The newest addition to the sustainable-fashion movement is the Minneapolis-based Old Yak Bazaar, a 20th-century trading company offering a mix of affordably priced, handcrafted, fair-trade, and upcycled products sourced from artisans around the world. With their first retail venture, Wen-Yan King, who is Taiwanese-American, and her Tibetan husband, Tenzin Losel, set out to ethically source products from marginalized craft workers while showcasing green, sustainable methods of production—an idea that came out of King’s years spent working with local artisans in India.
The e-shop carries one-of-a-kind bags and iPad cases made from discarded plastic from trash heaps in Delhi ($28–$64); wallets crafted from recycled tire rubber ($38); vibrant totes and scarves repurposed from vintage saris ($39–$135); jewelry handcrafted from bone, coral, turquoise, glass, wrapped silk, and sterling silver ($10–$48); and stationery made from elephant dung ($6–$23). That’s right—elephant dung. Before you wrinkle your nose, keep in mind that the fibrous poo is steam-cleaned to eliminate all bacteria before it’s transformed into paper. And the elephant-bum designs are rather adorable.