A Chinese-American fashion revolutionary, Nancy Johnston is Founder and CEO of Tengri and a LIBRARY member. Tengri creates sustainable luxury knitwear and yarns from Khangai Noble Yarns® – Mongolian yak fibres.
Winner of the 2016 Asian Women of Achievement Entrepreneur Award, Nancy is recognised for creating a sustainable ‘fairshare’ fashion brand with a 100% transparent global supply chain.
It was Nancy’s meeting with a Mongolian herder working hard to save for her daughter’s education that inspired the socialpreneur to create a brand which goes one step further than fair-trade by creating a social company where profits go back to empowering the herders.
Nancy said: "for me it was paramount that what I produce must give back to the Mongolian people. Everywhere else in the world farming and herding is a big, profitable industry - so why not in Mongolia?"
Aside from the financial benefits of creating a luxury yak down knitwear line, by creating job opportunities in this area, Nancy hopes to provide a sustainable alternative income for nomadic herders to support their livelihoods.
"More than just a label, London-based Tengri is a collective movement and social enterprise built by people pioneering a new heritage. We empower customers with information to make more eco-friendly and sustainable choices. We champion Mongolian yak fibre and purchase our supply directly from cooperatives that represent more than 4,500 nomadic herder families. We champion emerging designers and celebrate craftsmanship: our products are designed and made in the UK. We lead multicultural events, where the starting point of the dialogue is the preservation of Mongolia’s nomadic heritage, its animals and iconic landscapes.”
Nomadic herders in Mongolia still maintain the traditional lifestyle of their ancestors. They move 4-8 times between four seasonal rangelands (spring, summer, autumn and winter), searching for good pastures for their livestock. This way of mobile livestock keeping is in symbiosis with the fragile ecological environment of grasslands in the Central Asian Plateau. Having collective organisation enables herders to establish land-use agreement with local government and protect their traditional user rights and become stewards of the land. According to the United Nations Development Programme, 90 percent of Mongolia is fragile dry-land, under constant threat of increasing desertification.
Tengri’s social enterprise with nomadic herders supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 8, 12, 15 and 17 by promoting sustainable economic growth, ensuring sustainable production patterns, protecting and promoting sustainable natural ecosystems use and combating desertification through our global partnerships for sustainable development.
Look good, do good, feel good
When you choose a Tengri garment, your purchase is a vote in favour of a collective movement where fairshare business, quality craftsmanship, innovation and individual choice come together to do good.
LIBRARY members have 15% discount on purchases from Tengri (code: librarytengri15)