Yarns with a purpose by Nomadnoos
YARNS WITH A PURPOSE
After working in textiles for years and seeing fast fashion take over, Coty Jeronimus wanted to do things differently. So she started social yarn brand Nomadnoos. Let’s find out more about these luxurious fibers that she gets straight from herders in Mongolia and hand spun by a team of fabulous women in Nepal. We had a chance to talk to Coty about her yarns with a purpose in her home in the Swiss mountains.
How did it all start?
I learned, knitting, sewing and many other creative techniques from my grandmothers and my mother. They inspired me to follow up and learn more about other creative textile techniques like lace making, spinning, and much more.
The interest in textile was a base which brought me into the fashion industry in which I worked for more than 20 years before starting to work as a consultant with a focus on sustainability . Art crafts, knitting and wool always inspired me and through different projects I started Nomadnoos, a luxurious yarn brand with a mission was born.
What is the process of the creation of your yarn? The creation of the yarn starts in Mongolia, during the autumn period where the animals are developing this beautiful undercoat to protect them against the harsh winter period. This undercoat flows naturally away in spring and that is the time where the nomads we work with are combing their animals to recover these unique fibres having the softness equivalent to cashmere. The best fibres are selected and brought to a so-called processing factory in Ulaan Bator where they are washed.
Our cleaned and soft fibers are then shipped to Kathmandu where we work with a wonderful team of spinners. After spinning, we ply the yarns in a small workshop who also dyes the yarns using colors respecting the zero discharge of hazardous chemicals principles. Once the yarns are dyed, they are folded in skeins of 50 grams and labels are added and made ready to be shipped to our customers.
(Image credit: Alice Hammer)
Your yarn feels so soft and delicate. How do you achieve this? We use only the premium fiber and wash with organic soap and careful carding. But also, hand spinning gives a beautiful artisanal soft touch which mechanical spinning has difficulty to obtain. Our yarns are made in a slow way. The yarns can be only harvest in spring from the animals and to spin the thickness we provide, 1kg takes a spinner 3-4 days to spin.
Transparency in the process is very important to you and Nomadnoos. Can you explain why and why all producers should open up their process? The textile business changed a lot the last decades and the supply chain today is more and more complicated. Today there are a lot of hidden parts and it’s difficult to know where our clothing and yarns are coming from. During my career I saw so many negative social and environmental impacts because brands ask suppliers to produce cheaper and cheaper. I believe that it is important to value the work of the people making our yarns and clothing and that we understand their living conditions.
It sounds like you work with an amazing team of herders and women. Tell us a bit about them and how you connected with them?
They are great indeed! The herders from Mongolia we work with are all member of a cooperation. Nomads are moving 4 times a year and today they are aware and see the effect of climate change due to over grazing. We showed them the advantages of herding yak and camels for fibers and sustainability of the land. In Nepal we work with a Swiss NGO Terre Filanti who support women by paying good salaries as well as child care.
What can yarn lovers and makers around the world do to create a better work environment for the producers?
Be critical when you buy your yarns, who and what is behind the brand. Is the brand really communicating in a transparent way , explaining how the yarns are made? Do you know how the animals are treated and if the people are paid fairly? Luckily more and more brands do open their supply chain nowadays.
If you would teach one class to young fashion designers today, what would be your best advice?
I believe we need to go away from the throw away culture and linear business. We need to go back to the time where we valued our clothing and products. We also need to consider how we can re-use our products. I would advise designers to change their mind set when they design. So they use materials which are able to enter in a circular production chain.
One of the brands and a great example for me is Eileen Fisher. She implements the circular economy principles in their different clothing lines. In March, we will release our Closedcirclewool line. We will call out to knitters to return their left over yarns not used anymore. We will make beautiful yarns again out of them.
You live in the Swiss mountains. How does being surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes influence your work?
I am Dutch from origin have lived abroad for over 25 years. My professional took me to great environments.From the Bask country in France to where I live now surrounded by Swiss mountains and lakes. Nature inspires me on a daily base. So I want to enable my children and future generations to continue to enjoy this nature.
With my work I want to create awareness and bring back value. Something I feel we lost somewhere years ago. But which luckily is still existing in the hand knitting community. These people value and share their work and care. So together we can make a difference!