What makes yak down so special anyway?
We get that question a lot from people we talk to. Anyone who’s had the chance to touch one of our Happiness Hugs knows that yak down is luxuriously silky and as soft as cashmere. Wearing a garment made from yak down feels a little like being cuddled in a cloud. But there’s so much more to this magical fiber than how it feels!
1. Renewable, Cruelty-Free Resource
Yak down is the soft under layer of the animal’s wooly coat. While wool must be sheared from the sheep with electric or manual clippers, yak down is naturally shed each spring. Each yak, which typically weighs between 750 and 1,300 lbs., only produces about a bit over two pounds of fiber annually – about the same amount produced by a tiny German angora rabbit, which typically weighs between six and a half and ten pounds. This means yak down is extremely rare.
2. Kinder to the Planet
Yaks roam semi-wild in the Himalayas and are allowed to graze freely, positively contributing a critical ecological niche to the environment. It’s an earth-friendly alternative to cashmere, which has turned large swaths of grassland into desert due to the overgrazing of massive herds of cashmere goats.
3. Supports Traditional Lifestyles
As the world develops, the traditional lifestyles of peoples all over the globe are becoming extinct. But for the citizens of Bhutan and other Himalayan countries, there is hope. From the yak herders, to those who gather the down, to the artisans who weave our stunning garments, yaks provide a lifeline to their heritage and culture.
4. Warmer Than Wool, Softer Than Cashmere
Yaks are one of the highest-dwelling mammal in the world, living between 9,800 and 15,400 feet above sea level. With temperatures falling as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they rely on their thick coats to keep them cozy. It’s probably not surprising, then, that yak down is 10-15% warmer than Merino wool, silky soft, and comes without the itch! At the same time, it’s extremely breathable.
5. Heirloom-Quality Garments
In Bhutanese culture, garments are handmade and must last for many seasons. Some garments are even passed down from generation to generation! That makes yak down the perfect choice for handcrafted apparel. It’s not only durable and strong, it’s naturally antimicrobial and resists odors.