Based in Kathmandu, Nepal, there is a factory that is not only producing ethically sound clothing and accessories, but also empowering the lives of those that make it. This is Purnaa, the ethical contract garment manufacturers. Their mission? To empower those most marginalized by society and to help them live a fresh, bright future.
The second poorest nation in Asia, Nepal faces a number of economic and social challenges that sadly result in a high percentage of it’s population exposed to forms of exploitation including sex trafficking, bonded and domestic labor, and international labor exploitation. The devastating earthquake that hit in April last year, and the country’s instability and corruption means that business and governments are hesitant to invest here; more than 40% of the people are unemployed.
Purnaa creates opportunities for those who are kept in powerless positions within society. They may be discriminated against because they are suffering from an illness, looked down on because of religious reasons, or even be looked down upon because they are female, particularly female widowers. By offering training, jobs, scholarships for children, a fair living wage and healthcare, a hopeful dignified future is created for those that existed on the edge of Nepali society.
If you’re a designer with a conscience, Purnaa is the producer for you. Expertly skilled, they do everything from the drafting and grading of patterns and sourcing of fabric to the sewing, labelling and packaging of your product.
This is not a sweatshop unit
This is a social enterprise. Their success is not gauged on turnover or units of mass produced garments like so many others. Here, success is measured by the lives they help. They empower each generation so they become less vulnerable to exploitation, and make sure that they aid them in breaking free from the cycle of poverty. This is ethical manufacturing that empowers.