At Maison & Objet in January 2018, 4 Mongolian exporters showcased their new product ranges made of cashmere, yak and camel fibres. Wool felt slippers by Angel Felting were presented at Ambiente 2018. All 5 manufacturers showed the results of the Sustainable Design project, in which they made improvements in their production process to make their products more sustainable.
The new collections were received well by buyers; they appreciated the beautiful natural fibres, the sophisticated colour palette and the well designed and focused ranges. The new product ranges of the 5 companies were developed with input and guidance by leading international designers.
Mae Engelgeer, a well known Dutch textile designer visited Mongolia in 2017 and worked with manufacturer Nans, Bodios and Uujin, assisting them in product development. She pointed out how important the use of colour is to make a statement at a trade fair, even if a company is mainly selling neutral colours. The companies also learned how to apply and combine colors; some developed throws with colour blocking.
Donna Wilson, a designer from the UK known for knitted accessories with her quirky design signature, worked with Mongolian manufacturers Munkh and Angel Felting. She recommended the companies to develop their own recognizable style and identity. With Munkh, she focused on creating new knit patterns, to create a more textured effect. She also worked on a colourcard with them, making their offer bolder and more unisex. Angel Felting also worked on new colors, and took Donna’s advise to recycle at heart.
Craftscurator is coordinating the Sustainable Design project on behalf of Dutch CBI, and has coached a group of 11 Mongolian home textiles exporters over the last 18 months. In workshops, the exporters were presented with various ways of looking at sustainability, by understanding the life cycle of products. They studied the 12 different ecological and social aspects.
The companies also had a close look at the market: which buyers and consumers find sustainability important, and are making a more conscious purchase? Each exporter decided what sustainability improvements they would like to make, and which market to target with a new range. With the assistance of the international designers, and experts on sustainable production processes, they developed the ranges they have just launched at the trade shows.
View or download the Sustainable Design Mongolia catalogue here;
Feel free to contact the companies directly. For more information on the Sustainable Design project, opportunities in Mongolia, or on the exporters and their ranges, contact Irene.
More about the ranges and the fibres in the article Four Fabulous Fibres
Sustainable Design is a project of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), in collaboration with the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) and the Mongolian Wool and Cashmere Association (MWCA). CBI has been running an Export Development programme in Mongolia over the past 4 years.