The projectis for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are differently-abled

The projectis for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are differently-abled

Vietnam denim manufacturer Saitex has launched a new social entrepreneurship project and production line for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are differently-abled.

The Rekut initiative is a new, holistic approach for the company, and will see associates receive training and support for sustainable jobs with equal, open opportunities and a stable income.

Understanding that in urban areas of Vietnam, people with different abilities and special needs are three times as likely to be unemployed, Saitex says it has invested in, and trained, 90 associates to date with the aim of increasing this to 1,000, or 20% of its workforce by 2025, to align with its inclusivity strategy.

"Our business model has been built, from day one, with a philosophy to 'do the right thing'," says Sanjeev Bahl, CEO and founder of Saitex. "We are driven by our own conscience and guided by a moral compass that guides us every day in our quest to build a world-class, responsible organisation.

"As a certified B-Corp, we are committed to creating a circular economy throughout the supply chain. To realise true circularity, our organisation must be responsible in all aspects, including accountability over the effects it has on people and the planet. Transparency is the key to gaining trust, which requires us to lead with integrity and honesty. Reinvention is the tool for sustainability, to maintain profitability, and to continue on our circular path."

Following its commitment to the SDGs, the programme seeks partners to increase the Rekut product offerings and to amplify the impact it can have by expanding globally and to other factories. Rekut and Saitex have taken numerous measures to ensure the safety, comfort, and confidence of its associates to succeed as an integrated team within the company. These associates include those who grew up in nearby orphanages or are carrying different abilities, both physical and developmental.

To date, partner organisations in support of Rekut include UNDP United Nations Development Programme, Maison Chance, Saigon Children's Charity CIO, LIN, DRD Center for Disability and Development, CED Center for Research and Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Enablecode, and Hear Us Now.

These NGOs were consulted on how to tailor the Saitex workspaces, recruitment process, training process, and the actions of the Rekut production line to suit people with a wide range of different abilities. The measures taken amplify Saitex's core values of diversity and inclusion.

To mainstream the Rekut full-time employees, it takes US$3,000 to provide them with five months of well-rounded training. Originally funded by Saitex, the programme is now supported by revenue from Rekut products, which have achieved a fully independent production line including sewing, quality control, and packing.

All other aspects of production and manufacturing are supported by Saitex. The output of Rekut focuses on giving new life to fabric waste and deadstock garments creating face masks, upcycled home goods, apparel, and accessories.