Many thanks to Khunu for providing us with the Alexandra, a black knit sweater made of yak wool, for the purposes of this Tried and True Green Product Review…

In short – I love the sweater, but I also love the story of how Khunu came to be and what it represents. It’s not just good marketing.


Khunu just launched their winter collection – three different styles of both men’s and women’s knitwear. The ribbed knit, cowl neck pullover (above) is the Alexandra, it has a great cut and edgy details. There’s flattering lines on the front and sleeves; and a logo embossed on the black sleeve is so subtle you might not even notice. When I first opened the package, I was a little apprehensive because I thought the yak wool might feel itchy against my skin. So I wear it over a cami – it feels totally comfy and looks with jeans and boots. (It’s available in 3 hues and retails for $190.)

The background of Khunu reads almost like the screenplay of an epic adventure … born in the Himalayas, with roots in Shangri-La and now residing in Colorado – here’s a quick synopsis.


Khunu is the brainchild of two friends and intrepid travelers, Julian Wilson and Aaron Pattillo, (above). While camping out on the Tibetan plateau one very cold December night, they happened upon a gracious family of Tibetan nomads who, essentially, turned them onto yak wool. Many treks to the far reaches of the Tibetan plateau and steppes of Mongolia later, after much research, the brand was born. Wilson and Pattillo channel their passion for outdoor adventure into social entrepreneurship. Interesting note: Khunu’s Chairman is Ian Stewart – photographer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Wired magazine.


Cut to today — Khunu’s premium woolen knitwear is made from 100% Himalayan yak wool. Yak wool is touted as warmer and softer than Merino wool and more durable than cashmere. What’s cool about this yak wool is its method of collection. It’s hand-combed (not shorn) in the springtime by nomadic families.


The sepia-toned photo above appears on the hang tag of the Alexandra – pictured above is Lubden, the 22-year-old nomadic yak herder who rises at dawn to tend to his 250 mighty animals and by extension, his family’s survival. Khunu has a lot of heart and soul. Their video diaries provide a glimpse behind the scenes.
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