Shopping from us in 2021, rather than other brands, has
- stopped 168,000 square meters of saris become waste
- given regular income to 176 female artisans and their families in India, paying them for 151,000 hours of work.
Most companies measure success by their sales. These are important, but we also value how much we can lower waste and transform the lives of the people we employ.
Since 2016 we have stopped more than 1 million square meters of saris, the main dress of Indian women, be turned into waste. That’s the equivalent of 800 Olympic sized swimming pools.
We believe saris are way too beautiful to become waste, and so give them a second life – turning them into clothing and accessories instead. So they become part of your lives.
We started off by employing 64 females in 2017, this has risen to 176 in 2021.
We gave them second chances, by giving them their first jobs.
MEASURING THE IMPACT OF SECOND CHANCES
We measure the impact of being given a second chance. Not everyone gets it right first time.
Think back to when you were given a second chance. Perhaps it was at school, work or in a relationship.
At I was a Sari, we get the importance of being given another go, so we’ve put it in our DNA.
We measure how many of our artisans can look their managers in the eye.
Because they have new purpose.
“So live as if you were living already for the second time”- Viktor Frankl
When our artisans join us, they typically hold their head and eyes low, reflecting their low self confidence. They’re shy and can’t look us in the eye. They haven’t necessarily had the best start in life and have often felt that they’re not capable of much. As they work for us we see how they change.
As we work together we hear from our artisans that
“Now I ….
feel more equal
am saving up for my child’s education
have a skill that I get paid for
finally feel I’m moving upwards…..”
“It feels so different having a regular paycheck and a new skill. Being part of a team, building something.”
“Now I can look you in the eye”.
Some of our artisans went on a plane for the first time, to Rome where we worked with Gucci designers to reimagine the Indian sari. We went up on stage at a prestigious Sustainable Fashion awards ceremony in Milan to collect a global prize for their work.
Another project with Gucci Equilibrium meant our artisans learnt embroidery techniques – a craft that is usually just for men in India. So they smashed through that ceiling too.
This year’s International Women’s Day was about gender equality and the environment.
The theme was breaking the biases people have, which stops women from reaching their potential. Reducing the blocks, that just get in the way.