With more and more brands identifying themselves as ‘ethical’, it becomes essential for customers to have a way of verifying the facts. It is obvious that when we shop, we cannot just take the word for the brands/companies themselves.
The standards and criteria of what is ‘ethical’ or ‘fair’ can vary dramatically. How do we objectively measure the ‘ethicality’ of a product?
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) was born with the objective of helping producers and manufacturers around the world to achieve certain standards. Our partner factory works according to the regulations marked by the ETI, and has the following policies in place:
compensation for holidays
national festival holiday
sexual harassment policy
child labor abolition policy
working hour policy
recruitment / hiring policy
health and safety committee
buyers code of conduct
Our partner factory is a purpose-built facility that provides a safe, hygienic and ergonomic working environment. It’s spacious, the layout is clearly organized and it allows for traffic areas free of hazards. The different working stations provide the necessary furniture and facilities to ensure people can perform their tasks comfortably.
There is a combination of natural light that comes through the windows, and artificial light making all areas well lit and bright.
All workers have freely chosen to be employed here, and they have got the right to form trade unions. When joining, they receive health and safety training. Child labor is completely abolished. Wages paid are enough to meet basic needs and to provide a discretionary income.
When people hear about 'Made in Bangladesh,' unfortunately there is still a huge stigma attached to this industry due to the catastrophic events at Rana Plaza. We completely agree that it's hard to track which 'Made in Bangladesh' products are made ethically, hence we will make a difference by being transparent about our production and by showing that not all factories are dreadful. Our goal is by doing this, to also educate the public so that not all 'Made in Bangladesh' products are misjudged.
The reality is that the textile industry is part of Bangladesh's history and culture. The garments sector has given employment to a whole generation of young, unmarried females, mainly from rural areas. It is calculated that currently, two-thirds of workers in this industry are women. By supporting us, you are supporting their families too.
We are about to visit our makers in Bangladesh, so we will be updating this page with further information, and some images. Stay tuned, and let us know in comments if there are any specific questions that you would like us to cover in further posts.