We source clothes directly from workers’ co-operatives, organisations that are active in the struggle for better working conditions in the garment industry.
Oporajeo is a workers’ co-op in Bangladesh set up by survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster. In 2013, the Rana Plaza commercial building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that housed a number of garment factories, collapsed, killing over a thousand people and left thousands more injured.
Oporajeo is completely owned by the workers. They are paid remunerations as Government rule. On top of that 50% of the profit is equally distributed among them. From the rest 50% of the profit, a percentage is utilized to support the workers’ children education. Oporajeo also provides medical support to the workers. This amounts to a Living Wage and decent conditions for the Oporajeo workers, many of who are long-time activists in the Bangladesh trade union movement.
Dignity Returns is a workers’ co-op in Thailand, set up by former sweatshop workers. After years of exploitation the sweatshop suddenly closed down. For 3 months the workers protested for their legal right to severance pay, and won. They went on to set up their own garment business, the Solidarity Factory. Working together as a co-operative, Dignity Returns was born.
In 2010 Dignity Returns joined forces with the La Alameda co-operative in Argentina to launch a new brand, No Chains, to promote sweat-free, cooperatively managed garment production and raise awareness of labour conditions in the global garment industry. The workers own their work, control the working conditions, and earn a living wage.