April Tang co-founded SHANGDROK, a fibre workshop in a Tibetan village in 2015, hiring half a dozen local women producing hand-spun yarns and handmade felts. In the early years of traveling to the Tibetan plateau, April was moved by the coarse, yet vibrant handwoven fabrics that she was gifted. She noted that all Tibetan women spun, wove and felted not so long ago. Yet, due to the influence of the modern lifestyles and economic trends, these traditional skills are gradually dying. This is why she started SHANGDROK with her Tibetan partner. They hope to keep these traditions alive by providing job opportunities and materials that are most familiar to the local, yak-less nomad women. SHANGDROK connects these communities with the outside world, enabling the artisans to know that what they create is highly valued, so that they can support themselves and be proud of their cultural heritage.For thousand of years, the remote plateau of Tibet has been the home of the Northern nomads. Yak and sheep accompany them here in the high altitudes, offering not only companionship, but providing the materials needed for survival in every aspect of life. They weave their own tents from yak wool. Felt blankets and rain jackets come from sheep wool. However, even on this remote high-altitude plateau, life today becomes increasingly complicated. The green fields of the nomads are gradually disintegrating, and the nomadic lifestyle is fading. SHANGDROK wishes to work with these nomads, to regain their traditions and work with the materials that they’ve known and worked with for centuries, the traditions that allowed them to thrive in this cold, harsh climate. To follow the story of Shangdrok, please find them on social media here.