You read the title right we now are donating 10% of our profits to The Loyal Workshop Social Support Fund.
I have always been passionate about using businesses to aid people out of poverty. The biggest thing that stops charities from doing what they do is money. Using a business to fund a charity helps to solve this problem. Loyal even run using this model themselves. I am going to write another blog about why I'm so passionate about this but for now, here is why I chose to donate 10% of our profits to The Loyal Workshop Social Support Fund.
My long term plan when I started this company was to one day open a factory in Cambodia and provide jobs and social support for those who need it. That's still my plan (maybe not Cambodia but still the same idea) but I wanted to get stuck in now. That's where The Loyal Workshop comes in.
About Loyals Social Support Fund.
I asked Loyal if they could send me a little blurb about what exactly the social support fund does. Here is what they sent me:
"The Loyal Social Support Fund helps us work with the community of Loyal women in a number of ways. There are five areas that this money contributes to:
1. Social Support: This is any social support that is organised by the workshop for the staff. This covers things such as the annual Well Women health check ups, mental health checks, and special counselling appointments. Similarly, it covers the artisans’ first eye check and pair of glasses during their initial training period at Loyal. It also is available to cover a portion of legal costs that occur for our artisans from time to time, or emergency relief costs (for example, we donated funds to our Nepali women whose homes were destroyed in the earthquake). Wherever possible, we try to empower our staff to pay their own medical expenses. It is rare for us to give money to employees for either one-off or ongoing costs. Our goal is empowerment by supporting the women to meet their own costs whenever possible, rather than looking to us for a handout.
2. Celebrations: At Loyal we want to create a culture of celebration and affirmation! The Workshop’s annual birthday party costs are covered by this fund, along with the smaller celebrations (“Freedom Birthdays”) that we have for each artisan intake.
3. Bereavement: For any parent, child or spouse of a staff member that dies, Loyal uses these funds to donate towards their funeral costs.
4. Childcare Subsidy: For all employees that have children, we use this fund to pay their monthly childcare subsidy.
5. Bank fees: The NZ$5 fee incurred for withdrawing cash from an ATM for the purposes above is to be covered by these funds.
In short, The Loyal Social Support Fund helps provide improved care and social support to artisans who are facing unique challenges relating to their mental and physical health, losing loved ones, raising children in a red light area, and so on. It also helps the Workshop continue a culture of celebration and affirmation through funding events that are incredibly important to us and counter-cultural to the neighbourhood outside, like our annual Freedom Birthdays!"
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to head over to India and visit Loyal and a few other Freedom Businesses in Kolkata. It is so cool to see and hear about the impact that working at these businesses has had on these women. These businesses are all about empowering the women to support themselves by providing them with a stable, good job.
What does Loyal do as a business?
The Loyal Workshop is a freedom Business. They're providing safe and stable employment for women who have been sold, stolen, trafficked or forced against their will into the sex trade. Loyal employs the women to make leather bags and wallets. Most importantly though they provide a safe place of work, alongside healthcare and counselling support. Click here if you want to have a look at the products they make. I wear the Ol' Faithful belt and use the Oscar card wallet every day.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below or get in touch by email/social media.