For fabric merchants, tailoring houses and textile professionals alike, Tengri may sound vaguely familiar. Anyone outside the industry, however, could be forgiven for never having heard of it. That is, until now. In a world that is becoming more aware of its origins and its impact, Tengri may be the trump card the luxury world has been waiting for in its mission to promote preservation, sustainability and eco-consciousness.
Tengri’s story begins in London just over 10 years ago, but in order to understand their philosophy and ethos, one has to travel significantly further back in time, to the Eurasian steppes of the eighth century. For thousands of years, nomadic herders had stewarded animals and the land in the remote Khangai mountains of Mongolia, where semi-wild Khangai yak and camel roamed the grasslands. Fabrics — often used as trading tools along the silk roads — were imperative to the livelihood and survival of society as it was known, and opened the doors to endless possibilities, all of which would be overseen by the sky god Tengri. Tengriism — a shamanistic religion — was followed by the Khuns, Bulgars, Turkic, and Altaic people, as well as the Mongols. The religion’s chief deity is Tengri, who is said to be unknowable, infinite and timeless, and is often cited as the creator of the universe.