Craft Beauty

Motto: Bring happiness to other people and happiness will create happiness.

 

Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Craft Beauty

Supply chain

Trading partner: Craft Beauty, medium enterprise
Function: Producer
Structure: Own production plant, affiliated production groups
Tradeway: Direct import CONTIGO

Hanoi to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)

 

Products

Bags and accessories made of different fabrics

Location

Hanoi (district of Long Biên), Vietnam – distance to Europe: 8,600km

Founded in 2003

History

  • Hoai Nguyen studies marketing and business administration and volunteers at a rural development organisation from the U.S. during her studies. Her task is to prepare local artisans and their products for the international market
  • 2002: She changes from voluntary work to professional self-employment
  • 2003: Hoai Nguyen and her husband Diep establish Craft Beauty to support local artisans to market their products: focus on silk accessories, bags and garments; participation in trade fairs and first exports, at that time only few employees for quality control and packaging
  • 2004: Craft Beauty hires a sample maker in order to design own cuttings / patterns for workshops in rural areas: a small sewing workshop is set up in the private house of Hoai and Diep
  • 2005-2009: Craft Beauty becomes member of Fairtrade Federation in the U.S.A. (membership ends, as from 2009 on only American Fairtrade companies are allowed to become members)
  • 2006/2007: Purchase of a workshop building and construction of an own production site
  • 2009: Craft Beauty moves to a bigger production building in the neighbourhood, the former workshop is still used as an accommodation house for commuters
  • 2009-2017: Participation in international trade shows and establishment of an export customers base
  • 2010: CONTIGO meets Craft Beauty for the first time, since then annual orders and continuous product development
  • 2015: Cooperation with artisans of ethnical minorities in the provinces of Mai Chau and Nghe An
  • 2017: Second designer is hired
  • 2019: The CONTIGO e.V. finances the purchase of five modern sewing machines, which significantly improve the quality of their sewing work and increase productivity
  • 2020: under Covid pandemic economy declined, orders cancelled and reduced, number of internal staff and external groups reduced, 35% less employees than 2019, but consistent work for indoor staff

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2010

Craft Beauty1

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 55 employees
    • 31 employees in the central workshop in Hanoi
      • 31 full-time, no part-time
      • Production, processing, packing: 22
      • Design, product development: 3
      • Quality control: 4
      • Administration, marketing, sales: 8
    • 24 employees outside the central workshop, in the provinces of Ha Tay, Hung Yen, Hai Phong

 Organisation of workforce / work environment: 

  • Main tasks at Craft Beauty internal workshop:
    • preparation of production (e.g. cutting of fabrics for external workshops)
    • production (complex sewing tasks)
    • quality control
    • packaging
    • administration, product development
  • CEO Diep and production manager Oanh Hoang
    • visit all production locations on a regular basis
    • accompany closely every single production step
    • train new staff
    • enforce quality standards
  • External producers
    • Groups (mainly 3-5 people, biggest group counts 15 people) and individuals (housewives, who combine work with child care and farming). In 2020 focus on cooperation with individuals and housewives
    • Due to the pandemic and less order volume most of the groups accept orders from local fashion shops, they do not work exclusively for Craft Beauty any more
    • Tasks: sewing, printing, embroidery, crocheting
    • Structure of small producer groups: 1 woman leads a group of 3-5 women, leader plans production steps, divides and allocates tasks, is responsible for quality (and therefore receives a bonus for good quality and meeting the delivery time)
    • Equipment:
      • bigger groups are fully equipped with cutting machines and sewing machines, they do not need prepared materials from Craft Beauty; they receive an advance payment in order to purchase the materials
      • smaller groups and individuals receive prepared material packages, expensive equipment like sewing machines can be leased from Craft Beauty (will be billed with future orders)
  • Weekly meetings with all employees (on Saturdays)
  • Regular meetings with leaders of small producer groups
  • Designs, salary, working conditions, business development, and productivity issues are discussed
  • Bimonthly meetings with team about optimising work processes, successes, difficulties, and business outlook of the company

Sales

  • Exports (75%) to the U.S.A., UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Italy
  • Home market (25%)

Goals

  • To increase education and job opportunities for women and minority groups
  • To preserve and promote traditional crafts
  • To increase income
  • To establish new business relationships
  • To create new product lines

Special features

  • Focal point: creation of job opportunities for people with disadvantages and no school education
  • Outsourcing of small sewing tasks to small producer groups to provide income opportunities for rural women
  • Principle: work tasks should be arranged around child care
  • Housing with sleeping spaces, fridge, etc. available for women with a long commute (can be used for free), house is also used for women from villages when they visit for further training

Why does CONTIGO work with Craft Beauty: Product development with Craft Beauty has been very easy and successful from the first collection onwards.

 

Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved

 

Fairtrade aspects

Craft Beauty5

Craft Beauty complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

  • All women have the same opportunities, some women with disadvantages work in high positions.

Fair wages

  • Minimum wage in Hanoi: 4.42 Mio Dong/month
  • Wages at Craft Beauty: US$ 180-450/month, depending on responsibility
    • In the central workshop:
      • Office workers, manager, employees in the cutting and quality control receive fixed wage
      • Employees in production receive piece-rate wage
    • External employees receive piece-rate wage depending on orders and performance, piece rate is agreed on before order
  • Higher wages in case of overtime (100%)
  • Bonuses are paid for high performances
  • Annual wage adjustment, depending on the work performance and the rate of inflation, for example:
    • 2012: wages were increased dramatically to match the inflation rate of 20%
    • 2014-2016: bonus payments for best quality and compliance with completion deadline of orders
    • 2020: under pandemic situation all staff forego the annual wage increase

Craft Beauty16

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/day
  • 1 break (1 hour)
  • 6 days/week ( 5 days/ week in 2020 due to less work)

Social benefits:

For the 31 employees who work in the central workshop in Hanoi:

  • Paid holidays (10 national holidays + 12 annual leave holidays)
  • Payment of contributions to „Social Insurances“, consisting of
    • Pension fund
    • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness, accident and maternity leave
    • Accident insurance
    • Employer pays 21,5% and employee 10,5% of monthly gross wage

For all 55 employees:

  • Payment of contributions to health insurance (employer pays 3% and employee 1,5% of monthly wage)
  • Free housing provided for women who can only go home during the weekend due to long commutes (currently 6 women use the accommodation)
  • Financial support available in case of need
    • Loans provided to employees for important purchases (house) or important family matters
    • Loans provided to small working groups for tools, machines, and materials
    • Sewing machines are handed out as long-term loans
  • Workplace health promotion: offer of a free yoga course in-house once a week, especially for women who work at the sewing machines

 

Educational opportunities:

  • Trainings in computer skills, management skills, design, fashion, Fairtrade and export
  • Educating external producer groups in quality standards
  • Vocational education of disadvantaged women as seamstresses

Transparency

  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO

 

Monitoring

  • Personal visits in Hanoi (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018)
  • Member of:
    • WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) since 2010

 

Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Vietnam

 

Photos

Visiting Craft Beauty in 2018

 

Visiting Craft Beauty in 2014

2014_Craft Beauty1 2014_Craft Beauty2 2014_Craft Beauty3  2014_Craft Beauty4  2014_Craft Beauty5  2014_Craft Beauty6

Visiting Craft Beauty in 2012

 

Visiting Craft Beauty in 2010

     

Author: Janina Lange on 24. January 2021
Category:

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