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 change in the fashion industry by establishing a direct grassroots link between conscious customers and garment workers on the ground. Bangladesh is the world's second largest clothing manufacturer, and the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy unveiled the low standards of working conditions, claiming over 1,100 lives.
We partner with sewing shops that prioritize safe working conditions, and care for 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 give customers the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to purchase retirement policies for the seamstresses making their clothes.
Our bottom-line does not constrain our impact because it prioritizes the prosperity of our seamstresses and community. We are weaving a safety net with our customers to reform the industry from the bottom-up, as a collective. We believe that the joint efforts of many can yield more power, and we cannot do that without you. Over time, we hope our approach becomes a reference for alternative pricing 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.