Who we are ?
ADUU MAL is a manufacturer of horse hides, horse double face and horse hair yarns.
As a company it's established as the result of a dream of the initiators Dagvadorj Zagdkhuu and Matthea van Staden who both separately had studied the potential of processing horse hair in Mongolia for local and the international market before they met as early as 2012. It turned out they both shared a similar sentiment:
The horse is the iconic animal for Mongolia. It’s inseparable of the herdsmen culture and its heroic past. Celebrated in historic legends and traditional songs, tradition dictates for example that you can’t be a respected musician if you aren’t able to imitate horse sounds on your instrument. And the legend "Hoohkoo Namiji" is being passed on in various versions generation- by -generation even as bed side stories and narrates about the origin of the first horse fiddle in relation to peoples place in the natural world or universe: Hoohoo Namjil had a famous horse that grew wings as he visited his secret love high in the sky. A jealous lady cut of those wings causing the horse to die. In sorrow Hoohoo Namjil constructed an instrument from the remains of his beloved horse to give the horse an eternal voice. Using the head as sound box, its skin as cover, the ribs as neck and the hairs for both strings. With one string being 'Yin' connecting to mother earth, the other string being 'Yang' connecting to the sky.
This being so- and confronted with the contemporary reality of horse hides&hairs left abandoned unprocessed and unloved on the fields or being exported untraceable as inferior waste, Zagdkhuu and Matthea started to look for a change. It required as they felt, a serious respons and an in Mongolia achievable innovative business approach.
In line with a Mongolian heritage and by adopting a modest sense for peoples place in nature, they started to look for means to give the raw materials a renewed value and appeal for also the high end markets.
Supported by Dutch subsidy and two local partners willing to join the efforts mother company MiM LLC owning the factory "the body" was established in 2014 and ADUU MAL is established in 2019 as daughter company in operations functioning as "the hearth and mind” of the company.
“Since 2013 we are walking gently step-by-step opening new roads.....
"In the past explorative years we have met many impressively skilled people both in Mongolia and abroad who helped us to move ahead (and hopefully we managed to do something good in return). We have rooted our a supply chain by building a traceable source system together with herder cooperatives - we know the source of the raw materials we buy and intend to modestly contribute to responsible live-stock management. In production our aim is to keep the raw materials given by nature as natural as possible. In the past years it sometimes felt like a big jigzapuzzle to get recipes developed and production tested with major risks both technically and financially whilst competitors watch to follow the easy -and sometimes maybe more pragmatic - way.
The first production contained many challenges because of general difficulties of processing horse hides and on top
it had to meet with targeted sustainability standards requiring technologies new to the involved technicians.
Nice results to be celebrated and disappointments followed upon another in sometimes less than an eye wink. It required often childish naivety to persist. Nothing could be simply bought.
Most likely our ambitions and our need to get our efforts to a point of tenable succes will keep challenging us for a while. But being now able to set finally a foot on the market it feels we are maturing. Finally going out there - moving beyond horizons- a necessary real first step or just only our first real step, an important step it is!
With plenty of room to grow.
We look for expanding the production of a fine range of horse hair yarns and woven textiles and wish our factory to be a meeting place - as i somehow already has been in the past years - for students and established designers, visionairs, and manufactures who like to explore possibilities in leather and horse textile. Inviting know-how from abroad, connecting them to the Mongolian industry and help us to keep navigating our production in balance with nature.
We do trust we will meet you somewhere out there……
Dagvadorj Zagdkhuu, Matthea van Staden & partners