Here at Monsoon, we’re proud to support Fashion Revolution Week’s (22nd-28th April 2019) #whomademyclothes campaign, demanding greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. The global movement aims to radically change the way clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, and help ensure that people, the environment, creativity and profit are all valued in equal measure. As a brand, we’re committed to sourcing responsibly, understanding our supply chain and doing right by the people who make our most beautiful things. Here, we meet some of the talented artisans and craftspeople who’ve made your clothes, as well as shining a light on our ethical trading policies.
Ethical Trade – What We Do
We source responsibly. For us, this means ensuring our suppliers adhere to our Code of Conduct, as well as identifying when our suppliers and workers might benefit from additional support.
We understand our supply chain. We are constantly striving to learn more about the workers in our supply chain and the regional challenges and issues they may face.
We know that ethical trade starts with us. We’re committed to ensuring that our practices support our suppliers and allow them to provide healthy and fair working conditions.
Meet Baby Jha
Baby Jha has been working in one of our supplier factories as a sewing operator in an assembly line production system for four years. She’s been married to her husband Dilip Kumar for 26 years and the couple have four children together – Aditya, Vishakha and twins Nandini and Kirti.
After her husband left work to undergo surgery, Baby took it upon herself to support her family. Utilising her basic knowledge of stitching, she landed a job in a garment manufacturing house where she started earning a regular salary. At first, Baby’s husband was apprehensive about her going out to work but quickly changed his mind when he saw how committed and dedicated she was to provide for the family. Driven and motivated, Baby has also passed her sewing knowledge onto her eldest son who, thanks to his mother’s efforts, has also managed to find work to support himself.
A Sustainable Future
Hand-craft is a key source of employment and income in many parts of Asia, especially rural communities in India. Yet according to the UN, hand-craft in India has declined by 30% over the last decade and is in danger of falling further as artisans fail to find markets for their products. Our continued commitment to using hand-craft helps sustain skills and livelihoods, as well as adding something special and unique to our collections.
Fair Working Conditions
Our skilled craftspeople are employed by our trusted suppliers, and work from home, in local workshops or in factories. Then we ensure that they’re paid in a fair and transparent way.
Over the years, we’ve built strong relationships with our suppliers. The Ethical Trade Team audit artisan subcontracting sites twice a year, paying particular attention to the transparency of payments to homeworkers. They ensure suppliers establish a fair piece rate and that rates are recorded in homeworker handbooks that we verify regularly.
Meet Eid Mohammed
Eid Mohammed has been working at one of our supplier factories for over four years, hand-embellished the bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses in our ARTISAN collection.
Described as happy and hard-working, Eid moved to Mumbai to look for work but was unable to due to his limited education. He did, however, have experience in embellishment and after being mentored by his uncle, Eid’s confidence and expertise in handcraft grew. He soon found a job in Delhi, which meant he could earn a salary and sustain a family skill.
Today, Eid can financially support his family and wants all three of his children – Khushboo, Shehnawaz and Faizan – to complete their education in order to be able to make a living for themselves.
The Monsoon Accessorize Product Supply Chain
Here at Monsoon, we take responsibility for our product supply chain. We map subcontractor sites beyond our factories and keep a record of the artisans associated with them. Each worker is required to fill out reference forms with their details, as well as those of their family members. They’re asked to affix a passport-sized photo of him or herself onto the form, and submit a proof of identification.
We’ve also introduced worker handbooks where artisans can track the number of pieces they’ve worked on and, in turn, keep a record of their wages. Upon payment from the subcontractor, each artisan then signs these handbooks. This helps create transparency in the supply chain by letting us know who is making our clothes, and allowing us to make sure that everyone has been fully paid.