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.
tons of dehaired yak down produced a year with the opportunity to impact of 1M Tibetans who live on the plateau
local Tibetan annual income in USD
percent warmer than wool
percent more breathable than cashmere
grams of down can only be collected from a single yak
kg of yarns produced by local cooperative trained my Shokay in Heimahe
percent income increase for the 50 women hand knitters contracted by Shokay in Chongming Island
percent income increase in the 600+ herder families Shokay currently works it
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
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
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
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
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.