Most of your clothes are made by women working from home.
Hidden between complex layers of outsourcing, most of them are invisible. With virtually no legal framework to protect their rights, they are the most vulnerable when it comes to greenwashing and exploitative practices.
So how can you tell whether your purchase is really making a difference in their lives - or it just is just perpetuating the status quo?
Compliance with 100+ Standards
Together with some of the foremost leaders of social compliance and labor rights, Nest has created a framework of 100+ standards for assessing ethical handcraft production practices - focusing especially on informal workshops and home-based artisans.
Among other things, their assessment required us to prove:
Fair wages, including how they are calculated and paid.
No child labor.
Worker rights, such as regular breaks, the right to unionise, sick leave.
Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for all.
Workplace safety provisions, including fire extinguishers,
first-aid stations, emergency exits in Rumah SukkhaCittas.
The highest environmental stewardship.
Showing that we really do use the most natural, traceable plant dyes
there are and employ responsible water management.
On the ground verification
What makes this certification so meaningful is that they does not simply ask for records and written policies. Everything is reviewed and verified on the ground: They actually came to our villages — checking wage and production records and conducting interviews with artisans in our Rumah SukkhaCittas independently.
In addition, Nest requires annual trainings in First Aid, Emergency Procedures and the use of safety equipment such as rubber boots, gloves and goggles (e.g. when handling boiling water during the dyeing process).
This is a big deal because we’re the first clothing brand in Indonesia to successfully pass their tough assessment! Showing that your most meaningful clothes are not only handcrafted, but Ethically Handcrafted™️.
What is a living wage?
A living wage is the minimum our craftswomen need to cover their basic needs such as housing, food, education for their kids and basic healthcare. To calculate it, we collect data from our village communities on their average household spending every month.
We convert this number into piece rates; We measure the average time it takes our Ibus to create a fabric—so we can determine how much a woman needs to be paid per piece in order to receive a living wage.
Nest reviewed our practices and verified that our living wage calculation consistently provides our Ibus with incomes above local minimum wages in every region!
Why this matters
Craft is not just beautiful. In our village communities, we have seen again and again: Craft can be an incredibly powerful tool to promote women’s rights and boost their financial independence, especially for young mothers working from home.
Yet despite the growing market for handcrafted products, most craftswomen in Indonesia still live in poverty: Brands and workshops outsource work through multiple layers of middlemen, down to women working from home. Women who are invisible, earning less than $2 (Rp30.000,00) a day.
That’s why the work of organisations like Nest is so important: We need clear standards and traceability to make sure artisans are paid fairly and treated with the respect they deserve.