KS Garment, one of the country’s first mass garment production company produces quality casual wares and designer puffer jackets with a blend of the country’s culture and fabric with western fabric with its brand made in Bhutan. Hoping to slowly replace the imported products, KS Garment is popular with niche and loyal customers.
Founded by a father and son duo in 2015, Kinley Namgay (father) founded the company and Choki Dorji (son) founded the designer jackets which is personally designed by him. With 80% of the staffs being female who were all trained by experts, the company has a mass production scale of 200 jackets per day.
The products are all made in Bhutan with the raw materials being imported from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Choki Dorji, the Deputy Managing Director of the company shares that the company was founded with the objective to reduce imported products and replace it with Bhutanese product so as to reduce strain on foreign reserves. He shared that importing end products cost more than raw materials.
With quality fabrics and products produced to fit international standards, KS Garment makes quality products to compete with the imported products in the market.
Choki states that their main competitor is Uniqlo especially in terms of winter jackets. Relatively, compared to Uniqlo jackets, he shares that KS garments are cheaper and can compete in terms of quality too.
KS Garment’s Instagram page Made in Bhutan boasts an impressive following of 15K followers which has been consistently growing since the page was created in 2015. With the designer puffer jacket which are a blend of Bhutanese culture and western fabric, it has been quite popular with the public and has also been exported abroad.
With 2 outlets in Thimphu and 1 outlet each in Paro and Bumthang, the KS clothing brand had been picking up its sale consistently. The brand is also producing office uniforms for government offices and has slowly started replacing imported products.
With hopes to branch out and export to abroad countries, Choki shares that the designer puffer jackets are very popular in Australia. Bhutanese staying in Australia purchases the designer puffer jackets, so he is hoping and has plans to franchise an outlet in Australia to sell these jackets.
Designer jackets were produced in a limited edition and from early 2022, the company has started mass producing the designer jackets due to its popularity.
From the production of designer jackets to casual wear, the company produces products that are considered garment which also includes sleeping bags and hats. So as to minimize waste, the company uses left over garments or silicon cotton to produce hats for children and pillow.
Currently, the company faces challenges in terms of labour cost, machineries and resource gap. Choki shares that labour cost is high and the scale of production is comparatively less in Bhutan compared to China and Dhaka however, he shares positive sentiments on continuous improvement made and will be making in the future.
With almost 90% of garment in the country being imported, Bhutanese produced garments are very less and mass production is even lesser. With few boutiques and few ateliers in the country, KS Garment is the first and the biggest mass-producing company of garment.
So far there have been more exclusive local fashion brands but not mass produced.
Choki shares that replacing the imported products can’t be 100% replaced by Bhutanese products but down the line, can replace the products slowly.
Participating in trade fairs and events has made the brand more popular and the sales have been consistently picking up. With quality product delivery, Choki shares that the reviews for the brand has been good so far with growing number of loyal customers.