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International Labor Day - Story of a Worker

April 30, 2019

International Labor Day - Story of a Worker

01 May is International Labor Day and a holiday for our workers. 

While we recognize labor day and all labor standards regarding fair trade, we also recognize the people and individual needs of our workers.

One of our employees—I’ll call him Amir—suffered a family catastrophe earlier this year. His wife was riding a motorcycle when some hooligans came alongside and shoved her off the bike, into the roadway. She suffered severe head injuries that will persist the rest of her life.

Amir and his wife have two children. Their future seemed bright—Amir had just purchased a house in his family village, using his savings and a loan from Mehera Shaw’s employee fund. Now the forecast for their future was cloudy at best. His wife underwent surgery and returned home unable to care for herself, let alone her children. Amir couldn’t leave her to work. A month passed.

Amir is one of 35 Mehera Shaw full-time employees, and someone who had already risen in terms of skills and responsibilities. We certainly didn’t want to lose him, so our leadership team met to figure out what we could do to help him get back to work. As a Fair Trade organization, we believe in providing safe working conditions, a fair salary and benefits. In Amir’s case, we needed to do more.

Mehera Shaw does provide health insurance. As is often the case, it doesn’t cover all the expenses of an injury. We scrambled immediately to help, as best we could, with some of the additional expenses. But the real key would be figuring out how Amir could leave his wife alone during the day and get back to work.

We persuaded him to come into the office and discuss the possibilities. When Amir came into the office that day, we could tell he was thoroughly depressed. The three of us sat him downand called for chai. Our conversation lasted more than two hours.

We offered to rent a studio apartment near our workspace in Jaipur for Amir and his wife, so he could check on her throughout the day. Our proximity to hospitals would be another benefit. Mehera Shaw would pay the bills for three months, to start, in hopes his wife would recover enough by then to return to their village. However, this would require Amir’s parents to care for his children during that time. He didn’t know if they would be willing.

We didn’t come up with a final solution that day but, by the time he left, Amir’s posture and expression had visibly brightened. We had given him some more financial support but, more importantly, we offered him belief that, with our help, he could find solutions. We ultimately were able to make arrangements for a caretaker and Amir is back at work.

Besides helping Amir deal with his troubles, we reviewed Mehera Shaw’s employee insurance coverage to make sure it’s adequate. We also held a training session for all employees to go over their coverage and remind them how to take advantage of it in an emergency.

Mehera Shaw is proud to practice Fair Trade employment practices. We believe our employees are more productive because they know we pay them fairly, care about them and will support them in time of crisis.




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Fit/Sizing/Care

FIT

Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.

SIZING

h4XS/ 36

h4S/ 38

h4M/40

h4L/ 42

h4XL/44

h4chest

h435.5 inches/ 90 cm

h437.5 inches/95 cm

h439.5 inches/ 100 cm

h441.5 inches/ 105 cm

h444.5 inches. 113 cm

h44cm extra from body

h4waist

h426 inches/ 66 cm

h428 inches/ 71 cm

h430 inches/ 76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h435 inches/ 89 cm

h4fitted

h4low waist

h428 inches/71 cm

h430 inches/76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h434 inches/ 86 cm

h437 inches/ 94 cm

h4fitted

h4hip

h437 inches/ 94 cm

h439 inches/ 99 cm

h441 inches/ 104 cm

h443 inches/ 109 cm

h446 inches/ 1

h44cm extra from body

WASHCARE

All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

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