At Traidcraft, we work closely with two different producer groups to make sure that our Fairtrade cotton garments are really fair, from start to finish.
Narmaben Manji, who works as a cotton farmer in India, hopes that selling organic cotton to Agrocel – one of Traidcraft’s suppliers - will help to provide her grandsons with a better future.
Narmaben knows what it’s like to struggle to bring up a child. Her husband, Harilel, died 28 years ago, leaving her with their six-month-old son, Mahendra, to bring up alone.
Thanks to the support of her husband’s family and her own hard work, Narmaben coped and is now enjoying seeing her grandsons, Het and Meet grow up.
Four generations live on the family farm which Narmaben shares with her husband’s brothers and their families. She farms her area of land with her son, Mahendra, and has been growing cotton for 10 years.
"My son was six months old when my husband died, It was a very difficult time.I am doing some work in the field, like picking and weeding. I get a good price for my cotton. The Agrocel field officer also comes to give advice and there is interest-free credit. I want to give my grandsons a good education."
Considerable support from Traidcraft has enabled Agrocel to enter and grow within the fair trade market, which now accounts for a key proportion of its sales. Agrocel produces cotton, rice, grapes (for sultanas) and cashews.
The organic cotton from Agrocel is then shipped to Mauritius where its importation, dyeing and weaving is co-ordinated by Craft Aid.
Craft Aid provides work for 165 men and women, 40% of whom are disabled. The tailoring unit is one of the largest teams at Craft Aid. Here the workers benefit from excellent working conditions and a range of social benefits pioneering in the textile industry.
In addition, Craft Aid is the largest employer of disabled people and the only one in Mauritius where disabled employees are fully integrated in the workforce on an equal basis.
Many of the women sewing for Craft Aid are the main family breadwinners, so regular work and good wages are vital to provide for their families.