Fashion production scandals occurred and are still occurring. Working conditions in developing countries can be disastrous. Thus, it is of the utmost importance to know how and by whom clothes and other fashion items are produced.
Following the philosophy of the #Whomademyclothes, I am starting a series of articles devoted to present you some interesting suppliers.
The first supplier to be depicted is Mr. Chaudhary, 35, who hails from Parsha Deward Rural Municipality of Mahottari district. He started a handicraft business 17 years ago in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. He opened his business to promote Nepalese artwork and to follow the fair trade movement. Indeed, in Mr. Chaudhary's company, priority is given to collecting products from various production units and giving them the lion’s share of the profit.
For those who don't know yet what Fairtrade is, it is an institutional arrangement that helps producers mainly from underdeveloped countries like Nepal to ensure high prices for export items while passing on the maximum benefits to the actual producers. The fair trade movement advocates promoting exports along with maintaining the social norms and environmental standards. For example, Mr. Chaudhary does not accept products prepared by underage workers.
For Chaudhary and his team, the environment is also a priority. His production plant utilises environmentally friendly technology as well. During the dying process of the felt wool, wastewater is generated. Therefore, they fitted an advanced filtration system that purifies the wastewater before it is disposed of.
Moreover, Mr. Chaudhary's opinion is that selling handicrafts made by women makes sense as it combines both business and social values. He believes in the power of fair trade to transform lives. His business has consciousness about the need to life standard of women in Nepal. Women are neglected in Mithila society although their hands are full of creativity. They are not allowed to do external work. So, the company's movement is empowering women by making them economically self-dependent. This has influenced other women earning upright income in the region.
The main objective of his organization is to help meet the marketing requirements of handicraft producers who are mainly women operating on a very small scale, usually from their homes. it promotes women's handicrafts which will finally help the community to be economically strong and help to invest in health and children's education. The following are some of Mr. Chaudhary's objectives:
To develop the economic condition of women by promoting their products;
To preserve Nepal's rich artistic skill and craft techniques;
To motivate handicraft producers and sponsor professional training workshops;
To promote handicrafts from different parts of the country, especially from the Terai where economic weakness is present;
To provide financial and technical support to craft producers if appropriate.
Besides the production unit, this supplier also works in parallel with several micro producers to promote their market. Ethical fashion is respected through the below aspects:
Opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Transparency and accountability
Payment of a fair price
No child labor nor forced labor
Non discrimination, gender equity
Decent working conditions
Promotion of fair trade
Respect for the environment
I hope you are as convinced as I am by the work made by Mr. Chaudhary and his team. From my side, I wish to go and visit him and his factory. Mr. Chaudhary already told me that I am more than welcomed. Story to be continued...in Nepal.
“If women are allowed to make a living, they are empowered to make their own economic decisions.” Pramodh Chaudhary