They had me at 'disrupting a 1,000 year old industry'. But how they are disrupting it pays off to the customer, keeping costs actually lower than conventional cashmere - usually the opposite of most ethically created products.
Here's their story...
"IN A REMOTE REGION, AMIDST THE HARSH CLIMATE OF THE MONGOLIA STEPPE, HIRCUS GOATS GROW RARE WHITE CASHMERE, PROTECTING THEM FROM -35 F WINTERS. IN THE SPRING, MONGOLIAN HERDERS HARMLESSLY COMB THESE FIBERS FROM THE GOATS’ SOFT UNDERCOATS; CONTINUING THE WORLD’S OLDEST HUMAN SUBSISTENCE METHOD.NAADAM HAS CREATED THE LARGEST PRIVATELY FUNDED NON-PROFIT PROVIDING VETERINARY PROGRAMS, LIVESTOCK INSURANCE AND BREEDING DEVELOPMENT. IN RETURN NAADAM IS GRANTED FIRST ACCESS TO THE HERDER’S FLEECE.
FIRST ACCESS TO RARE MATERIALS - THERE’S ONLY 300 TONS OF THIS RARE CASHMERE PRODUCED IN JUST ONE YEARLY HARVEST. OUR NON-PROFIT WORK SUPPORTS HERDERS AND STIMULATES MICRO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS REMOTE REGION, EARNING US FIRST ACCESS TO THE BEST CASHMERE ON EARTH.
NO MIDDLE MAN - BY PURCHASING FIBERS DIRECTLY FROM OUR HERDERS, WE CUT OUT THE TRADITIONAL TRADE LAYER THAT INFLATES THE COST OF CASHMERE. SKIPPING THE MIDDLE MAN ALLOWS US TO OFFER THE FINEST CASHMERE ON EARTH AT A BETTER VALUE.
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN - IT’S SIMPLE; WE KEEP OUR HERDERS’ GOATS HEALTHY THROUGH VETERINARY PROGRAMS, LIVESTOCK INSURANCE AND BREEDING DEVELOPMENT. HEALTHY GOATS MEAN MORE VALUABLE FIBERS, WHICH STABILIZES OUR SUPPLY CHAIN.
THE ONLY ‘CRADLE-TO-CRADLE’ CERTIFIED CASHMERE YARN IN THE WORLD- NAADAM USES THE ONLY ‘CRADLE TO CRADLE’ CERTIFIED CASHMERE YARN IN THE WORLD. THAT MEANS IT IS HEALTHY FOR PEOPLE, THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
OUR FAMILY RUN MILL HAS BEEN SPINNING THEIR CRAFT FOR OVER 140 YEARS: USING THE REGION’S RICH MINERAL WATER TO WASH THE FLEECE, POWER ITS MILLS AND ULTIMATELY PRODUCE THE FINEST CASHMERE YARN IN THE WORLD. THE ENTIRE MILL IS RUN ON 100% GREEN ENERGY BY UTILIZING HYDROELECTRICITY AND ROOFTOP SOLAR PANNELS. THE DYEING SYSTEM ALLOW THE YARN TO HAVE LASTING, SOLID COLORS. ALL OUR CHEMICALS ARE CRADLE-TO-CRADLE CERTIFIED MEANING THEY ARE HARMLESS TO THE ENVIRONMENT."
Here's the mission though - they founded Naanam to change the way the world used and consumes materials. Their treatment and harvesting of the materials creates a cashmere that lasts longer and is of highest quality.
All in all, if you're going to go for a high end purchase, this is it... from sweaters all the way down to your underwear.
Click the photo below to be taken to their site.
THIS BRAND IS...
I just wanted to share these - mainly because I wear flip flops all the time as a Californian but also because it's a perfect example of the types of things I want in my closet.
I'm all about the STORY behind the product - here's theirs:
"Natural rubber just doesn’t grow everywhere. We had to go to great lengths to obtain it. Actually, we even went one step further than most that use rubber - we only use fair trade natural rubber. It took over 2 years even to just get all the suppliers in place but because of all this hard work up front we are confident that this is THE best material to create flip-flops....
But we didn't stop there.
This story doesn’t end with the highest quality materials in any flip-flop... ever!
Because, as I set out to find natural rubber to add to the perfect flip-flop I found myself in the countryside of India and the backwoods of Sri Lanka at rubber plantations. It was deep in these plantations the exploitative nature of the rubber industry became very clear.
You wouldn’t believe the despair just to get a bucket of raw rubber.
Workers living in the most despicable conditions, getting paid outrageously meager wages, and treated like the lowest of low.
This reality is far worse than the harshness of bad chemicals or uncomfortable overpriced flip-flops.
I wanted no part in this.
So I set out to find rubber harvested on fair terms, rubber that cared for it’s people at every step of the process.
That’s when the full idea for the perfect flip-flop was born.
That's when Olli was born.
Thus began my journey to find natural FAIR TRADE rubber.
Olli flip-flops would not only be better for the environment, but better for those involved in production.
I joined the Fair Rubber Association, which means Olli only purchases rubber from audited plantations that maintain Fair Trade standards that include safe working conditions, medical care, and a fair wage. We pay a premium for our rubber which goes directly to the rubber tappers."
Click on the photo below to be taken to their Indigogo Campaign.
THIS BRAND IS...