Daily circle meeting at SEKEM
Our commitment to providing customers with the highest quality cotton is matched by our insistence on ethical manufacturing, sustainability and social responsibility. We are gratified to employ the farm and factory operations of the SEKEM organization. [See video below.] For the people, they provide equal opportunity employment and fair wages within a clean, healthy and safe working environment. For the land, they employ biodynamic organic farming methods and require that these methods be employed by their supplementary suppliers as well.
SEKEM has a sense of responsibility and devotion to their workers and the surrounding community which is shown in the many benefits and programs they offer.
- The Chamomile Program takes in poor working children living in poverty within the community and gives them education, healthcare, clothing, 3 meals a day, and double wages for a half-days work picking chamomile flowers after school - this keeps the families happy that their children are still earning wages but gives these kids what they need to help to break the cycle of poverty. Children are not hired to manufacture our Egyptian Cotton Tshirts clothing, rather they are given after-school part-time work in the outdoors. Some families in the disadvantaged area that our workers come from would not let their children attend school at all if they did not contribute to the family income.
- Empowering Women in the Workforce was an initiative by our factory back in 2012 to introduce the idea that women could work beyond marriage, that they could learn to balance work and family, and that they could aspire to hold management positions within the factory.This runs counter to Egyptian culture, where women would leave the workforce upon marrying and never return. Changing long held mindsets is always a difficult undertaking and, in this case, it required a change of thinking among the men at the factory, as well as the women. With the help of a gender equality strategist from Germany, years of discussion and training, and a lot of patience, the workforce at our factory is now 30% women, and the idea of women in management at our factory has also become a reality.
- Daycare for Working Mothers is provided nearby the factory so that impoverished Egyptian mothers can share in the opportunities for a trade and a dependable wage. Providing daycare was critical in removing one of the primary obstacles to women being empowered to work outside the home after marriage.
- Education — SEKEM is dedicated to educating its workers and people from the surrounding area. It instituted and runs education programs for children, school drop-outs and adults. They have even started a Heliopolis University.
- Medical Attention is provided by a large modern clinic at the SEKEM facility.
- Cultivating the potential of each individual is a goal of SEKEM that is very much a part of corporate values. Management addresses this goal in many ways.
- Fairtrade - Culture of Love means that everyone in the supply chain from growers to sewers get a fair share of the profit. Management is dedicated to this fair-share mentality in producing Egyptian Cotton Tshirts' products. This is at the heart of why SEKEM charges greater than market rates for the cotton that goes into Egyptian Cotton Tshirts clothing and home goods
- Sustainable Manufacturing at SEKEM keeps the land green and productive for current production and into the future. They employ BioDiverse farming methods.
Egyptian Cotton Tshirts brings this value to you, our customer, that your money goes not only to your own comfort, but also to making the world a better place.