“We would love to have as many women as possible at the factory.”
STC is a smoothly run family business and has around 500 employees, who all have access to healthcare and social benefits, such as retirement funds. Ipshita, daughter of one of the founders, stepped into her father’s business around 7 years ago and is now managing the complete O My Bag department. Her brother Utsav joined about three years ago and is the one responsible for wallets and small accessories.
We started working with STC in 2015. They were the ones to produce our very first business line. Now they are responsible for the production of a big part of our bags in Classic Leather. O My Bag was the first brand for which STC produced a sustainable leather line.
“Everybody talks to each other like it’s one big family.”
We have been working with the Equitable Marketing Association (EMA) right from the very beginning in 2010. EMA was established in 1977 and is a guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
When entering the doors of EMA, you step from the hectic Kolkata life into a peaceful haven. In the center of the different buildings on site, there is a tranquil garden full of trees and flowers. A vegetable garden on site supplies fresh herbs and veggies that are used for lunch. Currently, 139 people are working at EMA. They not only get to enjoy regular skills trainings, health insurance and social benefits such as maternity leave, but also a nice big, freshly prepared lunch every day!
EMA employs especially disadvantaged people. Their workers comprise artisans, farmers, craftsmen and weavers who enjoy sustainable livelihoods by producing various types of fair trade products including the O My Bags you know and love. The Dustbag ladies are also part of EMA. A former worker of the factory saw how eager the women in his village were to find work. He quit his job and set up a sewing workshop for them. These ladies now make O My Bag’s dustbags.
As we are growing and evolving we are delighted to see EMA and all its employees evolve with us!
“We never compromise on quality and always strive to give the best of raw materials & craftsmanship possible.”
Springfield Factory has been a partner since 2014 and it has always been a pleasure to work with them. The company was established in 2002 by J.S. Sawhney, who is a real connoisseur, considering the fact that producing handbags has been a family vocation since 1957! Our colleagues at Springfield share plenty of our values and just like us they want to produce bags that are not only of an amazing quality, but also produced in a fair way.
All 77 employees at Springfield enjoy health and accident insurance and benefit from social security schemes like retirement or unemployment funds. Just as at all our partnering factories, women are entitled to equal pay and maternity leave.
Springfield is very environmentally conscious. They like to take full advantage of the daylight, but when lights are needed they use energy-efficient light bulbs to help reduce electricity consumption. The management team of father and sons makes sure that factory waste is recycled and water is used frugally.
“It’s Prithiijit’s dream
to have a
Coming from a family of leather goods manufacturer Prithiijit founded Mapletree together with his friend Dharmesh. Their idea was to become a boutique leather goods manufacturer working on sustainability and quality rather than high volumes.
Currently they have 120 full time workers, out of which 25% are women and 5% are specially abled adults.
In the leather bag industry women mostly work either in the assembling unit or the checking and packing department. Mapletree wants to give women a chance to do more than that, and therefore they are running an internal program to train women workers to become production leaders as well as craftswoman to work on their industrial sewing machines. Right now they have 4 women who are craftswoman and can make a complete bag on their own. It’s Prithiijit’s dream to have a women-led factory by 2021.
Mapletree tries to further engage it’s team by organising HR-led initiatives such as an Annual Picnic , Annual Health Check Up, Diwali Celebrations, Vishwakarma Puja Celebrations (which Jessica and Leonie joined in September 2019), Carrom Championship and Happy Thanks Giving.
“We want to see freedom prosper in our communities, with every person having a chance to not only feed and clothe themselves but ultimately reach their full potential.“
Freeset Global is an organization that provides alternative employment opportunities for women who are working in the sex industry. At Freeset they find hope for a brighter future and the means to make it a reality.
At present, 250 ladies receive trainings relevant for their new job and are empowered with life-skills needed to find their way and make the most out of their freedom.
The salary is twice as much as one would receive for an equivalent job and all employees benefit from health insurance and a pension plan. Associated with Freeset Global is the Freeset Trust, which provides literacy classes, child care, budgeting and debt management services.
In 2018, O My Bag supported The Cup, a café belonging to Freeset. Its purpose is to be a safe space for women so they can build healthy relationships, grow a supportive community and confidence in a brighter future.
When we select manufacturing partners, we make sure that effective policies are in place to protect human rights, prevent discrimination and sexual harassment and that the environment is not harmed. You can download our Code of Conduct here.