Sherab Lhamo

Kinley and Sonam (K&S) Manufacturing Company, a commercial clothing production center based in Thimphu, specialises in creating modern and fashionable clothes using both imported and local fabrics.

The company is led by Kinley Namgay (CEO) and his son Choki Dorji (General Manager). They are committed to reducing the country’s reliance on imported clothing and promoting sustainable practices.

Of their 57 employees, 70 percent are Bhutanese women. Some were trained for one month at their own training centre, Kinley Yargay Training Centre, where they learned to stitch Western garments. Others who joined directly are trained by the company’s experts.

The raw materials for their designer products are woven by 13 weavers in Bumthang, who produce the highly sought-after Yathra fabric. The rest of their materials are sourced through imports from India, China, Thailand, and Taiwan.

Choki creates the design ideas and patterns for the designer products, while one of the employees handles the patterns for all the uniforms. The designs are inspired by Bhutan’s rich culture, textile patterns, paintings, animals, and sculptures.

The company has 15 departments, including design, sampling, production and planning, sewing, printing and embroidery, among others.

The company supplies uniforms to police, army, Tashi Infocomm, Bhutan Telecom, Bhutan Power Corporation, Construction Development Corporation Limited, other corporate offices and ministries.

The company has plans to supply uniforms to schools.

Casual wear and uniform are priced between Nu 800 to Nu 2,000. Designer products cost between Nu 3,000 and Nu 8,000.

One of the main objectives of the company is to reduce waste by making handkerchiefs, face masks, pillows, cushions, mattresses, pyjamas, and stuffed toys.

The lack of skilled workers with technical knowledge of the machines was among the initial problems the company faced.

“With aggressive marketing we have been able to overcome the challenges,” said Choki.