Those visiting Nepal for the first time might be surprised to find how many local companies are focused on having a sustainable business model. It’s something I really love about Nepal. After discovering a few, I started to dig deeper and stumbled across tons of Nepali products and brands that are made in Nepal with sustainable values at their core. Some are highly focused on being eco-friendly and helping the environment while some are focused on supporting local artisans and giving them a place to use the knowledge that has been passed down in their culture for generations. Each of these brands has an incredible story and shopping with them is a great way to support local business in Nepal! Check it out…
If you know of a company or business that upcycles, recycles, is working to make Nepal greener, is fair-trade, etc. please leave the name in the comments, so I can add them! This list will be updated regularly.
Nepali Products for the Home
Local Women’s Handicrafts
Local Women’s Handicrafts offers a variety of items on its website, but the items I love the most are in the “Eco Friendly Products” section. The company takes old sarees and turns them into beautifully upcycled Nepali products. I honestly had no idea that they were made from recycled items. They make rugs, yoga mats, pillows, iPad cases, and more. They’re such pretty colors, and I hope I can get a rug from them when I have a permanent residence here. The company is fair trade and all about empowering women in Nepal.
What they make: Upcycled rugs, yoga mats, and more.
Location: Online Shop
I stumbled upon Tyre Treasures on Facebook and loved them immediately! I’m already planning to get this set when I have an apartment. Tyre Treasures upcycles old tires into beautiful furniture. When starting out they, “…realized that tyres are burnt in brick kilns, thrown into river banks, burnt in bandhs and hence, are major contributors to air, water, and land pollution.” In addition to recycled tires, they also use natural elements like bamboo and cotton when making their Nepali products.
What they make: Indoor and outdoor furniture, pet beds, and light fixtures
Location: Office in Kupondole or purchase online
Store hours: Sunday-Friday 11am-5pm
Read my interview with Tyre Treasures to learn more about their mission.
Pia creates a handful of items, but is probably best known for their beautiful hand hammered copper. All of their products are made ethically in Nepal by local artisans as a way to preserve their skills and culture. In addition to their copper Nepali products they also offers other home decor items, accessories and even board games like Tigers and Goats.
What they make: Home decor & accessories
Location: Image Ark – Kulimha Tole, near Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur
Store Hours: Open from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Read my interview with Pia to learn more about their brand.
Kolpa is a brand that focuses on using all-natural materials from Nepal. The items are biodegradable and won’t harm the Earth if they’re ever thrown out. The products are all handmade in the traditional style of their village. Kolpa helps its artisans to have a greater reach, enabling them to sell their items to a larger audience. This helps villagers from rural areas to have an income they might not otherwise have. They also ship all over the world, allowing you to buy Nepali products from home.
What they make: Bowls, home decor, bags, wallets, etc.
Location: Jhamsikhel – 3; 1st Floor (50 meters South from Jhamsikhel Chowk), Lalitpur, Nepal 44600
Store hours: Sunday-Friday 11:00am-6:30pm
Cotton Mill Nepal
Cotton Mill Nepal is a home decor company known for their use of “khasto” to create sheets and bed coverings. A khasto is a shawl that comes in different sizes and prints, but the defining feature is that it is made of three thin layers of fabric. The three layers have an amazing effect of keeping you insanely warm in the winter, but not too hot when it’s warm outside. When I found out Cotton Mill Nepal made a bedding version, I jumped up and down a little. Cotton Mill Nepal uses 100% cotton to create all of their products, and they hire local women to design, stamp, and sew their items together. They believe in having a production process that is “environmentally friendly and people focused.”
What they make: Sheets, Duvets, Covers, Pillows and more
Location: Online and at their outlet in Sanepa
Check out my interview with Cotton Mill Nepal to learn more about their brand!
Tatwa is actually an initiative of Doko Recyclers. Doko Recyclers is a company in Nepal that will pick up your recycled goods. They frequent local events to help educate people about recycling. What’s really cool is that they upcycle the items they pick up. The candle holder pictured above is about $15 USD. I love that Tatwa takes something that could have ended up in the nearby river and makes it not only usable, but really beautiful as well.
What they make: Upcycled products
Location: Arts & Crafts Store in Bhaktapur
Store hours: Sunday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Made in Nepal Jewelry Brands
AAMO by Aayusha Shrestha
AAMO by Aayusha Shrestha is a jewelry brand that is designed and made in Nepal. The company puts a focus on local craftsmanship. They hope to keep traditional jewelry making techniques alive by adding a modern twist to the designs. These techniques have been passed down from generation to generation, and AAMO wants to ensure that these skills don’t get lost due to commercialization. This creates an environment where small-scale artisans can shine and share their beautiful craftsmanship and Nepali products.
What they make: Handmade jewelry
Location: Shanti Marg, Ganeshthan
Store hours: Sunday-Friday 11am-5pm
Check out my interview with AAMO to learn more about their brand!
Aksa Nepal is a locally owned company that focuses on reviving the craftsmanship of Nepali artisans that is passed down from generation to generation. These skills are often lost over time, and Aksa Nepal has found a way to mix modern design with ancient craftsmanship. Their pieces help employ local artisans and they use eco-friendly options when possible including recycled brass.
What they make: Handmade jewelry
Location: Dhuku Store in Lazimpat and Pop Up Shop in Jamshikhel (Lalitpur)
Store Hours: 11am – 6pm
If you want to know more about Aksa Nepal, check out my interview with them!
Bottles to Beads
Bottles to Beads takes glass bottles that are littering the environment and turns them into beautiful glass beads and jewelry. They also work with an NGO to offer bead making classes to women in Nepal so that they can learn the craft for themselves. This helps women in rural areas learn a skill set by upcycling items around them and making them into a saleable product.
What they make: Beaded Jewelry
Location: Online Shop
To learn more about Bottle to Beads, check out my interview with them!
Nepali Accessory Brands
Dinadi is, in my opinion, the perfect business model. They hire women in poverty-stricken areas and pay them double what most companies in Nepal pay. They allow women to work from home with flexible schedules and provide healthcare, counseling, and education for their children. Their products are made from 100% natural, biodegradable materials and they have zero waste. They design their entire collection around “slow fashion” which means that they choose timeless designs and make quality products that will last a long time. Even though they are a little more expensive, you are not contributing to “fast fashion” which has negative effects on the environment and workers.
What they make: Knit hats, scarves, and gloves
Location: Abas Gate, Bhaisepati, Lalitpur (Above Kathmandu Coffee)
Store hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
You can also shop their online store which ships to the US, Canada, and Europe.
Paila is an eco-friendly shoe company. They use locally sourced materials like nettle to create their one of a kind shoes. Each one is hand-woven using a traditional loom. Since younger generations are no longer wearing traditional clothing like a “Dhaka,” the designer has found an alternative to keep the tradition alive. By using local materials and hiring local workers to do the weaving, they are able to help the economy in Nepal while updating traditions within their culture.
What they make: shoes
Location: Thado-Dhunga, Patan 44600 (near the Central Zoo)
Store hours: Sunday-Friday: 10:30am – 7:00pm
Read my interview with Paila for more information on their brand.
Nepal Knotcraft Centre
Nepal Knotcraft Centre was founded in 1984 as a way to create jobs for women in order to empower them and make them financially independent. At first, it had three employees and now hundreds of women from all over Nepal work for the company. The women often live in economically and socially deprived areas of the country. The company puts a major focus on eco-friendly and sustainable products by using natural fibers and recycled wood.
What they make: Purses, Home Decor, Small Furniture
Location: Their items are carried at Timro Conceptstore (Patan), Ekadeshma Collective (Thamel), and their own store in Kupondole.
I received an email from Aji’s to let me know about their work, and I’m so happy they contacted me. Aji’s focuses on items made by the elderly. They help take the skills of the women and transform them into a profitable business by providing a platform to sell their handmade pieces. Each item is made with love in Nepal. If you check out their website, you can even read a bio about each woman and what they make. It’s kind of like buying stuff from the Nepali grandma you never had.
What they make: accessories, bracelets, socks, home decor, and more!
Read my interview with Aji’s to learn more about them!
The White Yak
The White Yak is known for its traditional fabrics which are turned into modern designs. The bags feature hand-woven materials. This company helps create fair trade jobs for people who are at risk of losing their job due to modernization. They live in areas known for agriculture and trading which are dying industries in Nepal. The White Yak company allows them to keep the traditional weaving of their villages, while offering a product that meets today’s style.
What they make: Bags, purses, clutches
Location: Sold in a bunch of locations including The Local Shop and One Tree Stop
Purna is a cut and sew factory that creates items for other companies, but they also have their own line of items (like the bags seen above). They’re a social enterprise that focuses on creating jobs for marginalized communities and paying them a fair wage. They’re a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and on top of all of that, they try to use organic materials whenever possible including organic cotton and bamboo as well as up-cycled polyester. Overall, this brand has an incredible vision, and they are doing their part to make this world a little more sustainable with their eco-friendly Nepali products.
What they make: Bags & Accessories
Location: Their factory outlet is in Bhaisepati. They also have items at Timro Concept Store in Bakhundole, the Five14 Guesthouse in Jhamsikhel, and the Local Project’s online store.
Read my interview with Purnaa to learn more about their brand.
Nepali Clothing Brands
Kokroma is a Nepali baby clothing brand that focuses on sustainability. The items are made out of 100% cotton which is woven in Nepal by prisoner which also makes them a wonderful social enterprise to support. By giving prisoners work, they are able to support their families back home and learn a skill. The items are made by women tailors in Nepal who are able to work from home allowing them to have flexible hours and save on commute times. And if all of that wasn’t enough… just look how cute these clothes are!
What they make: baby clothes and accessories
Location: Products can be found in the following store: WoVen (Pokhara), Timro Concept Store (Lalitpur), Utpala Cafe Farmers Market (Boudhanath, Kathmandu), Craftmandu (Lalitput), Kathmandu Haat (Patan), Garden Kitchen Cafe (Kathmandu), Ananda Tree House Cafe (Kathmandu) and online.
Read my interview with Kokroma for information on their brand!
Kallisto is a clothing and accessory company that specializes in sarees and scarves. Their products are made with home grown silk grown and are hand painted by local artisans using eco-friendly dyes. On top of that, they believe in slow fashion and creating timeless pieces that won’t go out of style.
What they make: Clothing and accessories
Location: They have a store in Kalimati, Kathmandu
Read my interview with Kallisto to find out more about their amazing brand!
Danfe Works is a clothing company that makes all of their items in Nepal. They’re part of SAATH which is an organization that was formed to help women in marginalized communities. Each of the women receives training in tailoring so that they are able to obtain jobs and have an income. Danfe Works offers a clothing line as well as custom designs. That way you can walk in and create something unique.
What they make: Clothing
Location: Jhamsikhel Marg, Patan (near Cafe Soma)
Store hours: Monday-Friday 11am-6pm
Read my interview with Danfe Works to learn more about their brand.
Ramalaya is a local company that makes clothing, accessories, stationery and home decor. They use natural materials and natural dye whenever possible. Fabric scraps are recycled into jewelry pouches so that they have little to no waste. All of their items are made in Nepal and help support local artisans to use traditional methods of handicraft making that have been passed down from generation to generation. One of the things I love about this company is how well made their items are. The stitching on the clothing is extremely well done and I’m always impressed by them.
What they make: Clothing, home decor, accessories
Location: Le Sherpa complex and their head office in Chun Devi
Ekadesma is a women’s fashion line which is made entirely in Nepal. The materials are hand-woven by underprivileged women in the community. Each item is made from 100% natural materials like cotton and bamboo which are grown by local farmers in Nepal. The garment is also designed and sewn in Nepal. From start to finish, each item is entirely hand-made, which makes this company unique.
What they make: All-natural clothing
Location: Thamel, Kathamandu (opposite Momotarou restaurant)
Store hours: Wednesday-Monday: 10:30am-7:30pm
HattiHatti is a non-profit organization that trains and empowers women. The cool thing is that they give women a chance to start their own businesses and to become independent. I met a few of the women at Hariyo Haatt where they explained to me that a lot of their products are made from upcycled sarees. They had everything from men’s ties to hair scrunchies. This helps reuse old materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. I recently watched the Netflix documentary The True Cost and was shocked at how much clothing we throw away a year! I loved that HattiHatti was reusing the fabrics and giving them a new life.
What they make: Bags, hair ties, men’s ties, bow ties, and more
Location: Sanepa, Lalitpur, Nepal 1133
Store hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
Read my interview with HattiHatti to learn more about their brand.
Nepali Stationary Products
Marina Vaptzarova is a company that I discovered at The Local Project. I actually bought two of their journals last year. Each year, I make a few photo books of my trip, and I always like to buy a photo album or journal from the place the pictures are from. The cool thing is that they look like leather, but when you get up close, you can see it’s actually textured paper. The company puts an emphasis on using local plants that regenerate quickly to ensure their footprint is minimal in the environment. They hand-pick these ingredients and have minimal waste at the end of the process. Their staff also receives fair wages and are provided healthcare and education for their children.
What they make: Journals, purses, wallets, jewelry
Location: Baber Mahal Revisited, Tanka Prasad Ghumti Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
Store hours: 11:00am-8:00pm
Jamarko recycles old paper and creates beautiful new paper items out of it. They have everything from notebooks to wrapping paper and even paper lamps. Their products are made entirely in Nepal by women and men who might otherwise have a hard time finding work. They teach them the skills to produce the recycled paper which makes them both an eco-friendly and sustainable business worth supporting.
What they make: Paper products, stationery, home decor
Location: Jhamsikhel, Kathmandu
Store hours: Sunday – Friday 10:30am – 6: 30pm
Read my interview with Jamarko to learn more about their brand.
Sustainable Nepali Food Products
Sanchai is a peanut butter company where the peanuts are grown sustainably in Nepal. The peanuts are organic and peeled by hand. Then, they go through a manual filtering process. Finally, they are turned into peanut butter in Khotang, Nepal. They offer both sugar and sugar-free options. I prefer the sugar free which has a slight natural sweetness. A fun fact is that these peanuts have 1.3 times more protein than other kinds!
What they make: Peanut Butter
Location: They are sold in stores throughout Kathmandu & Lalitpur including The Local Project, Ananda Tree House, Le Sherpa Farmers Market, Nina & Hager Grocer, Piano B, and more.
If you want to know more, check out my interview with Sanchai!
Kar.ma Coffee Nepal
Kar.ma Coffee is a coffee brand that sells coffee in several locations including the HUB in Thamel. They make fresh coffee that is grown in the Himalayas. While that’s impressive, they also have a shop which sells sustainable and up-cycled items made from various things including, you guessed it, coffee! They have things like coffee shampoo bars, up-cycled newspaper pencils, recycled notebooks, and more. Kar.ma coffee is my favorite coffee and we buy it and brew it at home all the time so I highly recommend them.
What they sell: Local coffee, shampoo bars, stationary, and more.
Location: HUB, Thamel, Amrit Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal 44600
Store hours: 8:00am-8:00pm
Vegan Dairy Nepal
Vegan Dairy Nepal is a food brand with a focus on vegan products including non-dairy milk, yogurt, cheese and cream. They also make almond butter, honey, and energy bars. The items are made in Nepal and sold locally. According to Vegan Dairy Nepal, “animal agriculture is one of the largest emitter of greenhouse gases causing climate change problems and leading cause of rainforest deforestation like that of the amazon. So switching to vegan lifestyle will not only free animals from cages but also help our only planet from dying.”
What they make: Vegan food products
Location: They are currently home based, but they deliver locally in Kathmandu
Nepal Blue Mountain
Nepal Blue Mountain is an organic coffee company set in the hills near Pokhara. All of the coffee is grown sustainably and hand-picked. They currently employ 220 farming families in Nepal and ship to countries all over the world. It’s a family owned business that received training from a Swiss NGO. By hand-picking the coffee, they’re able to employ local families and lessen their footprint on the environment.
What they make: Organic Coffee
Bath & Body Nepali Products
The Shampoo Bar Kathmandu
The Shampoo Bar Kathmandu makes a variety of shampoo bars right here in Nepal. The bars have no chemicals in them which means no pollution. They also help prevent the use of shampoo, conditioner, and soap bottles which often end up in landfills. This takes recycling out of the equation all together which makes saving the Earth a little bit easier. These are also amazing for travelers because you never have to worry about liquids in your bag.
What they make: All in one shampoo, conditioner, and body soap bars
Location: They are sold at many different locations in KTM, Patan, and Pokhara (check their site for exact locations)
Dharti Mata Sustainable Workshop
Dharti Mata is known for making the Lovely Pad. In Nepal, there’s a stigma around periods being “unclean.” Until recently, women were legally being banished to menstruation huts during their periods. Although it’s illegal now, it still happens in rural villages. This company works to educate women and empower them to love their bodies. Having a Lovely Pad also cuts back on a large amount of waste created from regular pads every year, and they’re made from all-natural materials.
What they make: Reusable pads for women
Location: Hasera farm Patalekhet-1, Kavre, Nepal or Ananda Tree House
Sustainable Stores for Shopping
The Local Project
I’ve mentioned The Local Project in posts before, and I’m still a big fan. They source all locally made Nepali products. I like that I can shop here knowing everything was made in Nepal. Some people say it’s a little expensive compared to shopping in Thamel, but I know their products are good quality and will last a long time. Cheaper items that I’ve bought elsewhere have fallen apart quickly. They also carry a lot of the brands mentioned above in this post.
What they sell: Stationary, games, clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags
Location: Jhamsikel, Lalitpur, Nepal (near Evoke Bistro)
Store hours: 10:30am-8:00pm
Recycling Companies in Nepal
I wanted to quickly provide a little information on recycling companies in Nepal. Until recently, I thought they didn’t exist. Now, I realize there are a few companies who are doing great things here. Most of the companies below will take your recycling for free or even pay you for it. A lot of them use the items they pick up to make upcycled items. If you live in Kathmandu or want to tell a local business about their recycling options, you can check out these companies.
If you enjoyed this post about sustainable Nepali products, then you should check out my post on Social Enterprises in Nepal.
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This post was written by Michelle Della Giovanna and originally appeared on www.fulltimeexplorer.com