OUR COMMITMENT TO THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF FAIR TRADE
Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
Our main objective is to create long-term employment opportunities for poor destitute women in Saidpur.
Transparency & Accountability
We are committed to being transparent and accountable to both our trading partners and our artisans.
Fair Trade Practices
We are committed to operating our business in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way.
We are committed to providing our artisans with fair treatment and wages.
No Child Labor - No Forced Labor
We encourage the care and education of our artisan's children by offering their parents loans.
We aim to ensure there is no workplace discrimination.
Good Working Conditions
We comply with all local and national laws on working conditions, health and safety and working hours.
We provide our artisans with onsite training in order to develop their business and leadership skills.
Promote Fair Trade
We are committed to promoting fair trade both in Saidpur and, more globally, in Bangladesh.
Respect for the Environment
Our products are made exclusively using locally-sourced natural materials such as jute and recycled materials.
As a Guaranteed member of the WFTO, we have committed to following their 10 principles of fair trade. We are proud to be part of this internationally renowned organization and hope that in putting these 10 principles at the heart of everything we do, we are giving our artisans self-sustainability and the opportunity to improve their own lives.
This is how we do it:
1. We provide opportunities for disadvantaged producers
Our main objective is to create long-term employment opportunities for poor destitute women in Saidpur. In our city job opportunities are rare, especially for head-of-household-women. Our aim is thus to recruit our artisans are among these rural head-of-household-women who have little to no income.
2. We are transparent and accountable
We are committed to being transparent and accountable to both our trading partners and our artisans. We provide our trading partners with all relevant information on our finances and fair trade practices when requested. We can also provide our trading partners with a detailed breakdown of our price and we happily share information about the cost of our raw material and labour. On the other hand, we are committed to being transparent and accountable to our artisans. We ensure this through our Producer Management Committee which meets once a month to discuss policy and other issues.
3. We practice Fair Trade
We are committed to operating our business in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. We aim to build long term business relationships with our buyers and suppliers based on trust and cooperation. We ensure this by being honest with all parties and by producing high quality products. We have a sustainable and positive relationship with both our direct competitors and local businesses.
4. We provide fair wages and prices
We are committed to pricing our products fairly and reasonably through meticulous product costing and discussions with our staff, artisans and buyers. In fact, many of our fair trade buyers have often reported to being very content with our pricing process. We are also committed to providing our artisans with fair treatment and wages. Our artisans earn a minimum wage of Tk. 130 ($1.65) per day, a wage that is much higher in comparison to those working for local businesses and other organizations in Saidpur. They also receive a dividend and provident fund that is distributed to them at the end of the year. Twenty percent of the total dividend fund is transferred into a Producer Development Fund that can be accessed by our artisans to meet emergency family needs.
5. We do not employ children or forced labour
We respect the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children. We have several employment guidelines in our organizational policy to act as precautions against employing children. In addition, we encourage our suppliers and buyers to disclose their interaction (or lack of) with child labour and forced labour in their organization. We support local children by regularly donating school supplies, uniforms and bags to children whose parents cannot afford these items. Over the last three years we have brought over 400 items for children who wouldn’t be able to attend school otherwise. Finally, we encourage the care and education of our artisans children by offering their parents loans of up to 50% of the cost of childcare and education.
6. We do not discriminate, we promote gender equality
As an organization we actively engage in trying to employ artisans who are poor destitute head-of-household-women. This is done in order to promote gender equality in the community by giving these women a chance to gain respect and self-sustainability. We take active consideration into the additional needs and responsibilities of several of our artisans as mothers by providing additional financial support in the form of micro loans. Our artisans can represent themselves in the enterprise and should be represented by the Producer Management Committee, regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, or age. In addition, we aim to ensure there is no workplace discrimination.
7. We offer safe working conditions
We comply with all local and national laws on working conditions, health and safety and working hours. We constantly try to improve the working conditions of our artisans. For example, we have recently constructed a new office building to improve safety and management capability for our staff and artisans. We also organize training courses for our workers on health and safety issues and perform safety inspections in both our own offices and the houses of our part-time artisans. We are regularly assessed by the WFTO and other WFTO affiliated organizations.
8. We are committed to building the capacity of our artisans
We give our producers the opportunity to learn how to produce and market jute products (primarily cards and bags). We also teach our artisans about traditional Kantha and modern stitching techniques. These skills increase the economic capacity of our artisans and will help them to create their own businesses in the future should they choose to do so. Furthermore, we provide our artisans with onsite training in order to develop their business and leadership skills. We also offer help and training in several other aspects of their lives, such as mother care and nutrition.
9. We promote fair trade
We are committed to promoting fair trade both in Saidpur and, more globally, in Bangladesh (through our membership with ECOTA). We regularly meet with the elites of Saidpur in order to promote fair trade. For example, we have met with the Mayor, the area’s Consular and other local government officials in the past. We also teach our artisans about fair trade values and encourage them to promote them in the community. We do this by celebrating events such as International Women’s Day and World Fair Trade Day by holding celebratory marches in the local area. We also have a group picnic every year to show our artisans that as a fair trade enterprise we encourage the building of their work capacity.
10. We respect the environment
We believe that protecting the environment should be a non-negotiable responsibility of every business. As such, our products are made exclusively using locally-sourced natural materials such as jute and recycled materials (for example, from used sarees). For our products with print, we use handmade jute materials for the base product and eco-friendly pigment dyes to print them by hand.