many senses of the word — they’re stylish, comfortable, ethically harvested and sustainably made.
Tibet has emerged as the prime source of fine cashmere after factory-farming inspired practices have been introduced in parts of China and Mongolia, resulting in the loss of pasture land and the loss of fiber quality due to overuse of antibiotics and hormones.
The limited edition collection of shawls by Fibre Tibet are made from undyed organic, super fine Grade A cashmere, collected by Tibetan nomads. Only the longest, thinnest fibres are used, resulting in insanely soft, pure cashmere scarves. Fine cashmere is less prone to piling and being eaten by moths, the bane of a cashmere lover’s existence.
Monica Garry, Founder and CEO of The Bridge Fund, has been working with Tibetan nomad communities since 1996 and has helped raise over $30 million to support education, healthcare, cultural heritage preservation and environmental conservation on the Tibetan plateau. The idea for Fibre Tibet came together after she sent a box of yak wool textiles, yarn and wool samples from Tibet to her friend Alberto Zanone, a Milan-based textile designer. Zanone and his wife Carla La Sorte traveled to Tibet to work with Garry and The Bridge Fund team on improving the quality of fiber and creating a sustainable business model.
They set up a wool combing and collection program that gave them access to higher quality fiber and ensured that the nomads who collect the cashmere were paid a higher market price.
Fibre Tibet shawls not only look and feel amazing, they also make a difference in the world. The designs are created by Zanone, in collaboration with Himalayan artisans. The Tibetan yak wool and cashmere is collected by Tibetan nomads in Ngari Tibet and the shawls are hand woven by a cooperative in Kathmandu, Nepal.
All profits from the shawls are returned the nomads (who live on less than $1 per day) and Himalayan weavers, generating a positive social, environmental and economic impact and supporting the development of businesses run locally by Tibetans in the Himalayan region.
You can find these conscious cashmere shawls in exclusive stores and boutiques in the US and Europe and Japan, including Jill Platner Gallery in New York City, Xanadu-Folk Art Gallery in San Francisco, ASAP (As Sustainable As Possible) Gallery in Italy and France, and The Bridge Fund in Washington DC and Brussels. The scarves are also available in Fibre Tibet’s webshop.
A word of warning: once you wrap one of these around your neck, you’ll never want to take it off.