Posts tagged with ‘Purnaa’

  • Mar302018

    4 Easy Steps For Saving Big Using the Nepal Trade Preference Program

    To encourage economic development after Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake, the USA granted special trade preference to Nepal and now offers DUTY-FREE TREATMENT to certain products, including:

    • many kinds of handbags,
    • suitcases,
    • sports bags;
    • various carpets;
    • gloves;
    • scarves and shawls;
    • and hats and other headgear.

    You can save up to 20% on products made in Nepal. Follow the simple tips below to capitalize on this Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015.

    How do I take advantage of the Nepal Trade Preference?

    1. Check to see if your products are included in this Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015.  Section 915 lists 66 subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of products when made in Nepal that will receive duty free entry to the United States.

    You can use this website (https://hts.usitc.gov/) to look up your product, or the various HS Codes listed in the trade preference. If you see an “NP” in the column marked “Special”, then it’s time to celebrate! This indicates that your product is included in the Trade Preference Program.

     

    2. Buy items from Nepal on the list of 66 products and ensure that the manufacturing step in Nepal is adding at least 35% value and is more than simple combining or packaging operations.

     

    3. Ensure your manufacturer in Nepal fills out a GSP Form A and Certificate of Origin, declaring your items as one of those on the list of 66 HS Codes, annotating Nepal trade preference with an “NP” next to the HS Code, gets it signed and stamped on export by the Nepal Customs department, and sends you copies.

     

     

    4. Before your goods arrive, let your customs broker or shipping company know that your items are eligible for the Nepal Trade Preference and request they declare them accordingly.

     

     

    How long will the trade preference last? Until 2025

     

    Do other countries qualify for the Trade Preference? The Trade Preference only applies to products made in Nepal, shipped to the US. However, because Nepal is a Least Developed Country under the GSP system and a former conflict country, many countries such as those in the EU and Canada offer special duties discount to goods that come from Nepal. Each country’s rules may be different.

     

    What if I am still charged duties? Purnaa has produced goods for many customers that qualify for the Trade Preference. However, a few customers have still been charged duties. We assume this is because a country specific Trade Preference is quite rare and few customs officials are aware of Nepal specific rules.  If your goods mistakenly get charged import duties even though they are on the Trade Preference list, you can request a refund.

     

    How do I know if my product is one listed in the Trade Preference? At Purnaa, we can advise you if your product is included in the Trade Preference, and we can even give some advice for product changes to help take advantage of the program. But in the end, it’s up to you to check that your product meets the classification criteria of the US HTS system.  You can use this website (https://hts.usitc.gov/) to look up your product, or the various HS Codes listed in the trade preference. If you see an “NP” in the column marked “Special”, your product is included in the Trade Preference Program.

     

    Nepal is a country with higher than 40% unemployment, which leads to a people who are very vulnerable to exploitation.  When you choose to manufacture at Purnaa in Nepal, not only can you save money with this trade preference law, but you will also help to employ marginalized people and survivors of exploitation.

     

    At Purnaa, we love to make products for clients that value ethical manufacturing and transparent supply chains.  So, check out the US-Nepal Trade Preference Program and consider manufacturing your products here in Nepal. This could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

     

    Get a Production Quote Here to explore if Purnaa is a good fit for your manufacturing needs.

    Purnaa Store
  • Feb162018
    Custom Print Gear Project Manager

    Meet Hannah, Our Creative Custom Print Gear Manager

    “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

    Purnaa Store
  • Feb022018
    Purnaa Anita Bag

    The Making of the Anita Bag

    The Anita Bag has been one of our most popular Purnaa products to date, so we thought we would give you a closer look at how it is produced.

    The bag is made with 100% cotton canvas, eco-friendly genuine leather, and hand-woven Nepali dhaka fabric. We have used four new dhaka variations for this line offering several options for a fresh take on a classic.

    All of our products start with a design and sampling. Since we have made this bag before, we already had the design and sample completed. After a sample is made and an order is confirmed, we work on sourcing the correct fabric. For this bag – the canvas, leather, and zippers are imported from India. The dhaka is made by a local factory in Kathmandu.

    Once the fabric arrives, our Cutting Team layers it and traces the pattern pieces on the top layer. This is a very precise process because we are committed to maximizing our use of the fabric and minimize any waste.

    After the fabric is cut, Team Laliguras gets to work sewing the bags. There are 15 different sewing steps and 7 different machines involved in making this bag. The sewing team works together to make the finished product, taking turns completing the steps. The Anita bag features one large zippered pocket on the front, two smaller pockets inside, and a snap at the top to close the bag.

    Starting out, it does not look like a bag. The team slowly adds more and more pieces to make it all come together.

    With so many steps, it is definitely a team effort. Team Laliguras is very supportive and encouraging of each other. If anyone needs help, they gladly lend a hand to  one another. It is also very common to find them chatting and laughing while they work throughout the day.

    Once the sewing is complete, each piece is checked by our Quality Control team to make sure there are no irregularities.

    After passing quality control, the bags are tagged and packed by our Packing Team and then sold in our outlet in Nepal or to wholesalers around the world. To purchase the Anita bag at wholesale rates or to find a retailer, please visit our wholesale page.

    Purnaa Store
  • Jan242018
    Purnaa Building Manager

    Meet Pramod, Our Resourceful Building Manager

    “At Purnaa, I don’t feel like it’s my workplace, I feel like it’s my home.”

     

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you very much. It was a pleasant surprise for me. I felt happy that people noticed my hard work.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    I have two daughters, one is 10 years old and she is in class 3. I also have a newly born baby; she is now 6 months old. And my beautiful wife, we’ve been married for 12 years. Sometimes I also have relatives come and stay with me. Right now my nephew is living with me because he is trying to move abroad and it is easier for him to work on that from my place near Kathmandu.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I love to sing and I love music. On Fridays after work I usually go to my church choir group and teach them what I know about singing and music. I also enjoy working around my home.

     

    What is your favorite animal and why?

    I love all types of animals. I love cats and dogs the most, but I do have pet rabbits. I cherish all living things. When bugs come into my home, I just put them outside because I feel like they have a life and I don’t want to kill them. I really love animals.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    Right now at Purnaa I would say Richard is my role model. He is my supervisor and I can go to him about anything and he helps me. He inspires me.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    I would say happy.

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    After I built my home. I used to live on the streets; I didn’t have parents or anything. I grew up in an orphanage. After I got married, I had a dream to build my own home. Now I look at where I came from and see where I am now and I am happy. I am satisfied. It makes me think, I am successful.

     

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    My job at Purnaa is building maintenance. I look for the proper, safe, and best ways for people to do their work. I keep things working properly, I help the kitchen staff, I get supplies that are needed for the offices, and I come up with new ways to work more efficiently.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    Almost 1 ½ years.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    Before Purnaa I used to work abroad. I worked in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar for about eight to nine years. When I went to Bahrain my oldest daughter was about seven months old. One time I came back for a visit during the holidays I tried to pick her up and she did not recognize me. That made me so sad and I was missing my family a lot so I decided it was time to move back. When I came to Purnaa and I met Corban, he said “You should live with your family. Give them your time and your attention.” That made me want to work here because he knows the importance of family.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    Purnaa is very different. There is a different culture, a different community here. What I’ve found is at Purnaa I don’t feel like it’s my workplace, I feel like it’s my home. Everyone is friendly and talks openly with each other. It’s not about a factory or a company, it’s about a home. A supported home where you can be yourself and feel secure and you feel like someone will always be there to help you.

     

    What motivated you to come to work at Purnaa?

    I don’t have that much education, but I have a lot of experience. When I came to Purnaa and had an interview, they understood that. Purnaa gave me a chance, and they respect me. So that motivated me to work at Purnaa. Also, the social business and social work they are doing, that really impressed me and touched my heart. Purnaa is helping people, so I like to work here.

    What keeps you coming to work?

    Well it’s for my family. Both my family at home and my Purnaa family. They respect me and they love me, which makes me want to work more.

     

    If I were to ask your team leader what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?

    I give everything a try. My heart always says, I may not know how to do this, but let me give it a try. That’s what makes me successful.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    Right now at Purnaa we have been working on a plan to get our own building. So that is my dream to see that plan fulfilled.

    Also, the main dream for my family is to add a second floor to our house and buy a car. I have promised them that within five years I will try my best to make this happen. When I promise something and I dream something, I want to fulfill it.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have worked a lot of places and seen how they operate. Purnaa is different. Purnaa has good benefits, including school allowances, medical reimbursement, savings accounts and fresh food. That’s a lot different than garment factories around. It’s not just about money, Purnaa is giving these extra benefits, along with giving new knowledge through trainings. That’s a very good thing.

    Purnaa Store
  • Jan052018
    Purnaa Team Member

    Meet Pradeep, Our Helpful and Hardworking Employee of the Month

    “What is really good about Purnaa is everyone is disciplined and everyone supports each other. Everyone is having fun and that is what I like about it.”

     

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you. I felt very happy.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    I am married and I have one daughter. I am currently living with my mother and father as well.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    When I have free time at home I help my family. I also like to go out and travel around, but I don’t have very much free time right now. I have a small tailoring shop that I own as well. I work there after I get off of work at Purnaa for about two hours each day. Also when I have holidays at Purnaa I work at my shop.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    I would say my father and my older brother because they give me good advice.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    Christmas time was fun. During that time my relatives came over to my house and I went to church. There was a big Christmas program and food for everyone.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    Hardworking

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    When I think about when my daughter was born, that was the most satisfying time for me.

     

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    I am a sewer on Team Prerana.

     

    What do you enjoy the most about your job?

    I love working in a group and the environment. In a group, when someone needs assistance, everyone comes to help.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    A little over six months.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    Before Purnaa I worked at two manufacturing companies. The first one was in Malaysia and I worked there for six years. After that I went to Dubai and worked there for two years. In Malaysia I was satisfied with the work, but another company bought the company and the management wasn’t nice so I decided to leave. In Dubai I was working for a piece rate and there wasn’t much work to do so I decided to come back to Nepal.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    What is really good about Purnaa is everyone is disciplined and everyone supports each other. Everyone is having fun and that is what I like about it.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    I am not as stressed and I can work freely.

     

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to share with others?

    I like teamwork and helping each other out. I would like to teach others about teamwork.

    If I were to ask your team leader what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?

    She might say that I am a helpful person. I like to help everyone.

     

    If you had to convince a friend to apply for this job, what would you tell them?

    Two of my friends have already joined Purnaa. I told them there is a good environment at Purnaa and they should come and work with us.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    I would like to own my own manufacturing company. All my life I have wanted to do that, so that is my plan.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Purnaa is growing and that means a lot more opportunities for jobs. That is good for the people working here now and I hope that Purnaa can keep growing so that they can help more people.

    Purnaa Store
  • Dec292017
    New Purnaa Team

    27 New People Hired!

    We are excited to announce that we have added a new department at Purnaa!  27 new people were hired! Instead of sewing, this team is hand-tying fishing lures. The new team includes 1 assistant project manager, 4 quality control members, 4 packing team members, and 18 fly-fishing tiers. This is the largest intake of employees we have ever hired at one time and it was very exciting for everyone.

    Choosing who to hire from the many, many applicants is always challenging.  As a social enterprise we are committed to empowering those from marginalized and exploited backgrounds into fresh starts through dignified employment.  But, we can’t hire people based only on their need.  New hires must also demonstrate an ability to learn the work.  And so, we conducted a full week of interviews and skills assessment to determine those that would be the best fit for the job and for our social mission. Everyone received an individual interview and two days of skills training to see how quickly they learned the skills and if they would enjoy this type of work.  Today, we are confident in the people we hired becoming some of the best fishing lure manufacturers in the world!  They are already off to a great start.

    With many new employees coming from backgrounds where basic education was denied, or where they experienced extreme abuse or trauma, we strongly prioritize equipping them with knowledge that will help them to “catch up” in life. So we implement life-skills training half the day and job-skills training half the day for the first two months of their new job.  The life-skills training covers topics like: financial planning, basic math and literacy skills, nutrition, parenting, individual mental health counseling, physical health, and group times to identify and recognize self-worth. During the training, the values of Purnaa and why they are so important to the business are also taught. In January, the team will move to full days of manufacturing.

    Purnaa had the goal of creating 8-12 new jobs within this year and this new department has helped us to far exceed that goal. This has been a wonderful opportunity to make a new product and create so many more opportunities for fresh starts and fulfilled lives.

    Purnaa Store
  • Dec172017
    Ethical Garment Production

    What is the True Cost of a T-Shirt?

    What Is the True Cost of a T-Shirt?

    Have you ever thought about how much your t-shirt really costs to make? Or wondered why the retail price is so much higher than the manufacturing cost?  What are you actually paying for? We explain what the true cost of a t-shirt really is.

    I teamed up with Purnaa’s production manager, Richard, to compare the cost breakdowns between a $20 T-Shirt produced at an average Bangladeshi factory vs. one manufactured at Purnaa.

    Bangladesh’s Garment Industry

    Bangladesh has one of the lowest minimum wages in the world, which is why it is one of the most popular countries to manufacturer garments in. More than 3.5 million people work in Bangladesh’s garment industry, which now accounts for about 80% of the country’s foreign trade. The workers, about 85% women, are often subjected to long work hours, forced or unpaid overtime, harassment, and unsafe working conditions, all to be able to produce the lowest price products for Western consumption. Wages are determined by businesses, unlike the cost of materials or shipping.  So when costs need to be cut, it is usually the worker’s salary that takes the first hit. We chose to compare Bangladesh with Purnaa as this is where a huge amount of the world’s cheap clothing originates. 

    Purnaa’s Commitment To Transparency

    Because Purnaa is committed to transparency, customers can find a complete cost breakdown for each product on the Custom Print Gear website. Purnaa customers can know what they’re paying for and wear Purnaa products with confidence knowing that they are purchasing from an ethical and sustainably-focused company who manufactures the right way.

    As you can see in the graph below, Purnaa’s administrative overheads, shipping, and import taxes are significantly higher. This is primarily because Purnaa is in Nepal, a landlocked country with stringent rules and regulations on exporting products. Overheads are higher because of our commitment to fair living wages.  

     

    T-Shirt Graph

     

    Mark-up

    In both cases most of the t-shirt’s cost is allocated to brand markup, but in the Bangladeshi t-shirt’s case, a large percentage is also given to wholesale markup. The total cost of manufacturing the t-shirt is actually only $2.10 compared with $7.81 at Purnaa. A standard t-shirt’s retail price may be up to ten times higher than the wholesale price if it was sourced from a factory that exploits both it’s workers and the environment to make the cheapest possible products. When you buy directly from Purnaa there are no retailing markups, just a modest profit margin which we add to each shirt.

    Materials

    You can see that Purnaa’s material costs are more than double than in Bangladesh. Nepal has a small textile industry, which means many fabrics are unavailable here, especially in large quantities. We import almost all Custom Print Gear fabric from India. Our organic cotton comes from a GOTS, Fairtrade, and Fair Trade USA certified supplier. To import fabric from India, even in large quantities, is very expensive.

    The dye that is used to dye the t-shirts are GOTS certified and low impact. They use less water, less heat and produce less waste runoff than regular chemical dyeing processes. These fiber-reactive dyes contain no heavy metals or other known toxic substances, and meet all European Union criteria for eco-friendly pigments.

    Wages and Benefits

    Appallingly, a Bangladeshi worker can make as little as $0.05 per t-shirt, compared with $1.68 at Purnaa.  However, this is only an average as we don’t actually pay a piece rate, all of our employees earn a salary. At Purnaa the lowest wage is $125 a month and the average among sewers is $141. The Nepali minimum wage is $92. You can find more information about staff salaries in our post A Living Wage in Nepal

    In September, Purnaa introduced a new bonus system to incentivize staff. Each team has a daily production target depending on the product they are sewing. For every hour ahead of schedule a team becomes, Purnaa pays them 1.2 times their hourly rate for the time saved. The average bonus a sewer can expect to earn per month is $42.50, the highest bonus currently received by a team was $147.50 per person in a month, over double the median wage. Since we have introduced this new system Purnaa has increased production by 35%.

    As well as a basic salary and production bonus’, Purnaa is pleased to be able to provide the following benefits:

    • Pension
    • Dashian Bonus – Dashian is an annual festival in Nepal, all employees receive a month’s bonus for this holiday.
    • Medical Allowance – Employees receive a $100 medical allowance per year and $50 per child or children that they have guardianship over
    • Lunch/Tea – Purnaa provides lunch, 2 tea breaks, and a snack everyday.
    • Housing Provision – The Nepali government states that a housing provision of 5% of net profit shall be divided among employees and given per month.
    • Yearly bonus – 10% of Purnaa’s annual net profit is shared amongst employees.

    Purnaa aims to be as transparent as possible in everything that we do. Our new range of Custom Print Gear includes certified organic cotton tees that are customizable for your needs including brand giveaways, events, conferences and uniforms. If you have upcoming merchandise needs, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you: customprintgear@purnaa.com

    Purnaa Store
  • Nov282017
    Purnaa Team Member Anu

    Meet Anu, One of the Kindest People at Purnaa

    “I am totally satisfied with my work, there is no other job I would consider doing.”

     

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you. I wasn’t expecting it, but when my name was announced I was very happy!

     

    Do you know why you were selected?

    I think because of working hard and following the values of Purnaa. Also, being friendly with everyone.

     

    We want to get to know you a little better. Can you tell us about your family?

    I have been married for eight months. I live with my husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law. My husband works in the finance branch of one of banks here.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    After finishing chores, I like to sleep! Haha. I also like spending time with my family, traveling, and hanging out with friends.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    My Mom and Dad because they taught me about what is right and they always looked out for my best interests.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    I went on a trip to Pokhara and we got to take a boat ride during the sunset on our last evening there.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    Kind

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    Whenever my husband supports my opinions. He supports me a lot.

     

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    Quality control team leader

     

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    Working together with my friends.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    2 years

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    Before Purnaa, I didn’t have a full time job because I was in school. Sometimes I used to be a temporary worker at a jewelry manufacturer.

     

    What motivated you to come to work at Purnaa?

    Here there is no discrimination, everyone is treated equally. Purnaa’s five core values are just right for everyone. Everyone is very supportive and friendly with each other.

     

    What keeps you coming to work?

    I am satisfied with everything about my job.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    I have learned more of how to help people who have been marginalized by society.

     

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to share with others?

    I would like to teach others to treat everyone equally. Because everyone at Purnaa, even the people who come from marginalized backgrounds are treated equal.

     

    If I were to ask your boss what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?

    They might say that I am friendly, have a good attitude, and work hard.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    I don’t have any specific dreams, but I want to continue to work at Purnaa so I can do good work, receive a good salary, and be able to support my family.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am totally satisfied with my work, there is no other job I would consider doing.

     

    Purnaa Store
  • Nov222017
    WFTO Fair Trade Party

    Give the Gift of Hope

    Many Purnaa employees come from marginalized or exploited backgrounds and were denied the things needed for a healthy life. The Empowerment Fund helps them access services beyond those traditionally provided by an employer, giving them opportunities to get healthy and “caught up” in life. This assistance is made possible by private donations given to Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund from people like you.

     

    While Purnaa is a business, and we believe in market driven solutions to change lives, we also see that sometimes we need to be able to do more than what a business can provide for our staff. Purnaa works to ensure that all staff can access trainings that equip them for healthy lives and dignified employment.

     

    So, annually we fundraise for Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund, an account that is solely funded by generous individuals, to enable us to offer services like those listed below.

     

     

    We anticipate needing $40,000 USD this coming fiscal year to continue helping in these ways. The Empowerment Fund is run separately from Purnaa’s business accounting and is made possible by gifts from people like you. Would you consider partnering with us to empower more people to freedom? Donations are tax-deductible.

     

    HOW TO GIVE:

    Purnaa partners with Youth With A Mission – Colorado Springs.
    Click HERE To Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Online.

    To Give By Mailing a Check:
    Make checks out to Youth With A Mission, and include a separate note that it is for “Purnaa’s Empowerment Fund”.  Mail to:
    Donor Services, YWAM, PO Box 60579,
    Colorado Springs, CO 80960

    Purnaa Store
  • Nov112017
    Health & Safety

    Safety Comes First

    Here at Purnaa, one of our values is “Excellence”, which drives our commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.  Recently we had a training to review company safety procedures, first aid responses, and ergonomic practices.

     

    One of the topics covered was what to do in a fire and how to use a fire extinguisher. At Purnaa there are fire extinguishers next to the doors on every floor. Should there ever be a fire, it’s important we are  confident in using these extinguishers; so we practiced during the training.  Fun!  We reviewed the importance of how to safely get out of a building that has a fire and the proper times to use the fire extinguisher. The fire extinguishers located at Purnaa are all-purpose ABC dry chemical extinguishers and can be used on almost any fire.

    Earthquake safety was also covered during the training time. Nepal is located along a fault line, so earthquakes are something that everyone needs to be prepared for. Purnaa has earthquake alarms on every floor that will sound before an earthquake starts. We also have a designated meeting point outside that everyone is required to report to once it is safe to leave the building.

    Basic first-aid was discussed so that everyone can be prepared should someone get hurt during an emergency or during daily activities. At Purnaa we have two designated areas that contain first-aid supplies so that all staff have access to them at any time.

     

    Along with safety for emergency situations, ergonomics was also discussed. Ergonomic hazards occur when the type of work you do, your body position and/or your working conditions put a strain on your body. Ergonomics is used to eliminate or reduce the wear and tear on the body. When ergonomic principles are applied in a workplace, they improve efficiency and productivity, increase job satisfaction and reduce the risk of fatigue, short-term pain and chronic illnesses, such as work-related musculoskeletal disorders. We discussed the importance of taking work breaks, stretching, adjusting chairs to the correct height and good seating posture.

    Periodic reviewing of emergency procedures, first aid and ergonomic practices is an important part of keeping Purnaa a great place to work. Fortunately, while we do sometimes have earthquakes and an occasional workplace injury, we feel confident in our responses because of our training times.

    Purnaa Store
  • Nov042017

    Meet Tilaka

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you. I felt joy in my heart and I felt that I had done something good for Purnaa.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    I am the eldest in my family; I have three brothers and three sisters. They all still live quite near to me. Now I live with my husband and his family, so I have more brothers and sisters. My husband and I have been married for 16 years and we have one son who is in class 9.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I like to call and talk to my friends or meet up with them. I also like to spend time on the internet and Facebook.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    There’s not really a specific person, but I want to know people who have more knowledge and wisdom so I can learn from them.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    Recently I got to join the sampling team for a few weeks. I worked on some samples for a customer who came to visit and they brought sweets from their country for us. That made me feel very happy.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    Having an understanding heart and understanding others.

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    When I started at Purnaa was when I felt the most satisfied in my life.

     

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    I am a sewer on Team Ekata.

     

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    I like putting everything together for the designs and learning new things. My favorite items to make are bags.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    Around 1 year.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    I was sewing in a boutique.

     

    What motivated you to come to work at Purnaa?

    I like the system and working environment. I found Purnaa on the internet and saw that there was a job vacancy. I called and talked to Rebecca and came for an interview.

     

     

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to share with others?

    I’d like to teach other people to work according to systems and to treat everyone equally.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    My dream is to be able to work with Purnaa for a long time.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope that we will continue to get orders so that our work will continue and Purnaa will grow and create more jobs.

    Purnaa Store
  • Aug262017

    We’ve Expanded!

    Over the past few weeks, we have expanded our work space to house our growing team. We needed to create more space for our sampling, cutting, and packing teams, so we built some offices on the roof.

     

    We built a new general purpose meeting and training room and the production teams took over the old space.

    We made a building manager’s office that includes more storage space.

    Now our accountant and project managers have the spot at the very top of the building with a great view.

    We also have a new eating area on the roof.

    We are very happy to have some breathing room are excited to keep growing.

    Purnaa Store
  • Aug192017

    An Interview with Umesh, Our Dedicated and Thoughtful Accountant

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you, I never expected that I would be the employee of the month. I am grateful to the Human Resources team because they appreciated my work through the employee of the month award.

     

    Do you know why you were selected?

    Maybe it is related to our VAT refund. During that period, the time one month prior to the decision of the tax office that our amount will be refunded, I was very stressed and I was not so confident that it would be refunded. I also had to keep my work going while I had to work with the tax officers. I think that is the reason I won the award.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    My father was a teacher. He taught mathematics, science, and other classes. After teaching, he invested in a hardware shop that my uncle owned. During my school vacations, I would help my father in the shop. After my father stopped working in the shop he started doing agricultural work. We had some tough times growing up, but now I am relieved of that stress. My mother is a housewife. I have two sisters, one is married and one is not married. I have one brother who lives nearby. My parents live approximately 300 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Before finishing my studies, I got to see them once or twice a year, but now that I am at Purnaa it is around three or four times a year. My family is excited that I am working at Purnaa and they value my work. They get really excited when I tell them the things that Purnaa is doing.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    When I get stressed I just like to meditate. I like to go to a meditation center run by Kumaris. I also enjoy spending time with my family and I like dancing. Dancing is fun for me. When I’m alone at work then I play music and do some dancing. I don’t like to talk too much and some people don’t understand that, but I’m not concerned with that, I just like to be who I am.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    It would be introvert.

     

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    I am the accountant, I handle cash entries, invoices, payroll, submitting tax paperwork, getting the tax refund and any other paperwork that is needed.

     

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    I like almost everything about my job.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    A little over a year.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    Just before working at Purnaa I was a schoolteacher. I taught the accounting class and other subjects like social studies in the junior level. Before that, I used to work as an auditor.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    Mostly I like that Purnaa values employees at any level. Most other organizations would treat sewers as “workers” and pay them lower wages. But at Purnaa they are being valued as employees and that is the best thing I think. No other company like this is doing this type of work.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    Previously I had a different perception of people. I used to not like it when people who were not well educated would come and talk to me because they would not talk the way I am used to. But since working at Purnaa and getting to know some people with a less educated background, I have changed my perception of them. I realized that most of the people are not well educated because they have a poor family background or because of situations outside of their control and they should still be able to have dignified work, earn a living wage and be valued.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    My dream is to be a chartered accountant and after that, I would like to pursue tax consulting.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes, I am thankful for receiving the employee of the month award. It means my work is valued.

    Purnaa Store
  • Jul272017

    4 Ways Our Project Managers Work to Represent You

    Here at Purnaa we all work together to produce beautiful, sustainable garments, but the Project Manager Team is especially crucial as they represent the needs of the client to Purnaa’s production staff.  Project Managers are the eyes, ears, and voice of Purnaa’s clients here on the ground in Nepal.  This means they do A LOT of work to gather and communicate all of the details of an order and ensure the best outcomes for our Production Partners.  Last month they received the ‘Team of the Month’ award for all of the great work they do for our company.

     

    1.The project managers work with production partners from their initial sample inquiry to the shipment of finished products. After partners submit a “tech pack” with all the details of their designs, project managers work with our sourcing manager to find the right fabrics and materials.

    2. Once the materials arrive, the project manager works with our sampling team to create patterns and salesman samples, ensuring they match the specs given by the client. Throughout this process they send photos and get real-time feedback from the designers.

    3. When the final sample is ready, it is mailed to the client for approval. Once approved and a production order is placed, the project manager then collects the rest of the necessary information, such as quantity per color and size, and packing and shipping instructions.

    4. During the production, project managers work with our sewing teams to answer questions and keep clients up to date throughout the process.

     

    Currently we have four project managers; Mary, Taylor, Mitch and Anish.  We’d like to introduce you to all of them.

     

    Mary is the team leader of the project managers. When asked to describe her ideal production partner she responded, “We have great production partners and I’m thankful to each of them for choosing to build their business in a way that gives hope and dignity to the people who make their products. ‘Ethical fashion’, ‘environmental sustainability’, and ‘social enterprise’ are all wonderful concepts, but can sometimes just be nice buzzwords. When it comes down to it brands will always receive pressure to offer low prices and will need to make choices about whom they work with and how they treat their suppliers.

    It takes courage and a lot of hard work to build a brand that is truly a part of the solution and which educates an audience about the real issues. I think an ideal production partner is committed to their enterprise, is organized and strategic, gives attention to detail, orders many of the same style product at one time, is able to send reorders our way, and approaches their work with Purnaa as a partnership, not just a transaction.”

     

    When I asked Taylor what his favorite part of his job is he responded, “A really rewarding moment is when the shipment of an order is ready to go out. At that point, the project manager’s job is finished and there is a sense of satisfaction knowing that we are (hopefully) delivering a product they will love on time. That’s a really rewarding moment. Additionally, I just really like working at Purnaa in general.  As an ethical business, it is inspiring to look out across the factory and see lots of people working in their different roles, whether it’s cutting or sewing or sampling and just to see how well everything works together, everyone working in unity. That’s really neat to see.”

     

    I asked Mitch to tell me about a funny thing that happened to him in his work and he said, “As a project manager I was trying to encourage one of our production teams to hit their targets and do well. One of the team members said, ‘We will get 20 pieces done today!’ I said, ‘Your target is lower than that and you have less time, that will be hard for you to get that goal, but if you do, I’ll dance for you.’ I showed up at 5:20pm, 10 minutes before the end of the day and they had 20 pieces done! So the next morning I got to do some dancing for the team. That’s probably one of the funniest things that has happened to me here. They really enjoyed it, I almost got the guy who challenged me to dance with me, but he was too busy filming me. I think it is important to encourage the production teams to help create a fun atmosphere and build camaraderie and community among the staff. I like encouraging the teams because it allows me to be a positive part of someone else’s day.”

     

    Anish is our newest project manager and has only been working here for a few weeks. He said, “This is a new thing for me. I am excited to learn all of the processes and to meet new people as well. Right now I am learning what roles the project manager takes in the company, but I am excited to actually help everyone, to know them, and to get more information on how they work.”

     

    All of our project managers do a lot of work to help our production run smoothly and we are thankful for everything they do. They definitely earned the Team of the Month award.

     

    Purnaa Store
  • Jul212017

    Parenting Training At Purnaa

    Recently Purnaa Human Resources staff, Anu and I, attended an International Child Development Program (ICDP) to get trained in facilitating a parenting class.  As a part of the 12 week program, we concurrently ran a parenting class for Purnaa staff.  Here are some of my favorite parts of the course I attended and the group Anu and I facilitated.

     

    “Central to the ICDP programme is the desire to develop communication between the child and his/her caregivers; and that the process is based on the child’s cultural resources. The main elements of the ICDP programme are the 8 interaction themes that describe how through three dialogues adults can optimize their ability to support children’s development.(Theme 1-4) The emotional dialogue helps establish, maintain and develop the adult’s contact with the child. (Theme 5-7) The meaning and expanding dialogue  increases the child’s opportunities to learn. (Theme 8) The regulative dialogue helps the child to control his impulses and to learn to plan”
    http://www.icdp.info/ongiong-training-programme

     

    8 Key Themes on How to Have Positive Interactions With a Child:

    1. Express positive feelings

    2. Follow the child’s lead

    3. Talk to the child about things that interest him/her and try to establish an emotional communication

    4. Give praise when the child does something well, and show him/her recognition

    5. Help the child to focus his/her attention so that you can enjoy the experience of your surroundings together

    6. Give meaning to the child’s experience – describe what you experience together with enthusiasm

    7. Go into detail and give explanations when you experience something with the child

    8. Help the child to learn self-control by planning together, by showing leadership and by setting limits in a positive way.

    The overall experience of ICDP as a facilitator has changed me into a whole new person. I have changed my perspective, seeing every child as a person, putting myself in their shoes, having equal empathy to each child no matter where they have come from or who they are. I have become more sensitive towards them and I have learned to become available. My listening skills have improved a lot and I have started to apply the love languages more often.

     

    A few things stood out to me during this program. The first was the conception of the child: having a positive concept towards the child, respecting their personal and cultural values and seeing the child as a person. This topic was one of my favorites because this doesn’t just apply to children but to all generations. This helped me to respect and love people as an individual, not for what they have achieved but for who they are, created in the image of God.

     

    Another topic that stood out to me was emotional dialogue with guidelines, expressing positive feelings and showing the child love. This has been my favorite part of ICDP training because I was able to connect with those I was teaching and find out what their and their children’s love languages are. Love languages are different ways that people express and feel love. The love languages include, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time and gifts. They were able to improve their relationships not just with their child but with their spouse, family and friends as well.

     

    The ICDP program was a lot of fun and a great success. They taught us many new concepts and practical ways of implementing those concepts in day-to-day life.  I’m happy to have taken this training and to have become a facilitator of the program at Purnaa.

    Purnaa Store
  • Jul152017

    Meet Gopi – Our Talented and Hard-Working Sewing Manager

    “There is respect among everyone here that I would like to share with others.”

     

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you. I felt encouraged.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    I have a wife and one daughter. I also have two nephews and one kid from the church staying with me. My daughter is 5 ½ years old and my nephews are 18 and 19.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I like to have quiet time. I pray, listen to God and read the Bible.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    My sister. She struggled a lot to become a Christian. She still has struggles, but when I see her life I get inspired.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    Playing Futsal with people from Purnaa.

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    When I was 21 years old I accepted Christ. My sister helped me to know Christ, she is a strong Christian.

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    Sewing manager. I help keep production data, arrange the sewing targets, repair machines, do pre-production sewing tests, sample making, check the machines, and do problem solving if anything comes up during production.

     

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    I enjoy sewing and when I solve a problem.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    I don’t know exactly, but about 2 years.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    I was a full-time pastor, but I am still a pastor part-time.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    Purnaa is very different. The benefits offered, the way the business is operated, the respect among the workers, following the laws, almost everything is different.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    My family used to live in a room, but now we live in an apartment. Because we have an apartment we can now do more personal things as a family or invite others over.

     

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like share with others?

    There is respect among everyone here that I would like to share with others.

     

    If I were to ask your team leader what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?

    Time management. I don’t want to waste my time, I want to make the most of it.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    Until Purnaa exists I will keep on working here. In the future my family would like to purchase land.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Purnaa is the best company.

     

    Purnaa Store
  • Jun082017

    An Interview With Rebecca, Our Caring and Compassionate HR Officer

    “God gave me Purnaa where you can be yourself and you don’t have to pretend that you are strong.”

     

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    Thank you! It was surprising for me. I remember at the time I was very busy and normally I’m the one trying to print out the pictures for Employee of the Month, but at that period I was not at Purnaa very much, so maybe it was easy for you guys to surprise me.

     

    Do you know why you were selected?

    I try my best to look after the people and their problems and issues. I tried my best and the outcome was there. But I never felt like I should be given that award.We want to get to know you a little bit better.

     

    Can you tell us about your family?

    I live with my mother, my brother and my sister-in-law. My mother is a single mom. She raised us without our father, because our father died when I was young. When I was six or seven years old he was diagnosed with cancer. We are now a happy, small family. I have two sisters and another brother, he’s in our father’s place, we don’t live there but he lives there. I have four siblings and I am the youngest.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    I don’t really have any particular role model, but I feel like Jesus is my role model. It’s a difficult question for me. But with Jesus, every time I think about His love and His character, that inspires me every day. I also try to follow the character of Joshua from the Bible. I would like to inherit his character. Those two are my role models.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    A fun thing I’ve done recently was the Purnaa Easter picnic. I enjoyed it a lot. I really enjoyed everyone and the dancing. The games were also very fun. The fact I liked the most was when I came back to work and I was following up with people, they were very happy with all of the activities. And I felt like, oh the hard work was there and they enjoyed it. It was more than me enjoying it; I felt they were enjoying it too. So that made me glad.

     

    If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

    In one word… I would say I’m a very loving person.

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    The most satisfied time in my life is being at Purnaa. I’ve never regretted anything in my life. I’ve been very blessed. But this was something that wasn’t just according to my will, it was something that I wanted, but I feel like God’s will is in it. Me being a part of Purnaa is God’s will and that satisfies me a lot.

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    My job at Purnaa is very interesting. I work as an HR officer and something that is different from other businesses is I feel that I am here to take care of the people and their work issues, or anything like that. I go around to the people and talk with them, chat with them, as a friend or as a mentor or as a sister. It’s different with different girls. When they are sick I try to give them advice to see a doctor and I try to help them to receive the doctor’s help. That’s the social part that I do at Purnaa. Other than that, I help with different processes and work together to make policies with the company. Overall I take care of the people here.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    It’s been 1 year and 3 months.

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    Before I worked at Purnaa I was associated with the media, an entertainment business. I used to work in PR, public relations, to organize the national film award every year. My job was to write letters to the ambassadors of different countries and ask if they could send any guests, international artists, for our national film award. I used to invite people to be a part of the ceremony.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    The environment. The love. The community. There are huge differences. I have never felt that satisfied in any other things than how I’ve felt at Purnaa. The difference is the way we take care of the people. At other work places, I used to feel like people were there for money and the biggest assets weren’t the people. I never felt like I was cared for or any of the people were cared for at the company. But here we love to work and learn and show care toward the employees. Whatever we do is for the employees. That is something very beautiful. The core values, love, beauty, integrity, we try to work in that way every day. So that is the beautiful thing about Purnaa.

     

    What motivated you to come to work at Purnaa?

    I went through the website and I felt like, wow, the way they work and the work they’ve been doing. I felt like they were giving their all to the people. So that attracted me. I always felt like I wanted to give something to society. That was my prayer to God. I’ve always had a heart of serving, but I never had the chance to do that. So I felt like, this is the chance where I can be myself. Even with other businesses, I had a heart to serve but I sometimes had to be very strict. But here I feel like I can be myself. I can show the love that I have. That attracted me a lot and I felt like I wanted to try working there.

     

    What keeps you coming to work?

    I want to keep working at Purnaa because I love the people here and I know God loves them and they are valued no matter what, wherever they’ve come from. For all the people here, I want to shower them with all the love I have. I feel like I should keep on doing it until God wants me to do it. It’s something I want to keep on doing. There are many women we need to help and empower. Lot’s more. That’s something that makes me feel like, the love I have inside my heart that God has given me, I have to give to them. This is why I like coming to Purnaa.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    If I flashback to myself the way I was before, I just get surprised. I have become a totally new person. I used to be a very young and angry woman, and very stubborn. But I always had a soft heart inside. I used to feel like I had to be that way to the world. But God gave me Purnaa where you can be yourself and you don’t have to pretend that you are strong. So being at Purnaa I have learned to become more patient. I have learned that whatever you do, you don’t do by your own strength. That’s what I pray every morning before I come here, I say “I can’t do it without you God.” I have learned to listen more to people and be more sensitive and I have become a more humble person. It’s still a process, I’m not perfect, but I’m trying and learning. At home, sometimes I do get angry with my family, but the way I handle it is totally different. I feel like I’m not that person I used to be. This is the new me. This is a good side of me that I don’t get angry as easily as I used to before. I’ve become a calm, loving person. I am enjoying the way I am right now.

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to pass on to others?

    There are many things I’ve learned from Purnaa and I do share them with my family and friends. The most important thing is I feel like the love you have for people, I feel like everybody, humans beings, are a beautiful thing created by God, created in His character. So sometimes we feel like we have to be that different person, that strong kind of a person to the world, but that’s not true. That’s what I’ve learned from Purnaa. At other places we try to impress people, but here it’s such a beautiful thing, we’ve been given an environment where we can be ourselves and we don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to please anyone but can just be the way you are and try to improve every day. I’ve learned how to inspire people. We work here with respect for everyone, with good working conditions, and with treating everyone equally. There’s no big and small man at Purnaa, so that’s the best thing. We don’t have to be like, “Oh he’s my boss so I have to speak in this way or that way.” You can just be yourself and treat people equally, that’s the best part of Purnaa. That’s what I try to share with people, this is a company where we treat people well. We try to help them. We don’t talk badly about each other, we try to help each other improve.

     

    If I were to ask your team leader what your greatest strength is, what would they tell me?

    That’s a really difficult question. I think she would say that I am hard working. I know she trusts me, so I would also say I am a trustworthy person.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I just want to say that I am very thankful for Purnaa for trusting me and shaping my work here. I love to give my best at what I do. I am very thankful and glad that Purnaa gave me the training I need to do my job well. Now I know how to sit with people when I’m talking to them, to sympathize with them, things like that. I am very grateful towards Purnaa and I love being here.

     

    Purnaa Store
  • Jun032017

    Expert Help in On-Going Skills Development

    Suzanne Allibone has been back at Purnaa for the past few weeks providing training for some of our staff members. She has over 20 years of experience in garment manufacturing and has worked in Australia and many parts of Asia. This is her third time at Purnaa, and we are delighted to have her working with us again.

     

    She has focused her training with our sampling and cutting teams, teaching new techniques and helping to improve their skills.

     

    With the cutting team, she focused on increasing our cutting accuracy through improved marker usage. Markers are large sheets of paper that efficiently layout all the pattern pieces to be cut. We trace the patterns onto the paper, then layer the fabric to be cut, and then place the paper on top of it. We stabilize the paper using weights and then cut the fabric using a rotary blade or vertical knife cutting machine. “The paper is stable, it doesn’t move, so everything you trace out is incredibly accurate,” Suzanne stated as she showed the team how to refer back to the marker for checking cut pieces for accuracy.

    Suzanne has also been working with our sampling team. She reviewed the processes of testing a new pattern by sewing a first test sample, designing to certain sewing techniques that will make later production easier, and creating tricky sleeve patterns.

     

    Suzanne said, “I’ve been very impressed with the sampling and cutting teams. The girls are great. They can’t get enough…there is a lot of information I can input, but the challenge is not to overwhelm them and not to feel the need to tell them everything. So it’s more like a coaching. What I’ve been doing more is coaching and mentoring, which is what I really love.”

     

    At Purnaa, one of our core values is excellence. We believe in always striving for excellence in what we do, and one way to do that is to provide on-going training for our staff members. Suzanne has been very helpful to our team and we were thankful to have her back with us.

    Purnaa Store
  • May062017

    Meet Maya – Employee of the Month

    Congratulations, you won the employee of the month award! How did you feel when you found out that you won?

    I was nervous and happy at the same time. It made me realize, “Oh I am appreciated.” Before, I used to think, “When am I going to receive employee of the month? Am I going reach that point? There are all these people that have already reached there. When will be my chance?” That was the thing I used to think about. When I was announced as employee of the month I felt like I’d achieved something.

     

    We want to get to know you a little bit better. Can you tell us about your family?

    To talk about my family, none of my family is educated, so it’s sad to me sometimes. My husband has never been to school. I was a little bit more privileged. That makes me really sad. I felt like to achieve something was really important for me.  After I’ve come to Purnaa, I’ve achieved many things. Before, I used to work as a laborer and do heavy work. I never had a chance to wear good clothes. My life was not that good. But after being a part of Purnaa, I feel like I’m achieving something all the time. So the employee of the month award reminds me what my life was like before and how I am doing today. During the weekends I try to spend most of my time with my family. Before I used to spend a lot of time in the community going here and there, but now I don’t do that.

     

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I had an arranged marriage and it was such a situation that I was married to a total stranger. I didn’t know him or what he was like or how he acts. I used to hear people say negative things about my husband. So that made me feel like oh, my husband does nothing, he is worthy of nothing. I never tried to respect him at the beginning of our marriage. Now after being at Purnaa and learning about giving quality time to someone as a way to show love, it made me realize that I need to give time to my husband. I need to listen to him to learn what he wants. He was not being respected, but now I think that I need to respect him. That made me realize that I need to spend time with him and find out, are you this type of person that the community is saying or different. That’s the communication we do during my free time. I am the one who has to understand my husband. This is why during my free time I go on walks around the botanical garden with my son and husband and try to listen to him and connect with him. I try to learn to give him more respect. Those are the things I’ve been working on since being here at Purnaa.

     

    Who is your role model and why?

    I don’t have a particular person as a role model, but the person who has inspired me to be a good person and who has inspired me that I can do it is first of all Pawana. When I got married I moved to a village and I had to do labor work. But when Pawana came into my life she encouraged me. She said, “I work at an office called Purnaa, they employ women like you.” That inspired me a lot and I felt like I could do that in the future. I could better my life. That’s how I came to Purnaa. She’s the one who inspired me to take the job. Katrina and Mary also inspire me, they are here telling me that I can do it.

     

    What is something fun or interesting you have done recently?

    At Purnaa I am free, I dance and I enjoy life. Here I can be myself. This is where I have a lot of fun. I don’t have a particular time of something fun that I’ve done recently. I just remember how I feel at Purnaa and how much I enjoy it here.

     

    When have you been most satisfied in your life?

    The most satisfied moment of my life was when I was selected at Purnaa. I remember when I was in my training period, I used to think, “what if I’m not selected” and it made me nervous. I was scared that I would disappoint my mother-in-law and that I would let her down if I didn’t get the job. On the day when I was selected I was so happy.

    What is your job at Purnaa?

    I do sewing on Team Laliguras.

     

    How long have you worked at Purnaa?

    2 years

     

    What did you do before you worked at Purnaa?

    I used to work as a laborer, carrying heavy loads. I used to carry heavy bricks that were heavier than my weight.

     

    What is different about Purnaa from other places you have worked?

    If I start comparing Purnaa with other businesses, I feel like there is a drastic difference with the other businesses and with us. I have never seen someone with all the benefits I have right now, the health allowance, the school allowance, this is something that makes me feel like I’m being a good mother, someone who is taking care of my family. The food facilities that we are provided, it’s something extra from any other business. The most important difference though is here we don’t see the difference with the boss, we are equal, we are here working together. That is the main difference with Purnaa.

     

    What keeps you coming to work?

    Purnaa has given me skills. I can’t guarantee if Purnaa will be around forever or not, but the skills that Purnaa gives me, that helps me learn. So in the future I feel that I can take care of my son. Those are the things that inspire me to come work at Purnaa.

     

    How have you changed as a person since working here?

    If you ask what changes I have made as a person, it is uncountable. I have become a very different person. Since I started at Purnaa, I as a mother have changed, I am able to provide for what my son has desired. As a mother I have been able to provide a good education to my son. I used to think that if I’m not able to provide education, or health care to my son, then I have to go and seek somebody’s help to sponsor him. Now I feel confident that I have sent my son to school, a Christian school. It’s one of the good school’s in my area. The people in my community have seen how my life has transformed. I have received respect from those people. There are uncountable things. As a person I have changed and it’s all good ways.

     

    What have you learned from working at Purnaa that you would like to pass on to others?

    People often ask me, “Where do you work?” What I say is I work inside a company where they provide me a fulfilled life, where they provide me with skillful training. So I work in a garment manufacturer where they don’t just provide me work but they help me too. They are there to empower us. I feel confident in saying those things. Now people don’t ask me where do you work, they know where I work and they see how my life has changed.

     

    If you had to convince a friend to apply for this job, what would you tell them?

    The most important thing that I would say is that we have a good environment here. An environment where we are treated equally, where the boss and the employee sit down together; eat at the same table, that kind of place. We are a family. Most of the time I don’t feel like I’m at work, I feel like I’m learning. I show my family what I’ve learned here. I tell them these are the things that I’m learning. That’s what’s different about Purnaa, they give life-skills training, wellness training, literature training, different types of things. It’s not just work. It’s a different environment where people don’t feel like they are working, they are doing something for the society. On top of that, the company is doing so much training for our benefit. It’s a company that empowers. That’s how I tell people about Purnaa.

     

    What dreams do you have for the future?

    My personal dream is for my family, I am believer but I got married to an unbeliever. So my extended family doesn’t believe in Christ. My wish altogether is I want my husband and family to know Jesus. Another dream I have is I want to give a good education to my son. So in the future, where the community doesn’t respect my husband, they would know, this is his son. They would know it. They would respect my husband.

     

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish and I pray a blessing towards Purnaa that it will grow more in the future and that this company would provide and would empower more people like me. I do believe it is not just me who needed this job, there are more people in Nepal who are in critical condition and who desperately need work, who desperately need rescue. I pray that Purnaa would grow in numbers so that it could help other women like me. Their life could change like my life has changed, people have been inspired by my life. I would love to keep inspiring people and that this company would keep inspiring more people.

     
    Purnaa Store
  • Apr282017

    5 Ways to Become a Fashion Revolutionary

    “Fashion revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. The goal is to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.” http://fashionrevolution.org/

     

    Fashion revolution started after the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013, killing over 1,100 people. The need was realized for more transparency in supply chains and for consumers to be aware of how their clothes are actually being made and the possible negative parts of the supply chain, such as exploitation of the workers and pollution of the environment. If there is transparency, consumers can identify whether or not people are being exploited in the supply chain or the environment is being harmed. Fashion revolution aims to restructure the fashion industry to value people and the environment while still creating profit for businesses.

    At Purnaa, we stand behind the vision of Fashion Revolution. We are now World Fair Trade guaranteed, meaning that our manufacturing process is done in an ethical way. We strive for transparency; anyone can come take a tour of our facilities, and we are open about who made your clothes, featuring our workers on our website through pictures and interviews.

     

    You can also be a part of the Fashion Revolution. Here are a few easy steps to take to become more involved.

     

    1. Get informed

    Research the fashion industry. Research your favorite brands. Find out what is really going on in the manufacturing process. The first step in bringing about change is getting informed. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas.

    http://fashionrevolution.org/

    – The book, “Slow Fashion” by Saffia Minney, http://www.peopletree.co.uk/features/slow-fashion-book

    – The Garment Workers Diaries, http://fashionrevolution.org/garment-worker-diaries/

     

    2. Ask your favorite brands

    Find out how transparent your favorite brand is with their supply change. Ask them the question, who made my clothes? The week of April 24th-30th is Fashion Revolution week. Take a picture showing the tag of your clothes and post it on social media with the hashtag, #whomademyclothes? Then tag your favorite brand or email them with the question.

     

    3. Host a screening of “The True Cost”

    The True Cost is a documentary showing what really happens in the fashion industry. It shows the harmful things that are happening in the manufacturing process, while also showing companies that are trying to do things differently. Watch the movie yourself and host a screening to show others what is happening in the garment industry. To find out more information go to, http://truecostmovie.com/

     

    4. Change shopping habits

    The fashion industry will change if consumers change their shopping habits and only buy from manufacturers who are creating their garments in an ethical way. Once you are informed, use that information to only shop from brands that you know are treating their supply chain and the environment ethically.

     

    5. Shop second hand

    Buying from ethical manufacturers is not always the cheapest option. Another way to help protect the environment is to buy clothes second hand. A big part of the way the fashion industry hurts the environment is by all the clothes that are thrown away. Shopping second hand will eliminate some of this waste. There are second hand stores in almost every town and you can find good quality items there.

    Raising awareness is a huge step in bringing about change in the fashion industry. If people know what is going on, then they will be able to find ways to help prevent the negative side affects from happening. At Purnaa we are transparent. You know how we are treating the environment and you know who made your clothes, you can even stop by and meet them personally!

     

    Purnaa Store