Producer Profiles

Pratibha Syntex

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In 1997, Pratibha Syntex launched with the desire to be a different kind of factory – a factory that would promote workers’ rights, utilize environmentally sustainable production and provide housing and other benefits to its workers. Members of Pratibha Syntex were able to realize this commitment to its workers as well as the environment by achieving Fair Trade certification. Pratibha has grown to become one of the world’s largest, vertically integrated suppliers of all types of knits, including organic and recycled materials.

As a vertical facility, Pratibha has also expanded its operations into the cotton fields. In 1999, Pratibha launched Vasudha Organics, which aims to expand organic and Fair Trade cotton in India and lead the way in sustainable cotton. Pratibha also sources organic cotton from Zameen Organic cotton, where 51 percent of the organization is owned by farmers. Like the factory workers, cotton farmers in Vasudha earn a community investment premium through Fair Trade. With these funds, Pratibha seeks to empower the workers and farmers along its entire supply chain.

For each Fair Trade Certified™ garment sold, workers at Pratibha can earn up to a 10 percent Fair Trade premium to be invested in a worker-controlled fund. Workers then vote to either receive cash bonuses or invest into social programs that would help develop health care, education, transportation and provide housing for workers and their families residing far away.
 

Programs

Empowering Communities through Education

Pratibha seeks to empower the surrounding community by supporting approximately 90 schools run by the local NGO Friends of Tribal Society. The Society has spent over $7 million USD to establish two schools and one higher level, technical school in India.

Temporary Housing for Workers

Because many workers reside anywhere between 150 and 200 kilometers away from the factory, the organization has provided dorm housing for them when needed.

Sustainable Initiatives

At Pratibha, sustainable development projects are centered on its people and planet. At one point, Pratibha invested an estimated $90 million USD in sustainable initiatives including the creation of an on-site recycling facility. Through this recycling facility, 97 percent of the recovered hard waste is used to produce coarse yarns, and 65 percent of the recovered soft waste to create new knit fabrics. A water recycling facility, powered with only 6 MW of natural gas and thus earning it carbon credits, was built and over 200,000 trees were planted at the facility. The organization uses low-impact dyes and chemicals.