Our second blog entry comes right after the first one as we are eager to present to you what our social enterprise plans are.
We want to manufacture clothes in Albania and sell them in Germany and Sweden on our website.
This doesn’t sound like anything social no? Many companies do that in all different parts of the world and mainly in low cost countries in Asia.
We want to be different in many ways and we want to tell you how that will look like:
1. When you want to buy clothes on our website you will not see a total overkill of different options offered to you. Instead you will find a simple-to-use tool that allows you to create your own customised piece of clothing. You will have the possibility to choose among a variety of cuts and designs and match this with a fabric(s) and colour(s) of your choice. You choose the size and there you go. Your order will be produced now, you just sit back and wait for your parcel to arrive.
Now you know where the first part of our slogan “Choose Your Style” comes from.
2. Our production process in Albania will be completely transparent, going beyond what labels and certificates can offer.
For us transparency means that you as the customer will know which woman, or in some cases which group of women, tailored your piece of clothing. When receiving your order you will get a short information about your producer and by visiting our website you can find in-depth background information about the living situation and the progress each woman makes along the way. We even want you to be able to contact your producer, to tell what you like about the product, to give her feedback, to just let her know how much you value her work.
We want to bring back the personal link between producers and consumers. It is the detachment of the two groups that has led to the situation we experience today, a situation of mass exploitation of textile workers around the world. It is one of our main aims that work, the resources in terms of time, dedication, skills many people contribute to create a product, are valued once again.
Now you know where the second part of our slogan “Know Your Producer” comes from.
3. The producers, in our case the women who work for Pitupi, will be at the centre of our attention. With us they will earn a living wage. What is a living wage?
It is this: A living wage should be earned in a standard working week (no more than 48 hours) and allow a garment worker to be able to buy food for herself and her family, pay the rent, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens (taken from the Clean Clothes Campaign).
Women will be accompanied and supported by our partner NGO that has expertise working with women and context specific problems, e.g. trafficking of women, in Albania. Together with the NGO we will set up a training system that has the long term objective to prepare the women to become entrepreneurs in their own right.
The knowledge how to develop and produce clothes for export and how to run a business should not remain only with us but should be shared to the benefit of the Albanian women.
Alongside the running business we will take up new women to work with us. We will have a focus on vulnerable women who have experienced domestic violence or have been trafficked, among other possible cases of vulnerability. These women will be closely followed and accompanied by our local NGO partner as well and will be receiving on the job training and support by experienced tailors.
To acknowledge and value the work of our local NGO partner we will give a share of our profit to that organisation. They will thus be able to finance also other parts of their work in Albania, e.g. their psychosocial support to trafficked women etc.
4. In addition we will procure Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified fabrics and will aim at getting certified as a producer as soon as possible after the start of our production. The label is the most strict on the market to date and covers the whole value chain, from the organic raw material to the seller of the finished product.
So, don’t you agree that all of the above mentioned sums up to the third and last part of our slogan “Love Your Product”?