Towards Gender Equality: Benetton & Industree

Industree  has partnered with United Colors of Benetton to work towards gender equality, one pad at a time.

Through the Aarohi: Wings of Empowerment program launched by Benetton as part of their Women’s Empowerment initiative, the company is providing free cloth pads to underprivileged women across India.

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But there’s more to the story: Benetton is doing this in an environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible manner, up-cycling surplus fabric into cloth pads at Ektha Apparel, the producer-owned company incubated by Industree Foundation.

Every pad is made by women producer-owners who have a say in the company, for women who would not otherwise have access to adequate menstrual healthcare solutions.

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Jayalakshmi, a tailor and an owner-member of Ektha Apparel, shared her perspective on the initiative:

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“The pads will be useful to women because they will save money; instead of purchasing pads and then throwing them away, they will be able to wash and keep these.  Disposable pads are also unhealthy as they trap body heat.  The cloth pads will be better for women’s bodies.  I feel happy to produce pads which are distributed free of cost for women who need them.”

Here at Industree, we are striving to accomplish the Fifth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality by 2030. We are proud to participate in an initiative that could allow more women and girls to attend school and work free of social pressures or stigma, transforming a country where facilities for women’s health are often lacking.

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Industree’s producer company model provides creative producers, including garment workers, a choice to work in self-owned enterprises rather than factories that frequently disregard basic rights and working condition standards. In order to bring this option to producers across India, Industree has launched Mission Creative Million, a movement with the objective of bringing one million creative producers into the formal global supply chain by 2026, achieving both economic impact (regular work and increased wages) and social impact (improved agency at home and in community).

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