< Take Me Back


SHOKAY is Tibetan for yak down. It is also the name of a socially responsible accessories brand, produced entirely from Tibetan yak, and sourced from thousands of herders across the Tibetan region of Qinghai province in China. Creating exceptionally soft knitwear, the collection comprises of predominately hand knitted hats, scarves and gloves, some with complex cableknit details, others with a quirky, naïve sense of humour, such as the hand in hand mittens for lovers.

The brand was founded in 2006, with a visit to Western China with a team of Harvard students. Carol Chyau was inspired to start a social enterprise after realizing the similarities between yak fiber and chasmere. Most local Tibetans have small herds of yak, but meager financial income, begging the question; if cashmere can be a multi-billion dollar industry, why cant yak? Inspiring the founding of SHOKAY, that aims to connect development needs through the production of their quirky, cool collection of accessories produced entirely from yak down.

Yaks live in mountainous regions above 10,000 feet, where their thick coat enables them to survive the harsh weather conditions. The fiber can only be collected once a year in the summer, and produces two distinct qualities, the course outer guard hair, and the finer down, which is hand combed from around the shoulders and the neck of these majestic animals. Working only with the finest down, SHOKAY also collaborate with a variety of fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, toy and home furnishing brands to develop products made from yak.

Yak down is a premium fiber, and SHOKAY’s vision is ambitious: to revolutionize the yak yarn industry by thoughtfully engaging in each step of the manufacturing process. SHOKAY care about how the fibers are combed, how they are sorted and cleaned, how they are spun, and how they are woven or knitted into finished products. Setting up the SHOKAY Design & Research Center in Shanghai’s International Fashion Education Center in 2013, SHOKAY host visitors, give presentations and run weekly events that range from knit-ins to sustainability debaters, all with the aim of promoting the use of yak fiber in the premium market. Sold in 10 countries around the world, the collection has a particularly strong presence in Germany and Japan. They believe that by investing and reinvesting into local communities, they are helping to ensure opportunity and choice for future Tibetan generations.

Website: www.shokay.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com

Twitter: @shokay

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com