18th July 2015, Tariat Sum, Arkhangai, Mongolia
On 18th July, Tengri, www.tengri.co.uk the collective movement where design, prestige fashion, ethics, business, environmental activism and individual consumer choice come together to do good, will host a runway show like no other in the heart of the Arkhangai Mountains, Mongolia. Set on the shore of Terkhiin Tsagaan lake in the awe-inspiring region of Tariat Sum, the showcase will form part of the Mongolia Yak Festival, celebrating the delicate and interwoven relationship between nomadic herders, animals and the land.
Welcoming 1,500 herder families, the festival is a unique event that celebrates the spirit and raw beauty of the region combined with the preservation of nomadic traditions. In honour of the Mongolian Yak, the festivities will also celebrate the enrichment of livelihoods through new co-operatives enabled by the Tengri collective.
During the day-long celebrations, Tengri will unveil its new capsule collection of directional knitwear created with 100% Mongolian Khangai noble yarns, supplied by the yak herder co-operatives. Designed and made in London, the pieces will demonstrate the results of sustainable trade and the sophisticated technology adopted by Tengri’s team to purify the unique qualities of Mongolian Yak wool, producing refined yarns and ethical luxury fashion.
Joining international models from Britain, the show will feature local people, scouted in the run up to the festival to connect Tengri’s pieces to their source. The collection will include separates from Tengri’s dramatic new Autumn/Winter ‘Rider’ collection which will launch in London in October 2015. The pieces form the capsule collection will demonstrate simple classic cuts, which are utilitarian in style, unisex and easy to wear.
A catwalk with the mountainous Arkhangai region as its backdrop will set the scene for the show, to inspire and connect the local communities with the results of their herding enterprise. Tengri’s involvement in the Mongolia Yak Festival 2015 follows its debut Tsetersleg Festival in 2014 where the collective launched its first collection.
Other festivities throughout the day will include a celebration of traditional and modern food and music, cultural performances, workshops and crafts. Local herders will also enter a string of contests to celebrate, the best-dressed and best looking yaks in a yak parade, plus awards to recognise the most productive herders and exhibits of yak products from dairy to crafts.
The Mongolia Yak Festival 2015 is organised by the Arkhangai local government and Arkhangai Federation of Pasture User Groups. Jambaldorj Sorsor, Director of Arkhangai Federation of Pasture User Groups comments: “In Mongolia festivals have long been a part of our nomadic culture and we believe this is critical in keeping our communities strong and preserving a traditional way of life. These events enable a platform for sharing and celebration of methods to strengthen nomadic livelihoods. The Yak festival honours a creature integral to these livelihoods and this year we celebrate the growth of co-operatives established with the help of our international partner Tengri.”
Nancy Johnston, CEO & Founder, Tengri, adds. “Mongolian nomadic herders’ traditional way of life has become increasingly threatened by changes to the country’s natural grasslands. The rise of mining, combined with intensive grazing to supply the fast-growing market for cashmere, has contributed to more than 70 percent of Mongolian land suffering from desertification.”
Johnston continues: “Yarns made from the Khangai yak wool offer an environmentally friendly and exclusive knitwear alternative to cashmere. It is one of the world’s noble fibres and offers equivalent softness and warmth, yet can be produced without intensive grazing. As such, yak fibre plays an important role in protecting Mongolia’s natural landscape. Moreover, it offers Mongolia’s nomadic herders a sustainable way to preserve their traditional way of life. At Tengri we are proud to have enabled ethical co-operatives for more than 1,500 herder families. Our collaborative is growing fast, offering trade through fashion as well as interiors and the application of technology. We are excited to be making a notable difference to the herding community in Mongolia and look forward to showcasing the fruits of the herders’ labours at the Mongolia Yak Festival on 18th July.”
2015 marks a milestone year for Tengri, developing its projects in fashion and interiors, investing in the development of technology to further refine Khangai noble yarn’s prestige, whilst developing trade partnerships to generate increased income for the co-operatives at source. Inspiring new collaborations are also on the horizon with creative vanguards including 19 Greek Street www.19greekstreet.com
For more information on Tengri visit www.tengri.co.uk
Tengri is more than just a fashion label. It is a collective movement that brings together design, fashion, ethics, business, environmental activism and individual consumer choice to do good. Tengri knitwear is designed and made in the UK, using 100% natural and undyed Mongolian yak wool. We aim to bring the unique qualities of this fibre to the forefront of the fashion industry through sustainable, eco-friendly and fairshare business and seek to improve the lives and livelihoods of Mongolian nomadic herders, while protecting the country’s beautiful and unique landscape and pastures. www.tengri.co.uk
About the Arkhanghai Aimag Federation of Pasture User Group (PUGs)
Pasture User Group is a voluntary collective organisation of nomadic herders for the purpose of improving the management of their common rangelands. 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.