Day 2: Excuse me, do you know #whomademyPJs?

 

We wrote yesterday, about how we decided to go on journey with the primary goal of finding out #whomademyPJs

 

Our journey took us to the amazing city of Dharamsala, India.  The hustle and bustle that is India always hits us hard; from the moment we land to the last mouthful of incredible curry, India is such a unique country, with smells, noises and colours unparallelled anywhere else we have ever visited.

Our Visible journey has seen us come here multiple times to meet the variety of people who work throughout the supply chain and every time we have visited, we have learnt a little bit more about just how complex the global clothing industry is.

India has a booming apparel industry and incredibly, is the worlds second largest producer of cotton after China.  On the one hand this growing sector brings with it all the horrors of exploitative fast fashion, taking advantage of some of the highest poverty rates in the world and the millions of people vulnerable and desperate for work.

On the other hand there are growing signs of hope as more and more fair trade certified companies are based in India and indications that the small, fair trade clothing industry is growing.

So we started asking around to see if anyone knew #whomadeMyPJs

After a number of highly comical conversations we decided that asking each of the 45 million Indians that work in the clothing sector was going to take too long, so we decided to get focused and get ourselves to the Himalaya Tailouring Centre, in Dharamsala, where Eternal Creation produced my PJs. 

At the small, 15 year-old factory, we were greeted by Tsering Chonden, the incredible Production Manager who managed the production of my PJs.

 

Tsering was raised by her grandmother in the small Tibetan settlement of Mundgod in Karnataka, South India. She moved to Dharamsala in 2006 for her daughters' schooling and joined Eternal Creation in 2007 where she has worked for the last eight years. 

It was incredible to meet her, to see first hand the fair management approach that she implements, and to enjoy her fantastic sense of humour.  

Not only was it fun to spend time with such a fascinating lady, but it was humbling to see someone working so hard, making a simple product for me, so that she can fulfil her dreams.

Her primary motivation for working at the factory is for her daughter's future.  Tsering's desire is simple; that her daughter receives the best possible education and all the future possibilities that will arise if she is able to complete school.

Who can argue with that?

It is the consistent message we hear from factory workers all across the developing world. It is all the more poignant as our - and your - buying choices have a direct impact on whether or not that dream is likely to become reality.

Tsering - Thank you for making my PJs.

Tomorrow Day 3 of 5:  How many people does it take to make a pair of PJs? #whomademyPJs