Take a look inside behno's partner factory MSA Ethos through the lens of documentary filmmaker Kent Mathews for Series 02 of the Garment Worker Project: An Ethical Way. The Garment Worker Project is an ongoing endeavor inviting collaborators of all backgrounds to expose the forgotten side of fashion through their own unique artistic expression and ultimately provide an ongoing resource for those interested in learning more about sustainable fashion.
London native Mathews traveled to India and spent five days documenting MSA Ethos' unique, holistic approach to the ethical treatment of garment workers. An Ethical Way gives an intimate glimpse at the life behind our clothes and what exactly makes this factory special.
MSA Ethos is the name of our partner factory. It's original location is on the premises of Muni Seva Ashram, or MSA, an ashram in rural Gujarat. Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage or a monastery in Indian religions, however, now MSA assists individuals of all faiths and backgrounds; no one is turned away. MSA was founded in 1960 by a woman named Anuben Thakkar on a mission to serve, strengthen and sustain the well-being of the less fortunate without any discrimination. Fast forward to today and MSA has rapidly expanded under the guidance of Dr. Vikram Patel boasting not only one of the best cancer treatment centers in India but also an orphanage, nursing school, a home for mentally disabled women, civilian housing and an ethical factory. Not to mention the ashram operates on organic farming and solar powered energy! We at behno are proud to be a part of this wonderful community of like-minded people.
MSA Ethos believes that people should not have to go through a disruption of their lifestyle to search for work, so instead of bringing people in from another village, MSA Ethos opened a second location. MSA Ethos' second factory is in the more populated city of Vadodara, about 1 hour away from the ashram. Here we aim to provide a better factory experience for the residents of Vadodara to work within. Bus transportation to Muni Seva Ashram is provided twice daily in case any medical care is needed. Both factories implement The behno Standard which includes healthcare, garment worker mobility, family planning, women's rights, workers satisfaction and benefits, and eco-consciousness.
In the eye-opening clip above, we have Neeta, one of the wonderful garment workers at MSA Ethos. Neeta has defied what it means to be a "working woman". She enjoys the benefits that MSA is able to provide her, but also recognizes that this isn't the case for so many other women like her largely because so many women in her community are not encouraged to work. She hopes that more and more women are able to follow their passions for work. We are proud to support women's rights by providing opportunity to women despite cultural implications.