Our Story

Tolaga Bay Cashmere, born in nature, to the world’s first sunrise. A faraway place, we call home.

During the mid 1800’s a fearless Scotsman felt the urge to up sticks and traverse the earth. After a long and dangerous sea voyage, he arrived in Tolaga Bay. Only to find rugged hilltops covered in native bush and sheer cliffs made of greywacke. His indomitable spirit is the reason we call it home.
That Scotsman was Andrew Reeves, our founder’s g-g-grandfather. His 11,273 mile journey from Moffat, Scotland to Tolaga Bay, took 120 days by ship and cost £15. It included a trek on horseback through native forests, rivers and mountains. It remains one of the longest journeys of migration in human history. In 1865 Mr. Reeves purchased 2,500 acres near Tolaga Bay township and became the first European pākehā to live and farm in this area. His entrepreneurial spirit permeates through our brand. It’s the reason our cashmere goats roam freely on the original block of land, more than 150 years later. Perhaps with Scottish genes we were destined to craft cashmere. Some things are just meant to be.
Traces of cashmere were first discovered in New Zealand, on feral goats, high up in the East Cape’s mountain ranges. Their downy undercoats inspired an epic endeavour. From 10,000 feral goats, we selectively bred our own premium herd.
Our cashmere goats have a unique provenance. They descend from seafaring goats introduced to our shores in 1769, by British explorer Captain James Cook. While circumnavigating the world - in pursuit of the Transit of Venus - Cook’s ship, H.M.S. Endeavour, dropped anchor here in Tolaga Bay. His penchant for liberating goats into new colonies, would lead some two hundred years later, to the discovery of cashmere among feral herds in the East Cape’s mountain ranges. Through careful selective breeding we have created a premium herd, growing the finest cashmere found in the Southern Hemisphere. Our goats retain a playful curiosity as highly social animals. With two widely spaced toes, they possess supreme balance, navigating the steepest terrain or leaping like olympians over native shrubs.
We started our company with a passion. A passion to pioneer the finest cashmere in New Zealand. Our dedicated quest for superior, locally grown cashmere, has seen our reputation ripple out across the seas.
Tolaga Bay is widely regarded as the pioneer of luxury cashmere in New Zealand. Our company has been growing and handcrafting cashmere for over 35 years. Through our selective breeding of elite cashmere goats and investment in advanced knitting technology, we have set the benchmark for New Zealand’s finest cashmere knitwear. With skilled craftsmen hand- finishing each piece at our factory-atelier in Tolaga Bay, our pioneering journey is a rare example of locally grown, authentic, luxury cashmere.
We place locality at the heart of our brand. We grow and knit all our cashmere close to home. It’s a philosophy running through our cashmere heritage. After all, it’s the reason we named our brand Tolaga Bay.
Our brand philosophy is interwoven with our local landscape. We harness the power of nature to grow and knit our own cashmere. The topography of Tolaga Bay creates a stunning backdrop. Our small town is framed by dramatic, rugged headlands that dominate the landscape. Our local Uawa river flows deep into the South Pacific ocean. The prominence of coast, sea and headland connects our community and inspires our culture. It’s the reason we have three kahawai fish on our brand crest. Fittingly our goats have the best views in the neighbourhood, peering down from sun- kissed headlands, far across the vast turquoise sea.
We create our cashmere deep in nature’s hinterland. Our handcrafted garments may gravitate to modern metropolis in distant locations, but it’s natures vast open vistas that frame our horizons.
Our branded goods remain a discreet secret amongst cashmere cognoscenti. We maintain an air of exclusivity, considering scarcity to be the real definition of luxury. By carefully limiting our cashmere production to small batches, we preserve our quality and maintain our luxury appeal. After all, true luxury is always understated and never knowingly mass-produced.