THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT

The Garment Worker Project debuted in July 2016 at Sotheby’s in New York City. Created out of a collaboration between nonprofit organization Muni Seva Ashram (MSA), veterans of the garment industry, and the team behind behno, MSA Ethos is an ethical knits and wovens ready-to-wear factory that first implemented “The behno Standard.”

Through the Garment Worker Project, behno’s founder, Shivam Punjya invited fashion photographer Dan Smith and documentary filmmaker Kent Mathews to MSA Ethos to explore the less visible side of fashion. Smith captured the unique individuals of MSA Ethos through an emotional series of intimate portraits while Mathews documented their personal stories and the unique infrastructure of the factory through documentary film.

Ultimately, the initiative demonstrates that garment workers are not a commodity and that garment production in the multibillion-dollar fashion industry does not need to be based on the exploitation of labor.

The portraits below, all shot by fashion photographer, Dan Smith, are framed and available for sale. Please inquire within by emailing customercare@behno.com.

KALPANA RANA

Kalpana is a line leader at MSA Ethos, a powerful position many times fulfilled by men. In the river in the portrait’s background, a crocodile attacked Kalpana and her arm was torn into several pieces. Kalpana received critical surgery and healthcare at the hospital at MSA and was able to recover a fraction of her mobility. Coming from a family of means, working at MSA Ethos isn’t a necessity for her, but rather a passion of hers to find a career in which she’s stimulated and constantly learning. Her passion and desire to become an expert in an industry she loves, allowed her to overcome her fears and adversities.

KOMAL VASAVA

Komal is a machine operator at MSA Ethos and lives across the street from MSA, where her husband and his family own a ‘dhaba’, a roadside eatery for truckers and commuters. Prior to work at MSA Ethos in the mornings, she helps her family prep for their dhaba by doing household tasks such as laundry and cleaning. During her lunch hour, Komal heads home to work at the dhaba to clean vessels, occasionally cook, and to also grab a quick bite. Komal is a contributor to her family’s income, and in this case, also securing herself financially.

TARA PARMAR

Tara is a garment worker and a trims and finishing professional at MSA Ethos. She lives approximately five kilometers from the factory and commutes on most days by foot each way. Occasionally, if she sees a rickshaw or a jeep headed towards MSA Ethos, she hops on and collects reimbursement from MSA Ethos for her travel expenses. Tara is married to her older sister’s husband’s brother and they all live together with their children and Tara’s in-laws. Tara wakes up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to take care of her family along with her sister and works for two and a half hours manually before headed to work to continue with additional manual work. Tara did mention that she is able to do the work she does because she has her sister’s support in taking care of her family at home.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT AT SOTHEBY'S, NEW YORK IN JULY 2016

AN ETHICAL WAY

A documentary film by Kent Mathews.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT

Behind the Scenes with Kent Mathews and Dan Smith.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT WAS SHOT AT MSA ETHOS, OUR FACTORY IN THE HEART OF GUJARAT, INDIA.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT

The Garment Worker Project debuted in July 2016 at Sotheby’s in New York City. Created out of a collaboration between nonprofit organization Muni Seva Ashram (MSA), veterans of the garment industry, and the team behind behno, MSA Ethos is an ethical knits and wovens ready-to-wear factory that first implemented “The behno Standard.”

Through the Garment Worker Project, behno’s founder, Shivam Punjya invited fashion photographer Dan Smith and documentary filmmaker Kent Mathews to MSA Ethos to explore the less visible side of fashion. Smith captured the unique individuals of MSA Ethos through an emotional series of intimate portraits while Mathews documented their personal stories and the unique infrastructure of the factory through documentary film.

Ultimately, the initiative demonstrates that garment workers are not a commodity and that garment production in the multibillion-dollar fashion industry does not need to be based on the exploitation of labor.

The portraits below, all shot by fashion photographer, Dan Smith, are framed and available for sale. Please inquire within by emailing customercare@behno.com.

KALPANA RANA

Kalpana is a line leader at MSA Ethos, a powerful position many times fulfilled by men. In the river in the portrait’s background, a crocodile attacked Kalpana and her arm was torn into several pieces. Kalpana received critical surgery and healthcare at the hospital at MSA and was able to recover a fraction of her mobility. Coming from a family of means, working at MSA Ethos isn’t a necessity for her, but rather a passion of hers to find a career in which she’s stimulated and constantly learning. Her passion and desire to become an expert in an industry she loves, allowed her to overcome her fears and adversities.

KOMAL VASAVA

Komal is a machine operator at MSA Ethos and lives across the street from MSA, where her husband and his family own a ‘dhaba’, a roadside eatery for truckers and commuters. Prior to work at MSA Ethos in the mornings, she helps her family prep for their dhaba by doing household tasks such as laundry and cleaning. During her lunch hour, Komal heads home to work at the dhaba to clean vessels, occasionally cook, and to also grab a quick bite. Komal is a contributor to her family’s income, and in this case, also securing herself f inancially.

TARA PARMAR

Tara is a garment worker and a trims and finishing professional at MSA Ethos. She lives approximately five kilometers from the factory and commutes on most days by foot each way. Occasionally, if she sees a rickshaw or a jeep headed towards MSA Ethos, she hops on and collects reimbursement from MSA Ethos for her travel expenses. Tara is married to her older sister’s husband’s brother and they all live together with their children and Tara’s in-laws. Tara wakes up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to take care of her family along with her sister and works for two and a half hours manually before headed to work to continue with additional manual work. Tara did mention that she is able to do the work she does because she has her sister’s support in taking care of her family at home.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT AT SOTHEBY'S, NEW YORK

AN ETHICAL WAY

A documentary film by Kent Mathews.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT

Behind the Scenes.

THE GARMENT WORKER PROJECT WAS SHOT AT MSA ETHOS, OUR FACTORY IN THE HEART OF GUJARAT, INDIA.