In her article for Wovenutopia mag, Britt-Marie Alm, founder of @lovefestfibers beautifully detailed the backstory of the yak fiber used for their Kullu yarn woven with an explanation of the importance of yak fiber for Tibetan Nomad communities in the changing landscape:
“Since the early 2000’s, I’ve been watching a small but dynamic generation of Tibetan and Chinese young people connect with the concept of social entrepreneurship and work to create opportunities aimed at reinvigorating pastoral livelihoods. Fiber is increasingly the focus for social enterprises that see its potential for helping to keep traditional livelihoods relevant and economically viable. They’re helping nomads benefit from the increased demand for this valuable fiber instead of letting their herd’s share decay on the grasslands....
My friendships along the way have taught me so much about how to listen for far-reaching solutions. Dorjee Tsering, who is a part of the current wave of dedicated young nomad entrepreneurs, has been working in the northeastern grasslands to elevate khullu as a reliable source of income for his fellow herders. Through iYak, Dorjee’s yak fiber enterprise, he’s training herders in collection methods then buying their khullu at prices that incentivize fiber collection. iYak’s team processes the fiber on the Plateau and works to create pathways for khullu to reach larger markets. April Tang, a young entrepreneur from Taiwan, has dedicated her efforts to expanding hand-spinning and felting techniques with the establishment of a Tibetan nomad-run fiber goods workshop based in the eastern grasslands.”
Britt is the Owner & Chief String Slinger of Love Fest Fibers, a San Francisco-based yarn company that designs and creates sustainably-sourced fiber collections through artisan partnership in Tibet, Nepal and at home on the West Coast.
Read the full article in the current issue of Wovenutopia. Available through Patreon or individual copies, link in bio.