Regularly people ask us about our production in India. Whether we are sure there is no child labour involved in our productions. And why we are not a member of for example the Fair Trade organisation.
We are not really fond of clubs. We do not really want to belong to a pre-defined group. And although Fair Trade, Made by, etc are all really doing good work, they are still clubs. For us there is no reason to suddenly change our point of view and wanting to become a member.
We know our responsibilities, and prefer to follow up on these ourselves, rather than spending a lot of time and money in order to satisfy someone else’s rules.
And the question about child labour – there is a short answer to that one. Yes, we are sure there is no child labour involved in producing our garments. We make contracts with all our factories, and this is the first point in all of those.
The factories know that if they do not follow this clause, we will stop working with them immediately.
And just to be clear: child labour is illegal in India. But hey, in a country with a population of 1.2 billion it is not always easy to uphold the law. Any law!
Then there is a longer answer. No, as a brand, you are never fully sure, because our factories in peak times work with subcontractors for parts of the production process. And as a brand, you never get the full picture of who these companies are.
But you can reduce the risks. And that is what we do. All our factories are in Noida (New Delhi) distributed on a few square kilometres. Almost daily they are visited by our own staff of Zazi India. They are not in some remote area, with staff living on the factory premises. In Delhi there are regular controls by the government, to check for children in the factories. And if they find illegal staff in the factories, it gets closed down.
If you want to pay the lowest price for your production, Delhi is the wrong place to be. You should go to remote areas, or to Bangladesh, where the salaries are lower, or even to Ethiopia, where they are even less.
The penny pinching to the last drop is something that goes well with mega big orders and discounters. Not with Zazi Brands.
But also in our factories people work really hard and long hours. In peak times 12 hour shifts occur, and sometimes all-nighters too. But the tailors get paid overtime, and usually they are quite happy doing this because they earn more.
Working conditions are good if you take the Indian market as a reference. If you would take Europe as a reference, they are less good. Part of this is due to the climate. In summers, when temperatures rise about 40 degrees, the fans relieve the heat a little, but it is still really, really warm behind the machines. And if there is a power cut, even the fans stop working.
In winters, when the temperature drops below 10 degrees, the tailors sit with sweaters, cardigans, scarfs and caps, because there is no heating there. This makes sense if you follow the average temperature over the year. It is one month a year that it is cold there, if at all.
We pay a fair price for our products. Adult men earn a decent salary working for us. Of which they can send their own kids to school. Our factories and their employees are happy to work with us. Which is the reason that with most of them we have been working for years and years, and that we consider them part of our organisation.
If you want to read more about them, you can find a few profiles on our page about us on this website. They grow and thrive with us. And like us, they look at the future with a bright eye and attitude.