Imagine if you can, a landscape of endless grasslands, occasionally punctuated by a pristine river or lake. The sky, by day cloudless and eternal, by night, a cosmic jewellery box stretching into infinity.
This is the land of Van de Steppe.
Van de Steppe is a Dutch brand specialising in Mongolian cashmere and wool products. It was founded in March 2018 by Zolboo Nemekhbayar, from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The cashmere carefully combed from goats, and the warming wool of camels and yaks, are the materials Zolboo grew up wearing, like generations before her. The timeless garments which nomads craft from these natural fibres weave together memories of family life on the vast steppe.
As a young girl, Zolboo spent summers on that enduring expanse of otherworldly mountains and plains – the air heavy with the scent of wildflowers and the sound of insects buzzing in the long grass. Living with her great-grandmother and other nomadic relatives, she experienced their centuries-old way of life, riding horses, milking goats and sheeps and clearing up their wool before it blew away in the wind.
Years later, Zolboo studied, lived and worked in various countries including North Korea, the United States and The Netherlands, but her cherished memories of life in Mongolia’s pure and untamed countryside never faded. After finishing her Master's in Economics and Governance at Leiden University, she decided to bring Mongolia's finest cashmere, camel and yak wool products to the gateway of Europe.
Van de Steppe now consists of a small team dedicated to making a long-term positive impact in their countries and the global community, by ensuring both the production and consumption of cashmere and wool products are sustainable.
We also know that empowering women has an immediate impact on the education and health of their children and family. In Mongolia, women make up 95% of the cashmere and textile industry, and Van de Steppe provides decent work and fair pay for women to support their children and Mongolia’s future.