July 11, 2013 -- “It is not just pashmina, it is Chyangra Pashmina.” That is what pashmina sellers will tell you if you insist on buying the finest quality of pashmina in Nepal or elsewhere. With IFC support, Chyangra Pashmina is now a registered trademark in 41 countries, assuring pashmina lovers of the quality of the brand. Nepal does a booming trade in pashmina, which issecond only to carpets among the country's exports.
During its peak in the early 2000s, it drew revenues of up to $112.7 million a year. But sales dropped over the past decade as low quality and imitation Pashmina with the ‘Made in Nepal’ tag dominated exports, damaging the credibility of Nepalese Pashmina.
In the face of declining sales, the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association realized the need for trademark registration to help regain the market for pure Nepalese Pashmina, distinguishing it from the rest.
Coming Together for a Cause
The Nepal Business Forum, an initiative of IFC’s Investment Climate program, helped the association seek government support to register the Pashmina trademark abroad. In response, the government committed 70 percent of the cost of international trademark registration. With support from the United Nations International Development Organization and additional funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the Chyangra Pashmina Trademark was finally registered and introduced in 2011.
“Our hope is to separate pure pashmina products from the rest so that consumers are not fooled,” said Manoj Acharya, a Ministry for Commerce and Industries official. So far, of the 500 or so Pashmina producers in Nepal, 100 companies have already received the Group Trademark.
Returning the Glory to the Pashmina Industry Lives of thousands of Nepalis depended on pashmina -- from Himalayan herdsmen to wool processors to weavers to exporters. Almost half of them were out of jobs or businesses over the past decade. Nepal’s authentic Pashmina products are now being exported with the registered trademark of “Chyangra Pashmina.” In the year 2011-2012, Nepal’s Pashmina exportsearned $37.95 million, a huge leap from the previous year when the country exported only $25.83 million worth of Pashmina.
“We are attributing the recent growth to the Trademark,” says Vijay Dugar, secretary general of Nepal Pashmina Industries Association.