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How Two Friends Disrupted the Cashmere Industry, by Doing What Nobody Else Would

The founders behind Naadam took out the middleman in the cashmere world, creating a win-win for the company and the herders.

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This story appears in the September 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

On a clear day in June 2015, Matt Scanlan loaded $2.5 million in Mongolian tögrögs into 32 plastic bags, stuffed them into the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser and lit out into the desert.

Naadam Cashmere

Scanlan, the then-26-year-old co-founder and CEO of Naadam Cashmere, was headed to Bayankhongor province, one of the most remote regions in the world, located deep in the Outer Mongolian Gobi desert. Each year around the same time, the nomadic goatherds in the area gather in a local village to sell their yield, which consists of some of the finest cashmere there is.

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