Our producers are our heroes. They have shown resilience and courage. They are women and men, mothers and fathers, young and old living in many different communities across Asia.
They provide the life giving income, work place, community initiatives and more. So you would like to think we gave it a bit of thought before we selected them. And we have; here we focus on the aspects we seek out in our producers and any not for profit organisations associated with them.
They are credible.
To us this means simply that they are doing what they say they are doing and we do our best to validate this.
As Heather worked in the development sector in South East Asia, living there for almost 8 years, she has a broad network of people involved in the sector. Our founding producers were recommended to her by people she knew had been involved in some way and seen them in action.
She has built on this connection to develop relationships with the organisation and continues to highly value communication, collaboration and her relationship with them.
As for Dignity has grown, it has started to build relationships with new producers. These producers have credibility based on their association with external bodies such as World Fair Trade Organisation etc.
After credibility the producers need to have at least one of these features, preferable more!
1. Fighting Human Trafficking
We identify production organisations who have positioned themselves in communities where trafficking is prevalent. As 78% of trafficked people end up in the sex industry, some are located in the communities around the red light districts. But not all are here, as some are positioned in areas where they are known trafficking routes, like country borders.
2. Empowering workplace values and environment.
Our producers’ business model provides more than giving a job to someone. Each vary in what exactly they have integrated, but here’s what we look for…
Fair Trade Recognised.
Many of our producers have a fair-trade certification with recognised organisations. They adhere to the Fair Trade Principles
A small number of our producers are smaller and do not have the capacity to apply for formal recognition. We continue to encourage them to pursue it in the future and at the same time ensure that they are offering fair and safe workplaces, pay a liveable wage and provide holistic care.
Addressing the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the producers intentionally. This may include health care, vocational training and professional development, safety and education for their children, housing, savings plans and more dependency on the organisation.
For those that have experienced the trauma of trafficking or exploitation, the organisation provides counselling and support that helps that person begin to heal and gain a deep awareness of their value.
3. Sustainable Environmental Practices
Our big focus is people but we are also seeking to take care of our earth. Product made of organic material means local farmers and environment are not exposed to pesticides.
Products using recycled and remnant saris and leather, recycled metals, non toxic dyes and local raw materials help reduce the environmental impact of production.
As a Melbourne based enterprise, for Dignity is doing our bit to reduce waste and be eco friendly. Reducing our carbon footprint on the earth is an important focus for us. We recycle and reusing whenever we can, and we wrap product using clean recycled and FSC mix paper and compostable bags, made in Australia. Making conscious decisions includes using carbon neutral delivery services as a preferred option, whenever possible.”
4. Designs by local artisan or crafted by hand
Our producers who are creating products by integrating the skills of craftsmen in the region have tapped into a local resource and local raw materials which enable them to empower the community more. This often means our products are made by hand, some from the very outset, others later in the design process. Hours of careful design and labour go into the making of the pieces and we value the producer's workmanship and skills.
Our Criteria at a Glance
As all these values do not apply to every one of our producers, on each product and producer’s pages the red icons are present to help you recognise what they represent as you shop.
Why Human Trafficking