Aiayu’s Sartuul will remind you of the pure wool sweaters from your childhood which kept you warm year after year. Perfectly evolved for life on the Mongolian steppe, Sartuul wool has exceptional warmth, durability, and self-cleaning properties. After a few days of wear (and perhaps a wash), Sartuul wool will readily soften to become a cozy favourite.
(Origin photos courtesy of the National Federation of Pasture User Groups of Mongolia.)
Sartuul sheep live nomadically, roaming around the mountains of Northwestern Mongolia. They are named after the Sartuul clan of the Zavhkan province, who have been herding them for centuries.
However, Mongolia’s grasslands and traditional herders are in trouble. Due to a combination of overgrazing and climate change, Mongolia’s grasslands are turning into desert. Two out of every five Mongolians make their living through herding, which means their entire livelihood depends on the health of the grasslands.
Thankfully, there are initiatives working to help reverse this problem. We are proud to source our yak and Sartuul wool from the Green Gold project, a Swiss development program that works with cooperatives of herders to practice sustainable grazing management in the steppe.
The program works with herders and local universities to carefully track and study the health of grasslands all over Mongolia. In heavily degraded areas, they suspend grazing and work to restore the plant and soil life to create a healthy ecosystem again. To avoid future degradation, they help herders organize and maintain a rotating schedule to ensure the land can fully recover between grazing seasons. Ultimately, through these measures, the project helps herders earn a higher and more secure income through sustainable fiber production.
We are thrilled to report that the grasslands under management of herders in the Green Gold project have readily improved since the onset of the program in 2004.
As always, at Aiayu, we are eager to create products which sustain traditions of farming, herding, and craftsmanship. We are proud to support the Green Gold project and are excited to introduce our new Sartuul wool pieces like MYNTE pullover and ANEMONE cardigan.