But, what has really been made clear is just how unethical the fashion industry is. How little clothing and fashion companies care about the people making their clothes. With big companies cancelling their already finished orders, workers across Asia are left without salaries for completed work. It's estimated that 1.000.000 women in Bangladesh will not receive salary for the last 2 months. These are women already marginalized, vulnerable, and the main provider in their families leaving them with a big responsibility towards their extended family. They are poor, badly educated and victims of sexual abuse and violence from their employers.
Vain Dane Athletic has chosen to have our production in EU to ensure that the people sowing our clothes have proper working conditions. Yes, the sowing costs are higher due to a higher salary for the seamstress, but by taking away the retail part of our sales chain, there is enough profit to ensure, we pay our partners a fair price for a quality job.
However, the solution is not to stop working with Asian production companies. It's to demand proper conditions for the people making the clothes. The best way to do that is to team up with organisations working to improve women lives.
Photo: Tina Søgaard-Pedersen
Vain Dane Athletic is established on the notion of making a difference. Having a zero waste vision is first step. Taking all our textile waste from our own production and from other companies using ECONYL® yarn, we can make the waste into new products with the help of companies providing sustainable production alternatives.
Our lates project will be a non-profit project utilizing the larger pieces of our textile waste. Often large pieces are cut out of the production and instead of letting it go to waste, we have designed a new concept to be rolled out late 2020. The production of the products will be done in Jaipur, India, by an organisation that works to progress Indian women through economic empowerment. They provide training and employment to enable marginalized women of India enhance their standard of living, sense of dignity and independence.
The women will be trained for 3 months by a master tailor before starting to make Paita & Peppu products. The women all live in the village where the women center is and they have flexibility to work on our products along with the responsibilities in the household. The center we have teamed up with has a large center and farm where they operate under a zero waste philosophy. All food scraps and animal waste becomes biogas used for power. The composted animal waste is added to the fields where they grow wheat and vegestables which are then used at the center.
When they make products for partners like Vain Dane Athletic even the smallest pieces are made into things. Soft toys are hand sown and the smallest pieces are made into pillow stuffing.
Because our textile waste is in different sizes and shapes it require manual labour to make the swimwear. By having a setup, where Vain Dane Athletic can support women with work and ensure no waste is wasted, we work under the guiding principles of the Global Goals. For Paita & Peppu our work is mainly focused on no 1 No Poverty, no 8 Decent work and economic growth, no 12, responsible consumption and production, and no 17 partnerships for the goals.
Vain Dane Athletic is a startup company and will have to look for funding to start the project as the training cost is a lot to cope with as a startup. Once the first order is completed and sold the money earned will go back into the project to help more women achieve independence through economic empowerment.
It is important to stress that this is a NON-PROFIT setup and Vain Dane Athletic will not profit financially from Paita & Peppu.
Paita & Peppu will give opportunities to students in Denmark, who are looking for meaningful internships. We wish to let creative minds in design, communication, business development, marketing etc be part of the setup to both give valuable experience but also work with a sustainable approach to things and learn from the challenges that brings to the table.
If you are a company with ECONYL® yarn and you would like to donate your waste to Vain Dane Athletic - please reach out. The more orders we can place, the more women we can help. firstname.lastname@example.org