Corporate Social Responsibility
At TheCottonBag Company, we consider CSR to be of paramount importance. With our efforts in the field of ethics, we always strive for economic performance exclusively with respect for people and the planet. Discover below how we do corporate social responsibility.
Production in India with attention to people and environment
In 2018, TheCottonBag Company started its own production processes in India for several reasons. Special Things and Product Media Group BV, the predecessors of TheCottonBag Company, have always strived for direct cooperation with manufacturers. The goal? Working with as few intermediaries as possible.
This allows direct communication, which in turn leads to greater efficiency and guaranteed quality.
From insights to responsibility
In addition, producing in India and being present ourselves provides TheCottonBag Company with direct insight into how local production units operate.
In this way we can take responsibility for people and the environment ourselves, despite the almost 10,000 kilometers physical distance between our headquarters and our production lines. Listening to the local population is the key to efficiency for us.
Transparency through certificates
Taking responsibility also applies to certificates. When we decided on India years ago, we quickly noticed that certificates are often a mask for the practices that were hidden behind them. We wanted to do it differently.
In 2018, TheCottonBag Company itself took the initiative to pierce this facade, by starting to produce with attention to people in the first place.
Producing ethically… it is possible
Axel Debruyne (our CEO) has visited many manufacturers worldwide over the years. He gathered a lot of valuable insights, especially in Asian production methods.
“Personal contact is the most important thing; seeing with our own eyes what the working conditions are like. In addition, setting up a local office with local people is essential to reconcile our Belgian values with local values.”
To kick off in Kanyakumari, we established a management of young, dynamic people with the same mission as us: to do things differently.
We then contacted people from the village affected by unemployment. 85% of our people are residents who received training from TheCottonBag Company, enabling them to work and rebuild their future.
We take care of people
Of course helping the residents of Kanyakumari out of unemployment is only a small step. For us, everything revolves around the way our custom work is produced.
In India, for example, it is customary for stitchers to be paid per finished bag. The price per bag is also determined by the employer. These ‘malpractices’ are not only detrimental to the quality of production, but especially to the health of the employee.
Security of income
That is exactly what we want to avoid at TheCottonBag Company; we consciously choose to give ALL our employees a fixed salary, with a number of benefits that are unusual in India. For example, production has been on hold temporarily during Corona. We then chose to continue to pay our people, as one of the few production companies in India. In addition, we offered the employees vaccinations.