Naadam was founded by Matthew Scanlan and Diederik Rijsemus, college friends who travelled to remote parts of the world together. On a trip to the Mongolian Gobi Desert — the source of the worlds best cashmere — they became friends with the local goat herders. They saw first-hand how traditional traders and brokers drove up the prices of cashmere to increase their profits. By working directly with the Mongolian herders, Scanlan and Rijsemus realized they could cut out the middlemen, pay their herder friends more, and sell premium quality cashmere to us for less. Better yet, they could do it in a very sustainable and ethical manner.
“Since NAADAM was founded in 2013, we’ve been committed to transparency, ethical practices, cultural preservation and environmental sustainability”
You can read about Naadam’s sustainable and ethical practices, and the goals that they are working to achieve by 2025. I highly recommend reading their Social and Environmental Impact Report too. It’s detailed, but easy to follow. For example, Naadam keeps the supply chain within a tight radius to minimize transport related carbon emissions. They offset the rest of their emissions via the Carbon Fund. Naadam are able to trace every stage of their cashmere production process. That means from goat to wardrobe item. Impressive! The herders and their communities are looked after and receive benefits. And the all important goats lead a healthy and resilient life. Goats are combed instead of sheared, and are not killed for their cashmere.
Naadam is committed to making high-quality clothing that is designed to last so that consumers pass on fewer products and ultimately create less waste. That’s why Naadam uses long fibres when creating yarn because it makes the cashmere stronger and minimizes pilling. It’s when yarn fibres are short or broken that knitwear is most prone to pilling.
Naadam offers cashmere pullovers, cardigans, bottoms, dresses, and accessories for ladies and gents. Their prices are good as far as cashmere goes, especially since the quality is sublime and the production is sustainable and ethical. They also offer a $75 sweater in 14 colours. The sizes of the Naadam women’s assortment runs from XXS to XXL. Naadam have three retail stores in NYC, and for the rest you can order online through the site. Apparently they will ship internationally at a flat fee.
When I look at the assortment, I see simple, luxe, solid, and beautifully made wardrobe essentials and modern classics in a range of neutrals and earth tones. That emphasizes the versatility and longevity of the Naadam item. Dress it up it up or down, and remix it into any look that tickles your fancy. Every so often, there’s a trendy, patterned, and non-neutral piece in the mix, which keeps things interesting.
Some of our forum members swear by Naadam’s cashmere, which is good validation. I’m ready to make my next basic cashmere pullover a purchase from Naadam. But I need to be in a neutral and solid mood, because apart from the blues and creams, the colours and solids do not appeal to me. That said, who knows what they have up their sleeves for the rest of the season. This brand is on my radar.