We are more than a boutique retailing beautiful product.
And we are more than a business who donates profits to charity. For us that's a great and valuable start but still a minimum when there is so much more impact that can be achieved!
We start with the producers.
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 select 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 it 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 and 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 build 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 organisation 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, some are positioned in areas where it is a known trafficking route, 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 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 depending 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 helps 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 consumption, recycling and reusing whenever we can. We wrap up your product in fresh, clean recycled paper packaging, mainly Australian made. Sea shipment when plausible, instead of air freight, is our preferred transportation method.
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 that enables them 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 goes 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 producers pages the red icons to help you recognise what they represent as you shop.
Why Human Trafficking