“Every single business has the potential to create social change and do good. Dignified employment and providing a living wage truly changes lives and should be the standard in every country.”
Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?
Thank you, I was so surprised and very honored.
Do you know why you were selected?
Purnaa recently launched a new range called Custom Print Gear, an ethical and sustainable collection of customizable basics. I helped develop this range from the concept to creating marketing materials and I now manage the project. It’s something that I’m very passionate about and proud to have been a part of.
We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?
My parents are from South Africa but my sister and I grew up in Wales. My Mom works for an organization that helps people who’ve been affected by domestic abuse, my Dad is a physician and my little sister is studying at medical school in London. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family, they’ve all been to visit me in Nepal and they loved it here too.
What is your job at Purnaa?
My job at Purnaa is varied, which is what I love about it, but my main responsibility is as Custom Print Gear’s Project Manager and as a Sustainability Manager. I also work quite a bit in Marketing and Sales.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
As I work in a few different departments, no two days are the same and I’ve had some amazing opportunities whilst being here. When I first started at Purnaa I worked in sourcing, which meant visiting suppliers and textile factories around the valley to see how they could work together with Purnaa. Meeting so many new people and learning in-depth about garment manufacturing is what I’ve enjoyed this the most.
Oh, and Purnaa provides spicy dal bhat for lunch everyday. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t also one of my favorite things.
How long have you worked at Purnaa?
Almost 18 months now.
What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?
I had graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I then took a year off to travel around Asia and discover more about garment and textiles manufacturing over here.
What motivated you to come work at Purnaa?
When I was in university I learned about the horrific impact that the fashion industry has on the environment and society. The more I came to understand about the toxic nature of the industry, the more I realized I’d never be able to work for a conventional company that puts profit before people and the environment. When I learned about what Purnaa was doing, creating employment opportunities for marginalized people and working against the traditional fast fashion model, it seemed like a perfect match.
What keeps you coming to work?
The incredible team of people that I work with. Everyone is so much fun to be around and get to know. Even though my Nepali isn’t good at all, we find ways to communicate (mainly chatting about food, eating, when you last ate, when I last ate, what your future food plans are, etc.). Everyone comes from completely different professional backgrounds, but shares a common determination to see Purnaa succeed.
What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to share with others?
Every single business has the potential to create social change and do good. Dignified employment and providing a living wage truly changes lives and should be the standard in every country, as it is in most countries in the West. Underpaying and taking advantage of producers in the Global South is utterly criminal. Your power as a consumer is huge, supporting companies that have a positive impact in the world counts!
If I were to ask your boss what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?
Probably that I’ll try anything you throw at me. With small businesses everyone has to pitch in, even when they’ve not tried something before. This year I built a website, which is something I never in a million years thought I’d be able to do.
What dreams do you have for the future?
I want to continue working for and learning from ethical companies in the garment industry around the world. I’d also like to be alive to see sweatshops die out and everyone in fashion’s supply chain receive a fair, living wage, but that may be too much of an unrealistic dream.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just how thankful I am to have worked at Purnaa. I’m coming to the end of my time here so reflecting on it through this interview has been lovely. Thanks for making me employee of the month!
To discover more about Custom Print Gear visit: www.purnaa.store