The Personal Story of a Fair Trade Clothing Worker in Pakistan
Article from http://www.ethikaboutique.com/
Ethika Boutique is a "fairly trading" fashion label that prides its collection on short run editions, producing beautiful items from the finest community trade silks, satins, gorgettes and cotton and the most exclusive embellishments and hand prints. Each item is made to order, we aim to deliver from 2-4 weeks.
Every single garment created is a genuine work of art, and a timeless gem for stylish woman's wardrobe. We empower women through trade initiatives in Pakistan by empowering our workers through trade and we allocate a percentage of profits to orphans in Pakistan
Here we look at a touching article of the struggles that our workers are going through
Listen to my story:
I get up early in the morning.
After taking bath I go to my office at 8:30 am.
Firstly I check the received e-mails and plan the daily work. My staff and workers come also at 8: 30 in the factory. At 9:00 am, electricity becomes off for one hour. During electricity off we try to discuss our daily work i.e. embroidery work, cutwork, purchasing of fabric etc.
After 10-o-clock workers start their work and I go to the poor residential areas for taking the embroidery pieces. We give the hand embroidery, cutwork pieces to the very poor women, widowed women for their help.
We can also give these pieces to the young technical persons in the main bazaars but we give work to these women only for financial help point of view, they have no means of financial help, and live from the kindness of people’s charity. These women live in small damaged incomplete houses with narrow unpaved streets. I visit these narrow streets and go to house to house for collecting the embroidery pieces for 2 to 3 hours.
Then I come back to my factory. At this time, then electricity off for two hours, workers leave their work incomplete for next two hours. During electricity being off I can't also work on computer and with electricity off our water pump becomes also off. Due to this our wash room, wash basin become close.1:00 pm to 2:00 pm there is lunch break. There are two widowed women and one divorced woman who works as stitching machine operator in my factory. All the staff carry their lunch from their homes but these women bring no lunch because of poverty. So I the factory manager give lunch to these poor women.
At 2:00 pm work starts again. Then I go round the factory and check the stitching finishing and packing work. Half of the labour we have skilled labourers but half of the labourers have as trainee labourers( poor people) At 3:00 pm I again go to the bazaar for purchasing of fabrics for next pieces, samples and other stitching materials.
Remember in your mind now in Faisalabad temperature is 40 c to 42 c. In very hot day I go to the bazaar, narrow unpaved streets, watery streets(because due to bad sewerage system, over flowing of gutter streets become filled with water ) and I collect and give the embroidery pieces on my old motorbike.
This is very tough work especially in Faisalabad environment.
Many times electricity fails .
Day by day petrol becoming expensive.
We are very financially strained, as we are a part of a new business, but we don’t want to give up and hope for the future, that things will become better.
Then I come back to the factory.
I sit on computer and check the mails. During daily work we have faced so many hurdles and problems( fabric, block printing, embroidery , cutwork and accessory problems but we try our best despite our situation to make goods garments .At 6:00 pm i close my factory.
(My factory is not a big factory it is a small factory) I am factory manager, purchaser, merchandiser, auditor etc. alone.
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