Q&A Empowerment Challenge
–Who can participate?
Individuals of all ages (under 18 with parental permission) who are not employees of Nudie Jeans or Amnesty International
–Were are the T-shirts produced?
They are produced in India by Nudie jeans supplier Armstrong Knitting Mills in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu. It is a producer who owns the whole production chain from spinning, knitting, dyeing, sewing and printing .It is an advantage for us as we can see the entire chain of production and have better control over conditions there.
–How do Nudie jeans ensure that production of the t-shirts is okay?
We have selected Armstrong as a supplier based on their certifications for Fairtrade and organic cotton, they can produce the product we want. In addition they have a leadership that is collaborative and share our commitment to better working conditions and sustainable solutions. Armstrong participates in two social projects, one is a UN funded project on women's rights held by the Fair Wear Foundation. The other is a pilot with Nudie Jeans, Fair Wear Foundation and Fairtrade participating to extend the criteria for the Fairtrade standard. This is applied to the production stage and not only for the raw material as it is currently. Armstrong has undergone an audit in 2011 by a Fair wear foundation team and a follow-up visits where both Nudie jeans and FWF representative was present in which improvements could be observed. In 2012, the spinning unit will be checked again by the Fair Wear Foundation audit team.
–What are the inks used in the prints?
The ink used in the print is water based and contains no hazardous Azo ink. The colors and Ink are certified according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and printed in Armstrong's own printing unit.
–How can we say that the workers who produce the t-shirts are being empowered?
By Nudie Jeans membership in FWF it gives Armstrong an opportunity for participating in an UN-funded project without any extra costs, the project concerns strengthen women's rights and reduce violence and harassment in the workplace. This will be implemented on the spinning unit in the production where we have seen the most risk and where most young women are working. This is one of the initiatives we support Armstrong in doing, paying a little bit extra for the t-shirts is another thing, and mostly our continuous work for improvement at the workplace ensures the workers that we are trying to do as much as we can for improving the working environment.
–How much are workers paid that makes the T-shirts?
All workers at Armstrong are paid at least a legal national minimum wage (about INR 4200) it is often not enough to feed a whole family on. As a first step towards a higher salary, we pay a little more for these t-shirts it will be distributed to workers as a social project that can benefit all workers on one unit, not only those who sew our t-shirts. We are a very small customer of Armstrong and this is a first step towards a positive improvement of working conditions. We can´t select only those who sew our shirts and if we'll spread the salary increase to all persons throughout the production chain, there is almost nothing left, so therefore we must find a another solution to make our contribution to make sure it really benefit the workers. We must start somewhere and this is our first step.
–How does Nudie Jeans benefit in this cooperation?
The main objective from Nudie jeans is not to make a profit on these t-shirts, as 10 euro will go directly to Amnesty International.
By the cooperation we show that we think that Amnesty International is doing a good job and we like to work with them.
This is the third collaboration with Amnesty International since Nudie jeans started, it is natural for us to continue the collaboration after the Human Rights theme that we had last time and an initiative like this goes well with Nudie jeans identity and profile as a conscious brand.
Through the cooperation, the publicity may increase our sales of our other products. By placing more orders with our supplier Armstrong, it will also to give us more importance there, and we can by that influence even more .This is beneficial both for our production but mostly the social and environmental work.
–How will the t-shirts be transported?
For shipments to US / Canada they arrange the shipment themselves by sea freight. Delivery to Japan is also arranged by them, usually done by air shipment. To Australia we arrange the sea shipment; all other countries are sent by sea freight to Sweden for further distribution.
–What does the certifications for Fairtrade and Organic cotton stands for?
The Fairtrade certified cotton means that the farmers of the cotton have got a fair price for the cotton; it also means that we (Nudie jeans) are paying for the Fairtrade premium which is invested in a social project in benefit for the local community. The Fairtrade certification is only valid for the raw material so far.
The organic cotton is certified by GOTS, Global Organic Textile Standard. It ensures that the cotton is grown by organic farming practices. The certificates are renewed only after inspection of the manufacturing unit.
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