Designed at the intersection of practicality and luxury, Norlha produces timeless products that are handwoven with yak khullu by nomads of the Tibetan plateau. By combining a commitment to community development and high-quality creations, the brand honors nomadic traditions while transforming an exceptional fiber through artisan skills and innovation.
The product of mother-daughter team Kim and Dechen Yeshi, Norlha is the Tibetan Plateaus first yak khullu atelier. Since their beginnings in 2007, the brand has been dedicated to creating employment opportunities for nomadic communities, providing them with new skills and economic security. Today, for Tibetan nomads on the Plateau, the yak is still the source of their livelihood; its continued presence and importance maintains a vital link between past and future. Norlhas workers all come from nomad families who have spun, woven and felted for generations and 61% of the workforce is female. They are masters of craft and keepers of their heritage. Norlha has employed an increasing number of young people who though born as nomads, attended some school and prefer a job to herding. The yak has brought this new generation of rural Tibetans an alternative way of life, offering access to todays world while remaining rooted in their environment. Since its founding, Norlha has spent 40,000+ hours training local nomads in vocational, management & textile skills and has provided over $4M USD in local salaries.
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NORLHA HAS BEEN AWARDED THE BUTTERFLY MARK FOR THEIR MEASURABLE IMPACT AND COMPANY-WIDE COMMITMENTS TO SUSTAINABILITY
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Kim and Dechen combine modern technology with the traditional knowledge and techniques of the local community to create beautiful, timeless pieces. Soft and enduring, the unique properties of yak khullu translate into a range of exceptional products. Khullu naturally molts at the end of winter and the yak’s fiber is gathered at that time, before it falls, in a process that is natural and peaceful. Yaks are neither clipped nor combed for their fiber and are never deprived of their natural protection.
Khullu is a fiber of many virtues, one of which is durability. Norlha carefully selects the finest quality fiber from thousands of animals from across the Tibetan plateau and process it without bleaching. From scarves, ready-to-wear garments and lifestyle products, each uniquely crafted piece is elegant, soft, and one-of-a-kind. As a result of their strength of knowledge in craftsmanship and their high-quality product, Norlha has partnered with fashion houses such as Balmain, Lanvin, Heider Ackermann & Sonia Rykiel.