RAGS Benefits to Business and Workers programme shortlisted for Guardian Sustainability Awards

Posted on: 28th March 2013

Impactt are delighted that our DFID-funded RAGS Benefits for Business and Workers programme has been shortlisted in the 2013 Guardian Sustainability Awards!

The Award aims to recognise projects that embed a respect for human, economic and environmental rights across a business or product’s supply chain. It has a particular focus on innovation and impact – which is exactly what RAGS BBW is about.

RAGS BBW’s innovative approach to tackling the age old ‘sweatshop’ problem, involving 8 retailers/brands working in collaboration, has delivered remarkable improvements on a large scale. Arcadia, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, New Look, Ralph Lauren, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Varner Group have joined hands, working with Impactt and productivity experts RBC to deliver a change management programme reaching 73 garment factories and almost 112,000 workers in India and Bangladesh

We have seen some great results so far. Our latest data shows that:

  • Workers have increased their monthly income by 14% – worth more than £4.8 million over 12 months
  • Worker turnover has fallen by 46%, and absenteeism by 52% demonstrating higher levels of job satisfaction.
  • Factory efficiency has increased by 30%
  • Quality improvements have led to savings worth the equivalent of 1.3% of total sales, so for a factory shipping £10 million per year, this saving would be worth £130,000.

“I am very excited about the new roll system (ie permanent job).  I always send the extra money home.  I think I can save more money for the future and am planning to stay with this company for the long term”

 Tailor, Delhi

We think this approach is a sustainable way to tackle some of the key issues in factories and improve workers’ lives and livelihoods. It is great to see this approach gaining recognition.

We’re holding our breath until 16th May when winners of the Award are announced. At the same time we’re thinking about next steps and rolling out this project to more factories – in China, India and Bangladesh.

You can find out more about RAGS BBW here and if you would like any further information on the new projects do get in touch.

In the meantime, fingers crossed for the 16th May!


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