I have travelled widely and have been to Nepal several times over the years, trekking the Annapurna mountains, visiting friends and getting to know a little of the special land.
Pavilions Himalaya approached me in 2014 to design their signature range of products for their eco resort, which was still under construction.
Pavilions Himalaya is the brainchild of Douglas and Insuba Maclagan. Their vision was to build a 5 star eco resort on their organic farm in the foothills of the Himalayas, just outside Nepal’s second city of Pokhara. Their intention was to build a eco resort that was truly sustainable, providing guests organic food from the farm and local area, using new technologies to build beautiful insulated villas and a clubhouse that require no air conditioning, capture grey water from the showers and basins to flush the loos and storing waste from the loos and farm animals in underground tanks to make bio-gas for the hotel kitchens Solar panels on the clubhouse roof provide electricity for the resort, meaning that they can be off-grid too.
The hotel also provides employment for local people and the profits from the hotel will help to sustain Douglas’s charity www.right4children.com supporting vulnerable children and women in Nepal to access their rights and improve their lives. What a wonderful project to be involved in…
My brief was to source and design high quality, totally natural, biodegradable toiletries for their guest rooms and the hotel spa that could, if at all possible, come from ingredients grown in Nepal and to be manufactured locally. Well I like a challenge!
Firstly, I researched essential (aromatic) oils, vegetable oils and butters that are grown in Nepal. I discovered that because of the diverse terrain plus variance in altitude and climate from the high mountain forests to the sub-tropical valley terrain in the south in this stunning country, Nepal grows and produces quite a range of both aromatic plants and vegetable ingredients that can be used in spa and guest products.
Next I found a few suppliers in Nepal, particularly the wonderful HBT in Kathmandu that support poor, rural communities to grow, harvest and produce plants, giving them a much needed income and really embodying the Pavilions ethos of sustainability and ethical benefit to Nepal. It was time to go out to Nepal meet with suppliers and to go to Pavilions Himalaya to see for myself how to move this project forward.