The beginning of the beginning
Since our first trip to Nepal – at that time pure leisure and trekking – we were impressed by the craftsmanship of the Nepalese. As self-interest is known to be the best driver, we soon found ourselves trying on wool jackets in a small shop in Thamel, the touristic center of Kathmandu. The sales shop was approx. 25 m² big and was well organized. It wasn’t long before we met Mahesh and had a Masala tea on the second floor with his brother Mahendra and their friend Malendra.
What we like about the company
The two brothers Mahesh and Mahendra and their mutual friend Malendra run two different companies with different focuses (more about this later). What unites them are the principles according to which they conduce their businesses and of which we have been able to convince ourselves through our long-term relationship and countless visits to both family production facilities:
Their employees are their greatest asset. They receive fair wages and remuneration for overtime, lunch breaks are set, relax areas are on the premises, the employees and families are supported in difficult situations and the workplaces are clean and flooded with light. It is nice to visit the productions and to be greeted with a smile and a warm welcome from the staff. Lunches with managers and employees also allowed us to learn a lot about Nepalese culture and cultural practices.
From an ecological point of view, both companies showed great interest and commitment in working with natural and non-polluting materials and, if possible, certify them. This commitment cannot be taken for granted in a country where all raw materials are sourced in India and China or where the origin of these material are mostly unknown. As it turns out today, our pioneering spirit has been rewarded.
Considering a successful partnership, both companies leave nothing to be desired. They are mostly on time, organized, honest and always ready to discuss product and quality improvements. Mahesh and Mahendra are two brothers in our age and sharing similar values. We guess there’s no better basis for a good relationship. Malendra has a very quiet but accurate nature and follows his set of business principles, that count on numerous years of experience.
Origin of companies and what they do
A few years ago, Mahesh and Mahendra took over the family production of their parents’ wool jackets just outside Kathmandu. Mahendra is responsible for production and Mahesh for sales. They employ about 20 people, half of whom are women. They have specialized exclusively in products made of New Zealand sheep’s wool and have built up an enormous wealth of experience with this raw material. They are inspired by our ideas and creations and we are inspired by their know-how.
Malendra runs a weaving factory that he built 10 years ago located right behind his family home. He is an engineer and produces almost exclusively for the local market. He started his production with 3 weaving machines and meanwhile more than 25 machines. This is not a high-tech production. Malendra buys outdated weaving machines from India and China, which he repairs to make them operate for his purposes. This is where the lining of our winter jackets and many other alternative clothing garments are made. What is special is that we can determine and change every single thread and every pattern regarding color and material ourselves.
Values and partnership
What could be more beautiful than a narrative:
After the severe earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the family house of Mahesh and Mahendra, where their production was located on four floors, was severely damaged and employees were injured. In addition, the family houses of six employees collapsed. The email we received from Mahendra was probably one of the most touching and moving emails we had ever received. As a result of the earthquake, the two brothers decided to suspend the family business and set up a fund to ensure sufficient food supplies for the employees and their families, as well as the construction of the collapsed houses. If you still remember, we were able to support them with the introduction of our tool “Round up for donation” and your help. Deliveries of wool jackets have been cancelled for us for 1.5 years. Nevertheless, we decided to leave our production with the two brothers and get our support and loyalty back several times.
What is a better basis for a long-term partnership than reciprocity?
Think about it.