The Textiles department welcomed Julian Wilson, the founder of Khunu, to relay his experiences of setting up a business in the textiles industry. As the founder of a company with a strong social purpose, he talked about his career path, from starting in the military to discovering a gap in the market while travelling in Tibet.
Khunu, one of the world’s first brands to focus on clothing made from yak wool, was started by Julian in 2010 to help nomadic yak herders realise extra income from their traditional ways of life. Yak wool is warmer and softer than merino wool and more durable than cashmere. Julian said, “The idea to use it came during a freezing trip to the Tibetan plateau, where is became obvious that the fibres capable of keeping the animals alive at 4,000 metres would have the technical properties needed to make great clothing.”
Within his talk, he also spoke about the inspiration behind the company, the processes and challenges of working in such remote parts of the world, and shared some insights into what entrepreneurs should consider when starting their own company.
Jessica Powell (U6, W) commented, “I found Julian’s talk really inspirational, it gave us an insight into the fashion industry and how to process an idea from paper to reality. Although we are taught about different processes in the textiles industry within lessons, it was fascinating to hear a first-hand experience of setting up a business and the stages required to do so.”
If you would like to find out more or would like to purchase something from Julian’s unique menswear collections please visit the website at www.khunu.com and take advantage of his very kind offer to all Cheltenham College staff and students of 10% discount using the code CHELTENHAM10 when checking out.