If you've seen the documentary True Cost, then you are well aware of the struggles that many families, especially women, go through in Bangladesh when they are employed by the fashion industry. (If you haven't seen this movie, we urge you to queue it up on Netflix right now.) In Bangladesh, 4 million people work in the garment industry, 80% of whom are women. Many of these jobs are in urban areas that offer high costs of living and few affordable options for child care. Therefore, many of the women sewing our clothes to appease our appetite for fast fashion have few alternatives other than to take exceptionally long commutes to their jobs or even leave their children in rural areas with other relatives.
So imagine our delight when we came across Pebble--a fair trade toy company that provides employment opportunities to women in rural Bangladesh. All Pebble products are hand-knitted by women who work for Hathay Bunano--a non-profit, fair trade organization whose mission is to create fairly paid and flexible jobs for women in rural Bangladesh who are often poor and disadvantaged. The jobs at Hathay Bunano fit within the rhythms of rural life to prevent economic migration to the cities. This means families can stay together--mothers with their children--with economic opportunities that are hard to come by in the area.
Hathay Bunano is going beyond fair trade standards to make a true difference for women and their families. We're honored to feature Pebble products at Society B.