Over the festive period our founder, Aamena, went to the factories that make the Unoa products we know and love. On her visit, (which she does regularly) she checked out how the factory works in more detail and what makes it a better working environment for the people who make your clothes, as well as dropping in to see how those new lines are looking!
In Karachi, Pakistan where our factory is based, most of the factories and workers use contractors to get work. The contractors take a cut from the workers' pay, and do not care for the conditions their employees work in. Our factory is a little different, it took some time for everyone to get used to but we cut out the contractors and now all our workers are in house, which means they are paid above minimum wage (because there are no contractors taking any cuts), along with health and medical benefits too. Employees can take loans from the finance department to help with medical expenses, which is then deducted in manageable installments from future paychecks. Without a form of NHS or national welfare in Pakistan, this is genuinely life changing for our workers.
Alongside health care loans the factory conditions are all monitored too with lots of windows to allow ventilation, which is essential for the health of the staff, particularly during the hot summer months and for those working with chemical dyes. Staff working with chemicals are also provided with safety equipment such as masks and gloves. There are fire safety procedures and evacuation diagrams in every department and section of the factory. This may just seem like standard practice to you or I, however this isn't the norm for factories in developing countries.
(Fire evacuation diagram)
Not only do we pride ourselves on using factories that put workers' rights as well as health and safety at the forefront of their business , our suppliers are also investing in more advanced technologies and machinery such as automatic pattern cutting machines to improve productive efficiency and ensure better quality for you, our customers. This also teaches new skills to the workers so that they can progress in their careers.
(Automatic pattern cutter)
The environment and the impact we have on it is another key area we are extremely conscious of. We absolutely love how the factory we use has invested thousands of dollars into a water filtration plant, which fully treats the water before it goes back into the public water system. Residue from chemical dye is harmful to both the local people who live in the surrounding areas as well as to the ecosystems. Knowing that the water we use is treated properly before entering the supply chain puts our mind at ease and ensures that both the people and the environment is not harmed by contaminated water from our manufacturing process.
(Water filtration plant)
Not only did Aamena inspect the factory, she interviewed two female employees who have been stitching Unoa garments. To follow on from this introductory blog post, we would love for you to "meet the makers" next week.
Written by Daisy Culbert