cosi values

Cashmere, like Champagne, carries the air of luxury in its name. But it has similarly been copied and adulterated and our trust in its good name eroded. A recent study found 9 out of 14 shops in the UK to be passing off blends and even 100% lambswool as pure cashmere.

Cosi is a leader in luxury sustainability. Combining top quality yarns, design and workmanship with social and environmental responsibility. Cosi’s scarves, wraps, shawls, blankets and throws are made from the finest traditional yarns Mongolian cashmere, Tibetan yak and New Zealand Merino – from sustainable sources, operating in harmony with nature.

At Cosi, we value the individuals and workmanship that make every piece unique. Each one has been handmade and is imbued with the spirit of those who created it – the Tibetan yak herders, the Nepali spinners and weavers, the artisans and designers. Every piece is precious, a thing to treasure and hand down.

We are committed to fair trade and sustainability – of the land and ecology, and of the small family businesses that are under threat from mass production. Our aim is to tread softly, slowly, in rhythm with age-old traditions, seeking out organic, ethically produced materials for every step of the process.

By creating a collection of hand-crafted pieces that last Cosi aims to: Support the craftsmen whose cultural traditions and skills are being eroded by global fashion chains; make ‘slow fashion’ the only sensible way forward – turning the tide away from mass production, mass consumption and waste; ensure that every aspect of our production process involves minimal impact on people or the planet and finally promote sustainable luxury by encouraging high end shops to think about the need to stock ethically produced brands.

Our watchwords are ethical, fair trade, sustainable and excellent craftsmanship and we will always aim for those ideals.

Many of the small producers we work with cannot afford to acquire organic and Fair Trade certification – quite apart from such labels being irrelevant to their daily lives, which are about survival.

We have sought out several craftsmen, such as yak weavers, who live and work in small, remote communities, making pieces for their own use. What they produce is naturally organic and sustainable, from animals or plants that roam or grow in the wild, as they have done for centuries. It is these rich traditions and communities that we hope to help preserve for future generations.

Cashmere, like Champagne, carries the air of luxury in its name. But it has similarly been copied and adulterated and our trust in its good name eroded. A recent study found 9 out of 14 shops in the UK to be passing off blends and even 100% lambswool as pure cashmere.

Our cashmere is not only 100% pure, sourced direct from a trusted supplier in Mongolia, but it comes from sustainable herds that don’t destroy the land. The fibre is regularly tested to ensure that it is the finest 14.6 micron cashmere.

Why is cashmere such a precious commodity? It is combed from the eecy underbelly of goats living at high altitude, and one goat produces only enough bre for one scarf a year. That suits the Cosi ethos. Quality, not quantity. Less, not more.

The art of weaving cashmere is an ancient and highly skilled one. The master drafter, is responsible for creating the intricate weave designs, which requires the eagle eye of the expert to fully appreciate the fineness of the pattern. The bird seye uses the merest whisper of a 120 yarn count, so equally requires supreme weaving skill to avoid the yarn breaking.

Every step of the process requires the same precision and care – the hand-carding (one person can card only 10g a day), the winding of yarn into hanks, the twisting to make 2-ply yarn (if the twist is loose, the cashmere is prone to pill), the dyeing (not just to achieve the perfect shade of pink or orange, but to avoid overcooking the piece, which can open up the twist).

COSI GIVING

A corner stone in our value system is that we give back. We have a vested interest in a certain village settled by Tibetans for over 400 years, one hour walk from the border of Tibet: My daughter, my Buddhist teacher and some of our yak wool originates from there. The earthquake of 2015 completely destroyed most of the houses. Over 2000 people were displaced and starving. Cosi and friends raised enough funds to send 6 emergency helicopters to the village with much needed food and tents. Due to our Tibetan family contacts, 100% of the money raised ended up where it was needed most. Below is a picture of the villagers awaiting one of our helicopters.

Today, most of the houses have been rebuilt. However, there is much work to be done. We are now over the immediate survival problems but we face a situation of on going malnutrition and distinct lack of education. Sadly a group of well meaning missionaries have built a school but for the children to go there it seems they have to get rid of their Buddha statues. There are plans afoot to build a local Tibetan infants school. Then we need to attract teachers. At over 5000 m high and 8 days walk away from Kathmandu, on the border of Tibet this is a harsh environment.

Education is also needed for the parents to explain gently why school is so important for their children. It is a widely accepted fact that if you educate the girls you safeguard the next generation. This is what we are aiming to work towards and what we consider extremely valuable.

Every step of the process requires the same precision and care – the hand-carding (one person can card only 10g a day), the winding of yarn into hanks, the twisting to make 2-ply yarn (if the twist is loose, the cashmere is prone to pill), the dyeing (not just to achieve the perfect shade of pink or orange, but to avoid overcooking the piece, which can open up the twist).

By creating a collection of hand-crafted pieces that last Cosi aims to: Support the craftsmen whose cultural traditions and skills are being eroded by global fashion chains

baby yak
earthquake
local girl