Earlier this year, we updated you that with your support our production manager Rajesh was able to open his own factory in Tirupur, India.
This was a great step forward for both Rajesh and for NICO. We are aligned in our thinking when it comes to best practice in business and share a philosophy centred on caring for people and the environment first and reducing our impact wherever possible. Our businesses are both built on kindness.
2021 has not been without its difficulties and Rajesh and his small team have dealt with the the usual challenges of starting a business alongside extended lockdowns in India. Throughout, Rajesh has continued to support his team and put people first. Aside from continuing to pay workers throughout lockdowns, Rajesh has covered unexpected medical expenses and paid tuition fees for the children of workers. These are just some of the ways he goes above and beyond.
We know though, that third party accreditations are the clearest way that we can communicate to you that the people making your clothing are being treated fairly. With this in mind, now that the worst of the pandemic has passed in India, we have commenced the process of having the factory accredited with GOTS.
The GOTS process is a comprehensive accreditation that details mandatory compliance with a number of criteria including:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Child labour shall not be used
- No discrimination is practiced
- Occupational health and safety (OHS)
- No harassment and violence
- Remuneration and assessment of living wage gap
- Working time
- No precarious employment is provided
- Protections for Migrant workers
Our GOTS accreditation is underway and we expect the audit process to be complete by the end of this year.
In the meantime we are pleased to share a series of images taken recently at the factory by acclaimed Indian documentary photographer Sameer Raichur.