Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan is a 30-year-old young designer from Mongolia who currently lives in London, England. The explosive popularity of luxury wool seems to have forced the cashmere industry to experience a crisis but in its hands could change perceptions of cashmere and show the industry there are ways to produce this highly sought-after material in a sustainable manner.
Mongolia is the birth country of Argalsaikhan where most of the world’s cashmere is produced. With temperatures often reaching -40 degrees Celsius, goats in the region have developed furry undercoat to protect themselves from harsh winters but were shaved in April and sold to producers.
There are also concerns about the well-being of nomadic shepherds because prices have dropped dramatically as well as quality problems because many companies claim sources from Mongolia, but actually bought wool from Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northern China.
Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan Applying Transparency in the Supply Chain
Mandkhai is a brand from Jargalsaikhan, which specializes in transparency and is produced ethically and sustainably and does not have a minimum carbon footprint. This designer controls the entire supply chain so she knows all the origin of the wool. Besides that she was Mongolian and her parents were the first family to set up shop in post-Communist Mongolia twenty-five years ago and have their own cashmere factory. Her two family factories are one of the largest cashmere producers in the country.
Gigi Hadid is one of her fans. The model has been seen often wearing moksa color cashmere coats from Mandkhai in New York. “My father doesn’t know who she is, but we see a high in sales on our website every time she wears it!”
Argalsaikhan came to London in her twenties to study fashion and marketing and after completing her school she founded her own brand besides acting as a wool supplier for designers including Rejina Pyo and Grace Wales Bonner. “There is a gap in the market for something different and modern and they are looking for quality and transparency, “she said.
Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan : Buy Less but High Quality
Cashmere which is produced does not endanger animals because it is removed from free-roaming goats in the spring. Everything is sourced and produced in Mongolia where it originates, minimizing the carbon emissions of its production.
Goats and sheep that are the source of wool are free to roam in a wide field and they have worked with the same people for years so that the factory always pays them at a fair price. More than 60 percent of the price of each garment goes to raw materials and she knows that these people have a good quality of life.
Her family factory produces little waste and the material is fully biodegradable, so there is no damage to the environment, unlike fiber in synthetic sweaters.
When asked about the role of the fashion industry in protecting the planet’s future, Jargalsaikhan said that any positive change would have a big impact and she believed that a business model like this was a good place to start.
For the 18/19 fall-winter season, she made a collection that focused on perfecting fit and shape like the design of a knitted suit by adding hand embroidery. The collection also combines and explores new natural fibers that introduce yak wool in natural colors.
As a consumer, she emphasized that the way we can make a difference in protecting the planet’s future is buying less, but buying smarter, paying more attention to quality over quantity. Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan also said that the importance of being aware of the origin of the product, how the product was made and also reducing the use of synthetic materials.