Anyone who has visited Nepal may have gotten inspired to import Made in Nepal handicrafts. The product range includes silver jewelry, clothing and fashion accessories, rugs, ritual artifacts, paper products, oils and herbs. Before venturing into importing from Nepal, one has to decide if his target market is receptive to Nepal style products, especially if you will be retailing the product you’ll import.
Some of the most traditional products coming from Nepal are ritual artifacts, often labeled as Dharma-ware. The line includes Tibetan prayer wheels, Buddhist prayer flags, incense holders and burners, variety of altar butter lamps, thanka paintings, conch shells, gongs, drums, dorje, bells and Buddha
states. While these kind of products may not have an universal appeal, many buyers in Western world countries are drawn to these items as impulse items and although they have been around for several decades the customer interest remains steady.
If your target market is fashion oriented and you would like to consider importing clothing and accessories from Nepal, you will have two choices. If your target market is receptive to strongly native style, then you may import the Nepalese garments and accessories as offered by the Nepalese suppliers. While over the last few years the clothing and fashion accessories coming out of Nepal have become more astute and Western fashion conscious, the ethnic character of the fashion
items still heavily predominates and thus here may be your opportunity to work with your Nepalese manufacturer and go into product development. If you decide to have your Nepal manufacturer produce from your own designs, you best take a trip to Nepal and plan to spend some time working closely with the manufacturer at his location to end up with product that in style and quality will meet your expectations.
Nepal garments and fashion accessories are made of wool, cotton and hemp. There is no shortage of
designs in woolen jackets and vests, sweaters, ponchos, cotton dresses, blouses and shirts. Unique product line is felted woolens, including hats, belts and scarves. Of the highest quality textiles from Nepal are pashmina woolens that indeed rival those from Kashmir.
The product category that is worth taking a close look at are the handmade Lokta paper products. The product is made from Daphne Papyracea, an indigenous plant of Nepal that grows in Nepal midlands, roughly in altitudes suitable for cultivation of corn, approximately 6,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. The plant is harvested by cutting its stem at ground level without destroying the main root, hence there is no adverse effect on the forest ecology. The product spectrum is varied and striking, colors and designs are bold and if you should like to venture into product design and development there is certainly much opportunity that can be left to your imagination. Greeting cards, notebooks or journals, picture albums, photo frames, even lamp shades are among the product categories typically made. Packaging items such as bags and boxes are another category where clever customization could be well suited for production of packaging supplies for a specific client, whether a boutique or a department store.
Last but not least worth exploring for its potential if you are in a specialty niche market as massage oils, lotions, soaps and health food products in general are the related products that too are found in Nepal. While Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs, herbal remedy medicines and cure products may still be in infancy stage in Nepal, namely when compared to similar available in India, quality essential oils, lotions, creams and gels are available, as are herbals teas, honey and bulk herbs in general.
After nearly 15 years when it first submitted its application in 1989 Nepal was finally admitted into World Trade Organization in 2003. In fact after Cambodia it became only the second least-developed country (LDC) to joint the WTO. As part of the designation most of the developed nations have agreed to drop all barriers and provide “duty-free and quota-free” treatment to all LDC exports, so venturing into importing from Nepal poses incentive from this angle.
Second incentive for the importer of made in Nepal products is an ethical one. If you wish to partake in Fair Trade, contribute to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to marginalized workers and assuring that products made for you are free from child-labor, importing from Nepal offers those opportunities and challenges.
Last and certainly one of the most valid points to consider in terms of importing from Nepal is a purely personal one. If you may seek a country to import from to be also a country you’d like to visit on repeat basis, then Nepal certainly more than qualities as its colorful culture, friendly people and the stunning Himalayas promise to keep you coming back for the rest of your life.
Following are links to suppliers of note in Nepal:
http://www.nepalipaper.com/ Lokta paper products.
http://www.himalayanherbs.net/ Herbs, oils and herbal products from Humla, Western Nepal.
msinp – Pashmina textiles – scarves, shawls, blankets.
http://www.creationnepal.com/ Wide variety of ready made products, from clothing to fashion accessories