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A year on from Unit 8: What we’ve learned

Just over a year ago, a serious incident took place at one of our 65 factories, Unit 8, where unionized workers were attacked by non-unionized workers resulting in a violent exchange. It was widely covered in the media at the time and created truly regrettable reputational damage for our buyers. The incident and the behaviors that led to it are absolutely condemned by Shahi and go against our robust policies on freedom of association and anti-harassment. We take our responsibilities to our employees very seriously and have been leaders within the apparel sector in building a positive and supportive work culture. However, this incident is evidence that, despite many positive policies and initiatives, we have more work to do to protect the rights of all 100,000 of our workforce.
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Empowering women who power the global fashion industry

Our industry is reliant on female labor. At Shahi we employ more than 70,000 talented and capable women across our factories and corporate HQ, making us one of the biggest private employers of women in India. As we prepare to attend Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest conference on gender equality next month, we’ve been reflecting on what we’re doing to support women so we can set some objectives for the future.
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Iron Woman Fighting Anemia Among Our Female Employess

Iron Woman: Fighting anemia among our female employees

India has the largest number of anemic women in the world, with more than half (51%) of all women of reproductive age being anemic. This has been attributed to multiple factors ranging from poor nutrition and repeated childbearing, to high incidence of infections. Apart from affecting mobility, mental health, and causing pain and discomfort, anemia can also result in significant productivity losses. Read this update to understand our commitment to women’ s health.
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Partnership with Columbia Sportswear to provide clean water to communities

Columbia Sportswear, one of our key customers, is committed to reducing its water footprint across the supply chain. They have also partnered with Planet Water Foundation to give access to clean and accessible drinking water to schools in their supply chain communities. Columbia Sportswear and Shahi teamed up to invest in a water tower with ultra-filtration at a government school in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, near one of our factories.
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Scaling P.A.C.E. To Women In Our Supplier Factories

Scaling P.A.C.E. to women in our supplier factories

In 2007, Shahi was the first company to pilot Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.), a proprietary life-skills program by Gap Inc. We were also the first Gap Inc. supplier to be awarded the license to scale up P.A.C.E. by training women beyond our factories.
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Can the apparel industry help to reverse India’s declining female work participation rate?

A commentary piece in the Economics Times by Arvind Panagariya, former Chief Economist at the Asian Development Bank and previous vice-chairman of the Government of India think-tank NITI Aayog, has highlighted the cost-efficiency of job creation in the apparel sector versus other industries. Comparing Shahi with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) – a large conglomerate with operations in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications – he found that Shahi creates 252 times the number of jobs of RIL with a similar amount of assets. The findings lead to a conclusion that we have been committed to for many years: the apparel sector is a powerful opportunity to create high quality, formal employment, especially for India’s dwindling female workforce.
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Gap Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebrations

In September 2017, Shahi was invited to be a part of Gap Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebrations. Three of our leaders were asked to speak about their experience driving Gap Inc.’s soft-skills training program called Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) across Shahi’s factories.
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