Considered every thread of the way.

Shokay is the world’s first socially responsible premium yak down brand. We are committed to benefitting the communities that produce yak down, conscientiously selecting the right partners, creating timeless products, and using the best business principles.

In 2006, Carol Chyau, about to graduate from Harvard Kennedy School, sought to promote socially responsible business ideals in the Greater China region. She traveled to Yunnan in Southern China, spent time working directly with NGOs and the local government and was introduced to yak down for the first time. Ideas were slowly taking shape and when she returned to Harvard, she knew that the best way to help catalyze the growth of social enterprises in China was to start one of her own.

Discovery by the Numbers

1400

tons of dehaired yak down produced a year with the opportunity to impact of 1M Tibetans who live on the plateau

350

local Tibetan annual income in USD

30

percent warmer than wool

130

percent more breathable than cashmere

100

grams of down can only be collected from a single yak

1000

kg of yarns produced by local cooperative trained my Shokay in Heimahe

40

percent income increase for the 50 women hand knitters contracted by Shokay in Chongming Island

20

percent income increase in the 600+ herder families Shokay currently works it

Our Social Model

Challenge

Limited income generating opportunities on the Tibetan plateau

Hard for Tibetans to participate in sustainable and scalable economic development opportunities that balance their cultural heritage and identity

Opportunity

Tibetan herders own an important asset – yaks, whose fiber is comparable to cashmere, and is an underutilized natural resource. While 1400 tons of dehaired yak down is produced each year, the current market only utilizes less than 10% of that capacity.

For every 5 cashmere goats, there is 1 yak, and 80% of the world’s yak population is in Western China

Natural fibers are making a major comeback in the textiles industry

Increased demand from end-consumers for sustainable and socially impactful brands

Solution

Increase the quality of yak fiber at every step of the supply chain

Coordinate R&D across the supply chain to expand the product ranges and uses of yak fiber

Build a brand for yak fiber that represents premium quality sourced in a socially responsible manner

Engage end-consumers to understand and appreciate the yak fiber supply chain and the people involved in it

Impact

Sustainable economic growth on the Tibetan plateau

Employment for local Tibetans and other aspects of the supply chain such as Chongming Island

Continuously support local community development programs in the area for capacity building, education, and health

Encourage social entrepreneurship among young people

Influence China’s philanthropy and social impact sector by demonstrating a sustainable business model

Support Us

The products you see today are a result of 10 years of dedication and innovation from talented individuals from around the world. From textiles research to fashion design, we cross disciplines and geographies to bring premium yak down products to market and social change to the communities that made them. You can support us by buying our products or simply by sharing our story.