We first showcased Khunu when they launched their line of yak wool tops for guys early in 2010. Now they're back with a winter collection, which includes three styles for women as well. Yak wool is said to be up to 15% warmer than merino (sheep's) wool will pill resistance and durability being better than cashmere. Unlike merino, yak wool is combed, rather than shorn from the shaggy beasties. 2% of Khunu's sales go back to the nomadic Himalayan families who tend to these mountain denizens. The wool that goes into Khunu's garments was once waste, because it wasn't coarse enough to make tents, ropes and the like. But now it has important value to yak herders as a luxurious alternative to Western buyers of merino wool, and synthetic fleece.
As a result the yaks benefit because their value to the herders has increased, the herders benefit with another possible income source and access to international markets (and the 2% of sales that flows back into their communities as assistance for education, medicines and food). And the end customer come out in front with stronger, softer, warmer apparel, which is also more environmentally benign.
The new women's styles look very smart, particularly the ribbed knit Alexandra with its distinctive shawl collar. The Tara hoodie is no slouch either. Guys still get three options, two of which are new for the current season.
Well worth checking out, if you have a need for warmwear, which combines sharp looks with a strong social and sustainable ethos.
• Himalayan Yak Wool Reaches New Heights in Khunu Sportwear
• The North Face to Release Tree Hugger Daypack From Ripstop Merino Wool
• Black Sheep Finisterre Warms to Techy Merino Wool
• Ibex Join the Chorus Singing the Praises of Summer Wool