Kakani Himalayan Natural Dyes (KHN Dyes) was initially started by a group of five women namely, Shanti Dolma, Saraswati Tamang, Sushila Lama, Anita Tamang and Dilmaya Lama. Trained by Business Service Centre (BSC) in natural dyeing, we decided to set up a venture in 2009 not only to establish ourselves but all to help our community in Kakani.
During our journey together, we also became the recipient of the first ever Nepalese Award for Social Entrepreneurs, The Surya Nepal Asha Social Entrepreneurship Award in 2012. We were recognised for our efforts in using natural dyes instead of chemicals, utilising the wastes from the community forest in Kakani along with empowering women in our community.
Towards the middle of 2013, we decided to go separate ways to pursue our own dreams. KHN Dyes was then taken over solely by one of our Founding Member’s, Shanti Dolma. Since taking over, Shanti has been instrumental in increasing the product line as well as client base. Four of our original founding members are still involved in KHN Dyes however, now they are part of it just as an employee.
The aim of KHN Dyes is to be a social venture in all aspects not only as a business but also by impacting socially/ environmentally in all ways we can.
Problem Addressed: Health problems and environmental impact created by artificial dyes
Impact: Currently employment of 25 individuals, involvement of women in the community in training , utilization of local raw materials, health benefits for customers
Sustainability: Local availability of raw materials and labor force, growing market for natural dyes
“We support in enterprise and community development by training the women in the village about the preparation of natural dyes using local raw materials and help them to become independent and skilled. The financial empowerment and independence gained by women has also reduced the episodes of domestic violence.”