Meet the Shambles Market Trader: Black Yak

Black Yak, a unique Fair Trade importer, wholesaler and manufacturer, will this year celebrate twenty-five years of being in business, and of trading on Shambles Market. With a loyal customer base from all over the world, Black Yak sells a range of sustainable clothing and crafts that are handmade in Nepal.

Offering everything from woolly hats, jumpers and gloves through to beautiful summer clothing – the brand has most recently had fantastic national media coverage with a piece in The Independent, following a viral meme being shared online of Bernie Sanders wearing wool mittens at the inauguration of Joe Biden.

During lockdown, Black Yak continues to operate as an online business – shipping their high-quality clothing in a range of sizes and designs to customers across the world. Visit to browse Black Yak’s selection of hand-made clothing, crafts and accessories and to find out more about how their goods are ethically produced.

Recognised by BAFTS, (The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) as a Fair Trade importer and seller, an ethos of fairness and equality is at the heart of the Black Yak business – alongside a commitment to providing long-lasting high-quality products to their customers.

Rupert Harrison of Black Yak explains: “The ethos behind the business is to only buy fairly and ethically produced goods from our workers in Nepal – with a focus on ensuring that they earn an honest wage and are looked after all year round. This is hugely important, especially now during the pandemic when we are doing everything we can to ensure that the workers in our supply chain continue to be taken care of.

“Whilst Covid-19 has had a big impact on our business and we were sad not to have been able to see customers face to face on the Shambles Market and at York’s St. Nicholas Christmas Fair, it’s been positive to see that our website remains popular. Coverage like the recent piece in The Independent all helps and we’ve seen a great increase in traffic to our site and sales of the mittens featured.

“Over the last twenty-five years we’ve seen real changes in Shambles Market and it has been great to see how it has grown in recent years as a major tourist attraction in its own right. The quality and diversity of the traders on the market is fantastic, and I really enjoy being part of that and meeting such a diverse range of people on a daily basis.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to our customers who continue to support Black Yak and in turn help the artisan workers in Nepal who make our products. Buying from us really does help to make a difference, and we look forward to be able to see customers in person again when it’s safe to do so!”

Find out more about Black Yak here:

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