Norlha's Social Impact

Number of Local Tibetan Employees (Ritoma Village Atelier):   110
Percentage of Employees from Ritoma Village: 100% 
Percentage of Female Employees:   60%
Average Employee Age:   35
Average Norlha Employee Household Size (includes children, parents, and grandparents):   6
Percentage of Village Families Dependency on Norlha: 0  0% in 2006, 50% in 20XX, 100% in 2016
Average Training Spent per Employee:  
Average Employee Income:   $500USD/month (National Average Tibetan income: $125USD/month)
Vacation Days:   2 weeks personal, religious holidays, and 1 month off for Tibetan New Year
Health:   Paid sick leave and medical assistance
Holistic Activities:   Yoga Classes, Nutrition & Wellness, English Classes, Basketball Program, Picnics, Awards Recognition
Meals:   Breakfast and Lunch
Number of Ritoma Villagers on Job Waiting List:   150
Years since Founding:   9


Why are Norlha’s prices on the higher end?

Norlha's product value comes from two core beliefs: 

 1) Good wages. As seen in the statistics above we employ over 100 local Tibetans and pay them good wages. This is in addition to two healthy meals per day and holistic approaches to job training and healthy living. Our employees are very happy and it is our goal to generate as much employment as we can in the community. 

2) High quality products. We use the best and finest materials in each of our products. The processes we use - hand-weaving, hand-spinning, hand-knitting - by our artisans ensure the finest quality. 

Unfortunately, many consumers do not mind buying the inexpensive products from the inexpensive clothing chains, and do not question these prices. In many cases these clothes were made by cheap labor in poor countries, where the profits are not kept locally.

In these prevalent situations the consumer gets a cheap price, the owners and middle-men take a large profit, and the artisans are taken advantage of.

This is not the case with Norlha. Norlha is proving that high-end fashion and social impact can exist without compromising the other.

How does my purchase make an impact?

As Norlha's success grows, more Tibetans can be employed and similar business models can be born, changing the livelihood of Tibetans across the entire Plateau. In addition to owning a scarf made with the highest quality and care, your purchase directly impacts the lives of these Tibetans.

Does Norlha help local herders?

Norlha purchases 10 tons of the finest yak wool from local herders. This helps a few local herders, but they will sell their wool to someone regardless. Other yak wool companies may use this as marketing to promote their social impact, but this impact is quite minimal. The real impact comes from generating sustainable employment for Tibetans, giving them the skills and training to be successful in the regional and global market. 

How does Norlha choose its employees?

The hiring process entirely involves the local community - the village elders of Ritoma's six clans inform their clan of a job opening, and provide Norlha's local village advisors with a list of interested nomads. The local village advisors then meet with Norlha's Tibetan Management to interview and select the next hire. 

How do Norlha employees spend their new income?

The introduction of Norlha to the area has slowly generated a new middle class, able to support their families. Dependency on the extremely difficult life of herding has been alleviated. Families can spend money on newer, healthier foods. Children can wear less-worn clothing. Some even have been able to build additions to their homes and purchase vehicles.

How is your marketing done?

All of Norlha's marketing is done in-house. Norlha CEO, Dechen, herself a Tibetan and married to a local Tibetan, does all of the photography. All of the models are employees at our Atelier. The founder, Dechen's mother, is the Creative Director and does all of the layouts for marketing materials. Generous friends and volunteers help maintain the website and other aspects of the business.  

Do you have any Volunteer opportunities?

Yes! Please email us at