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- Naadam is a cashmere startup that works directly with Mongolian herders so its customers pay 50% less and the company pays herders 50% more.
- Naadam’s $75 Essential Cashmere Sweater ( available in crew or v-neck) has caused a lot of buzz online, so I tried it to see what it’s like in person. In summary: It’s fantastic.
- It’s the lowest price for a luxury cashmere sweater that I’ve found yet, and it disproves the idea that the most expensive option is inherently the best one you can buy.
A lot of things online are too good to be true. Big advertising budgets, the impact of social media ads, and the inability to see and touch things in person before buying them has led to a lot of disappointing purchases and sweaters you’ve never worn but are too much of a hassle to return.
So, when I heard about $75 luxury cashmere sweaters from a startup named Naadam, I was not optimistic. At best, I assumed it would be good enough for people looking to bulk up their closet, but a far cry from “favorite sweater” material. At worst, a total waste of money.
I’m glad to say this is one instance when I was completely wrong. Naadam’s $75 essential sweaters are the cheapest luxury cashmere options I’ve found, and they’re also among the best — regardless of price.
I got the $75 cashmere sweater in the crew style and dark ginger color — a hue that I’ve gotten more than a few compliments from colleagues on; It’s exactly what “ dark ginger” sounds like in person, which is to say the classic seasonal “camel” color if it was being backlit by thousands of tiny copper-red lights at all times. Sizing is unisex, and the site notes that male shoppers should size up for a looser fit. For me, my traditional size is perfect — exactly as loose as displayed on the model. They come in two styles ( crew or v-neck) and ten colors.
The cashmere, though, was the biggest surprise. For $75 and free shipping, I expected it to be bad. I was even okay with it being a little bad — for $75, some people may be okay with some flaws: too thin, a little less soft, but you’re able to buy more of it. Instead, it’s better than good. It’s thick, lightweight, and one of the softest things I own.
The site ranks Naadam’s clothing by its softness to give online shoppers a sense of what they’re buying, and the scale goes from a non-committal “soft” all the way to “heavenly soft.” All The Essential Cashmere is labeled as “heavenly soft,” and it’s not really an oversell. It also doesn’t pill.
Since Naadam uses cashmere fibers that are about 30% longer than regular Grade-A cashmere and doesn’t use chemical dyes, the cashmere lasts longer and doesn’t break or pill at the surface. And since softness is determined by the thinness of individual fibers, Naadam uses only the thinnest (one one-thousandth of a centimeter on average). The result is pretty great.
Rarely do you see low prices, high quality, profitability, and ethical practices combined. Naadam appears to excel at all of them.
Naadam, like many digital companies, makes use of a leaner, more dexterous business model. Without the baggage of an existent corporation, they were able to avoid the manufacturing inefficiencies baked into other major labels. And to cut the costs of middlemen, they pair directly with Mongolian herders. With the money the company saves, they lower prices about 50% for customers and pay nomadic herders 50% more without changing the product itself.
They also use 100% clean energy to power production facilities, invest in more sustainable grazing practices, and fund better vaccination programs for healthier goats. And they don’t use toxic chemicals, which is good for you, their employees, and the earth.
While the rest of the company’s offerings aren’t more expensive than average, they’re also not as wildly affordable as these $75 cashmere sweaters are. If you’re intrigued by the incredible value, you’ll want to prioritize these.
All in all, a good $75 cashmere sweater is worth writing home about — and a great one is worth stockpiling. Naadam’s $75 Essential Sweater far exceeded my expectations, and it’s probably going to be the highest quality option per dollar that you’re going to find. That, plus spending your money somewhere that prioritizes a “people, planet, profit” mindset make it one of the best hidden gems on the internet.
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