Sakshi International Pvt. Ltd. is committed to implement the Principles of Fair Trade in its day-to-day operations.
“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organisations engage actively with consumers, in supporting producers, awareness-raising and campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.”
Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world tradeis possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.
As a business we want to highlight that through fair trade we can make positive
changes in the
world. The first principle of Fair Trade involves supporting and providing opportunities to smaller
producers and manufacturers. This means giving your business to these marginalized suppliers and
helping their families and communities to break out of the poverty cycle.
We love and appreciate this principle because as we also work with small artisans working from their homes, we get to help grow their businesses as well as our own. One of the goals pursued by SIPL is to provide these artisans with the chance to attain financial independence while unfolding their full creative potential and confidence and thus help them become self-reliant and live a dignified life.
We hope our customers know that by purchasing our handicraft products, they don’t just help to feed a family in India, but they help to support local small businesses as well.
We will always put people and planet over profit. We understand that we are
accountable for all our actions. We continuously are working on ways to ensure transparency and are
forever delving deeper and deeper into our supply chain to ensure that in each stage of production,
fair trade practices are adhered to. We think the principle of Transparency and Accountability is
great because it’s all about striving for clear and open communication. We furthermore include both
our artisans and our office staff members in our decision-making processes wherever possible and
make sure to maintain open communication on all levels of our manufacturing and production chain.
Also we make ensure the confidentiality of commercial information supplied.
If you’re working for or with an organization or business, you want to know what’s going on, especially when it affects you personally. Here at Sakshi International Pvt. Ltd., we strive to maintain open communication with our employees, and work to build better relationships with the other organizations that we work with.
This principle builds off of the previous one, in that it involves maintaining
respectful relationships with trading
partners - keeping your word, making payments and shipments on time, and treating others with dignity and respect. We regularly provide our artisans with training sessions to broaden their repertoire of handicraft skills as well as with workshops on the Principles of Fair Trade. When starting handicraft production for SIPL, our artisans had little awareness of product quality and working conditions. Meanwhile they have come to highly appreciate our Fair Trade Principles and efforts.
In essence, you could say that this principle boils down to integrity, which is something that we value highly. We pay our artisan’s what is asked, when it’s asked. We don’t haggle on. In 43 years, even through the Covid pandemic of 2020, we are proud to say that we have not terminated any of our artisans and paid them while they were at home
The principle of fair payment has 2 main components: fair prices and fair wages.
A fair price includes a fair wage and a fair profit, and it is agreed upon by the buyer and the seller.
A fair wage is an equitable and mutually agreed-upon wage that represents at least the amount of the local Living Wage. Equitable means that women and men are paid the same wage for the same work. The local living wage is the amount earned in a standard working week that is sufficient to provide a decent standard of living.
Having a secure, reliable source of income has proven benefits for the next generation including improved educational opportunities, safer living conditions, and healthier environments. And in long terms thus decrease in child marriage for the next generation and decreases societal caste/class-based discrimination and provides greater opportunities for social and economic upward mobility.
This principle is pretty self-explanatory, but it is very important and SIPL pursues a very
strict policy on child protection. We adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national
/ local law on the employment of children.
Young artisans, be they printers, block carvers, helpers, sewers, embroiderers, loom operators or quality controllers, have to be at least 18 years old to work for us, no children under the age of 18 make our products.
However, they are always welcome to attend our skills workshops, if they are interested in acquiring or improving theoretical and/or practical skills on a voluntary basis.
We make sure that young artisans first receive a decent level of basic education before starting to create their own income. As for women artisans who are breast-feeding mothers, we arrange for their job to be completely home based, as to guarantee them the freedom to take good care of their baby in their familiar domestic surroundings.
At SIPL we ensures that there is no forced labor and our products are only made by workers who are paid and working of their own free will. Artisan are provided regular breaks and holidays. Excessive working hours are not allowed.
This principle involves a commitment to non-discriminatory practices when it comes to
hiring, promotion, termination, or retirement. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We
stand by this principle as well as the principles of gender equity and women’s empowerment. Most of
our quilted products are made by women, enabling them to provide for themselves and their families
and gain access to resources and new skills for their own empowerment. Empowering women is one of
our goals here at Sakshi International.
Freedom of Association means that employees within Fair Trade organizations are free to form and participate in trade unions of their choice.
One of the principles of Fair Trade that most of us are familiar with is that the
working conditions where the goods are produced must be healthy and safe. More specifically, this
means that they meet the standards of the local laws as well as the standards of the International
Labor Organization. We emphasize on ergonomics and all of our working places are kept clean and
hygienic. We provide safe, clean, well-ventilated working conditions with clean drinking water,
chai, and lunch breaks. Working
hours are set fairly under government legislation, and excessive working hours are not allowed. We do not tolerate harsh or inhumane treatment.
An organization that supports Fair Trade practices seeks to develop the skills and
capabilities of its own employees, as well as those of any small producers it may be working with.
Here at Sakshi International, we’re still growing and have just a small team of employees, but we seek to provide them with the resources and training that they need to grow right along with us.
One of the artisan manufacturers we work with started out as a 2-person workshop making blue
pottery and selling them on the streets in Jaipur, but by working with them we have been able to help them to increase their capacity for production by providing phones, fans, and other pieces of equipment needed. It has been a privilege for us to see their business grow along with ours.
Promoting Fair Trade means that the organization strives to spread the message of Fair Trade by providing information about it and using only honest advertising and marketing. We support non-discriminatory working conditions and right of expression, transparent work contracts, clear advocacy, and work policies. We’re raising awareness of the need to shop responsibly. Members work together to provide complete transparency in our production and supply chains and, ultimately, build businesses that have a positive impact on people and the planet.
We consider the impact that each step of our journey has on the environment, and
actively seek to use environmentally-friendly materials and methods at every opportunity.
Organizations that follow this principle seek to minimize their environmental impact, reduce energy
consumption where possible, to maximize the use of raw materials, and to buy locally where possible.
To reduce pollutants we do hydrogen peroxide for whitening rather than abrasive treatments like
chlorine bleach, mainly use handloom textiles in support of decentralized production and minimizing
our carbon footprint.
The use of AZO free and heavy metal free, low-impact dyestuff for solid dyeing & printing and energy-efficient manufacturing whenever possible. We do not use formaldehyde, phthalates, alkyl phenols or PVC in any form. These are all harmful chemicals commonly used in fashion industry.
Employees of our factories are given information on conserving energy and water, along with environmental protection training. Water recycling plants are used at our factories. All factory discharges are within legal limits and have minimal impact on the environment and people.
This principle could look different for everyone. For us, we strive to up cycling project using post-production scrap fabric. Any unavoidable remnants from our production process are repurposed, either to make next season's development samples, to create bags for. Smaller offcuts of fabric are either sold to scrap dealers who use them to make rugs for local markets or recycled as whole-wastage lots back to yarn. We use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.