Homegrown in North America
In 2014 we moved into our studio office in a small garment factory in Vancouver's Eastside. Anything from our homegrown collection uses 100% local community resources from the fabric, buttons, labels, all the way down to the thread!
Same great product just grown on a different soil!
Overseas & Freedom Factory
We have seen the good and the bad in overseas production and when we started this business we were torn whether to produce overseas or to bring the fabric into Canada and produce locally.
Then the Bangladesh factory collapse happened. It was a horrific event that echoed through the entire manufacturing landscape. Everyone knew somebody who was either in the factory or affected by it. As the media shed light on the event, companies who were embarrassed by the tragedy began to pull out of the country.
Now not only were people mourning deaths of family members, but now they were also losing their jobs in the hundreds.
Many companies decided to run rather than help. It was at that moment I knew we would produce in Bangladesh, but we were going to do it differently.
The money we save on fabric goes directly back into the community via Al-Ishan and Freedom Factory to support the women and girls in the region.
We are a Freedom Thread brand.
To be a Freedom Thread brand means we stand up for the well being of people. We believe in equality and practice fair treatment with every person we work with. We give back. We know the bottom line doesn’t always need to squeeze those extra few dollars.
We support an initiative called The Freedom Factory, which works directly to support a vocational centre for women and girls with education, meal and social programs. The purpose is not only to provide a world class education but a safe, socially responsible environment that can lead to an employment opportunity, but to also give them opportunities in life that most women in the region do not get.
Vocational Center Growth
We pay $1 for the bag which will be made in the vocational center working with Freedom Factory all proceeds will go directly to the families. The bags will be attached to every garment made in the freedom factory. In the bag it will contain a brief synopsis on Al-Ihsan and Freedom Factory and a link to the site where they can sponsor a child or donate.
Social Compliance Alliance
Working with our current factories and suppliers we will set up ethical standards for working conditions and employees. We want to set standards that echo through the manufacturing landscape
1. THE PHYSICAL FACILITIES OF THE FACTORY
A walk through of the entire facility – production area, warehouse, dormitories, canteen, etc. All amenities are upheld at all factories: Structure condition, Enough space to move around and work in production areas, adequate ventilation, clearly marked and unobstructed emergency exits, sanitary cafeterias and restrooms, and easy access to potable water.
2. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION ON FILE
Employee attendance records and payroll records are heavily scrutinized. By comparing these records, auditors will be able to determine if the factory is adhering to labor regulations related to minimum wages, over time wages, and maximum working hours. Additionally we will request all documentation regarding hiring practices and conditions of employment.
3. EMPLOYEE INTERVIEWS
A walk-through of the facility and documentation reviews yield valuable information, but there is no substitute for talking to the employees themselves. Interviews with randomly selected workers will serve to gauge the employees understanding of the policies they work under and their feelings on the physical conditions as well, putting the information gathered in the steps above into much-needed context.
4. EDUCATION, MEAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS PUT IN PLACE
Currently most factories do not see the benefit of rewarding their employees. We will put in place education, meal and social programs that are in line with the standards Al-Ihsan has put in place.