Ganesh Himal Trading has worked for years developing a colorful and diverse selection of hand knit sweaters, hats, gloves, mittens, glittens and socks. Our wool is a soft, high quality blend with long fibers for strength, warmth and durability.
We also carry a line of hemp knitwear using a 50/50 hemp/wool blend. This blend creates soft heathery tones that compliments the brighter tones of our all wool knitwear.
Five different groups of knitters produce Ganesh Himal’s beautiful knitwear. Each group is fairly paid and creates products that differ in color and style. We have worked with many of these knitters since the 1980’s when they were first learning to knit. Our newest addition is a social enterprise dedicated to uplifting women who have been victims of trafficking, domestic violence and the political turmoil in Nepal. Their goal is to help these disadvantaged women create an economically self-sustainable community by training them to produce high quality wool knit accessories that Ganesh Himal Trading is excited to bring to you!
On their first trip to Nepal in 1984 Denise and Ric bought wool sweaters from a Tibetan refugee family. They took the sweaters trekking and for over a month wore them almost daily. After returning to Kathmandu, they went back to see Lobsong and Dolkar, to tell them how much they appreciated the sweaters. Ric and Denise were invited in and climbed an old set of carved wooden stairs to join them for Tibetan tea and bread. As they worked out some form of communication, neither of them knowing the others language, it became apparent that they were able to make more sweaters than they could sell. They had the skill and the desire to provide for themselves despite being refugees, what they lacked was a market. This conversation was the genesis of what would become Ganesh Himal Trading.
Over 25 years and thousands of sweaters later we now work with five different knitting groups, creating a terrific variety of knit items, including hats, gloves and mittens, sweaters, socks and more. Besides wool we also carry hemp/wool knitwear that incorporates wild hemp from Western Nepal.
What intrigued us initially about selling knits, besides the quality, is what still inspires us today. It is the perfect cottage industry providing thousands of people in Nepal with a source of income. Most of the knitters are woman who can work in their homes as time allows or in neighborhood community groups. As these women generate their own income their status and decision making in their families grows.
The newest knitting group we work with was started by the daughter of some of our oldest Tibetan friends in Kathmandu. Her goal is to provide training and skills development as well as design and marketing assistance to woman who have been victims of trafficking, domestic violence and the political turmoil in Nepal. This is our second year working with this group and we are proud to add these “Shelter-Knit” products to our line of knitwear. We have established extra financial benefits for the producers in this project by creating a separate fund from the sales of their products. The use of this money is decided upon by the producers. This year they determined the money should go to the poorest among them to provide for their children’s education.