Nepal is a gem in many ways. Commonly known for Mount Everest and the birthplace of Buddha, this majestic Himalayan land has so much more to offer. Nepal is home to the most handmade, sustainable and natural raw materials, such as plant-based textiles and ayurvedic medicine.
For the love of everything handmade, natural, sustainable and ethically made, I was naturally drawn to the young and dynamic duo entrepreneurs of Khali Khutta. Founders Dave and Prabhigya wanted to see more natural products accessible on the market that match their minimalistic lifestyle; thus in 2015, Khali Khutta was born.
Their passion for nature – and all the possibilities it could provide us – drove them to work with skilled locals who master centuries-old traditions and raw materials found in their homeland.
Most notable are Khali Khutta’s latest additions of crafts using wild hemp and Himalayan giant nettle weave as well as hemp-cotton mix and animal-friendly wild silk.
Philosophy and ethos.
Khali Khutta believes that we can live in a world without plastic or toxic chemicals and that traditional skills and handmade materials have a role in producing high-quality products.
At Khali Khutta it’s not about just growing organic produce, it’s also about living organic – an interesting reminder that sustainability is a lifestyle and not just a product we consume.
Who makes Khali Khutta products?
“The individuals and teams that we work with who harvest the fibres, spin the yarn, weave the fabrics and cut and sew the items we sell are specially chosen by us – we meet them, talk with them and get to know them.”
Khali Khutta operates a small workshop run by Junu who hires some locals. They explain that their brand does not only promote women empowerment but want to support both men and women. Over the last decade or more, Nepal has faced a very high number of emigration. Youth and young men leave their homes in pursuit of labour opportunities outside Nepal, which means many children are being raised without one of their parents. I have witnessed this many times during my time living in rural parts of Nepal and I agree with co-founder Prabighya when she says “we want families and communities to grow with both male and female members!”
Where are the main materials sourced from?
The raw materials used by Khali Khutta are more often than not grown in the wild (therefore not cultivated). For the suppliers of such raw materials, the idea of being certified organic is beyond just being an abstract concept.
“Most of our raw materials come from such remote areas that bringing agricultural chemicals would be far more hassle than its’ worth, and bring no economic benefit anyway. But that’s not why they don’t use them. They live with nature and in nature. It’s not a matter of “the noble savage” but rather, when you drink water straight from the stream, you don’t pour harmful stuff into it!”
The Hemp fabric used is mostly coming from Darchula in West Nepal, where hemp has been harvested within the rural communities for centuries. After harvesting the plants by hand and processing the fibres into a form similar to wool, shepherds spin the fibre into the thread – all whilst grazing their animals in the hilly terrain! The thread is then woven by hand – traditionally to make fabric for clothes, ropes and mats that would last a family for generations.
Giant Himalayan Nettle Weave
This is a very special textile to an ethnic community called Kulung, living in Sankhuwasabha, East Nepal. The handmade fabric is considered sacred as it is used as a covering or a blanket during the time of birth and death in their communities and also used in other cultural ceremonies.
Plant & Mineral Based Dyes
Khali Khutta uses natural (plant or mineral based) dyes in their products; these include pomegranate, acacia, rhubarb, walnut, indigo, haro and madder. They are produced by hand in small batches at independent weaving centres that specialise in natural materials and dyes, all from Nepal except for Indigo which is a product from India.
What is Khali Khutta’s vision?
“We want to create an alternative option by providing genuine, honest products with more direct links between producers and consumers. We think that giving customers the choice to consume differently is essential. Our vision is to be a part of an alternative movement to help create awareness through our products the value of our traditions, and the value of choosing slow local and plastic free creations!”
My Eco-friendly Picks!
This gorgeous Ahimsa Silk shawl is silkworm-friendly! Whilst typical silk involves boiling coons with silkworm larvae still alive in it, Khali Khutta gathers cocoons later in the season, after the silkworms have completed their lifecycle naturally and the larvae have emerged and left their cocoons behind. This gives the silk a rich character that is soft yet textured and pleasant to the touch. It is handwoven in Nepal and dyed using plant and mineral based dyes. Shop Ahimsa Silk Shawl here
This gorgeous handmade yoga mat is made with naturally dyed hemp-cotton mix and a border of Himalayan giant nettle weave.
The first thing people ask me is “does it slip?” Well, it could slip on slippery wooden floors BUT it also helps you pull yourself together and strengthen your poses. The very fact that it does not stick to the floor like latex and rubber mats improves your yoga performance. The best thing about it is that in summer when you’re sweating more you will not slip off the hemp mat!
Furthermore, instead of sweating against rubber and latex, chemically dyed mats, your skin is in contact with natural and safe materials and dyes. So sweat away! Shop this Wild Hemp Handmade Yoga Mat.
When buying from brand such as Khali Khutta you know that the workers are being treated well, the ecosystem is being respected and you’re supporting small positive impact entrepreneurs.
Now that I made you read all the way here (I’m stoked!) you will definitely be interested in my affair with Hemp! <<Click there<<
Disclaimer: I received the products featured in this post to review. I only promote products that I have tried or researched thoroughly myself, so you’re in good hands!