Progoti is a Toronto-based social enterprise that makes casual, staple designs while helping improve the lives of garment workers in Bangladesh. Our goal is to spark a positive change in the fashion industry by establishing a direct grassroots link between garment workers and the people wearing their creations.
Progoti means progress in Bengali. It’s the heritage of our founder and where we make our impact. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest clothing manufacturer, and the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy unveiled the unsafe and negligent conditions for garment workers, claiming over 1,100 lives. Remake is a wealth of information on this topic.
We partner with sewing shops that prioritize safe working conditions and look after their workers' wellbeing. However, the industry itself does not grant garment workers a safety net for their retirement. Progoti addresses this issue through an alternative pricing model:
We empower customers with the choice to make voluntary contributions that fund the purchase of retirement policies for the seamstresses making their clothes.
Our bottom line does not limit our impact because we prioritize the prosperity of our seamstresses and community. We are weaving a safety net with you, our friends, and improving the industry from the bottom-up. We believe that the joint efforts of many can yield more power together, and we cannot do that without you. Over time, we hope our approach becomes a reference for alternative business models for social impact.
Nurjahan Begum founded Progoti after working in large retailers and witnessing firsthand the disregard and lack of accountability for the seamstresses who are the bedrock of the fashion industry. Her motivation is to uplift the livelihoods of garment workers through Progoti. Read our interviews to learn more about Nurjahan and her journey.