from mongolia to you - and back again
My name is Ewen. In 2016, I travelled from Australia to Switzerland without flying. On the way I met Bataa Chunt, who helped me buy a small, 30-year-old motorcycle in Mongolia. I then rode across the country and wrote a book about the experience.
To prepare for the journey, Bataa took me to the market in Ulaanbaatar to buy equipment, including yak wool socks and gloves. As I crossed the country, I noticed how well these clothes stood up to snow, wind, rain, river crossings and the wear and tear of cross-country motorcycling.
When blended with polyester, the result is a fabric that is as soft and smooth as cashmere, more breathable than Merino, and with better heat retention and durability. It is also anti-bacterial, machine-washable, and as comfortable as anything you've ever worn.
Bataa and I now work together to bring these remarkable fabrics into the world market. Yaktivewear was founded in 2020 and follows a model of sustainable business - we buy directly from herders, manufacture locally, and donate 15% of our earnings back into the country.
Developing and selling our fabric is just the first step. Ultimately, we want to do what we can to help Mongolia build an ethical and sustainable premium textile industry - one that can protect the environment and sustain people's livelihoods.