Manufactured is a podcast started in 2020 with the intention of providing an insider perspective on sustainability in the fashion supply chain. Hosted by Kim van der Weerd and Jessie Li, two industry professionals who have worked directly in and with factories, this podcast spotlights those working in the supply chain, from factory owners and textile manufacturers to designers and sustainability officers. Through this approach, Manufactured is able to amplify key perspectives from the ground on complex issues such as buyer-supplier relationships, worker-management relations, subcontracting, and more. The long-form format of podcasting further enables this project to achieve its mission.
We believe in the greater need for transparency and open dialogue, so when Kim and Jessie reached out to Shahi to participate in an episode we were grateful for this opportunity. Transparency is often seen as consumer demand, however even as a supplier, there are benefits to being transparent including gaining valuable feedback that can help us learn and improve as well as having the opportunity to present our perspective on important events.
Two members of Shahi’s Organizational Development team, Anant Ahuja and Gauri Sharma joined Kim and Jessie for the latest double-episode of Manufactured which is now in its third season.
Part 1 (Episode 27) covers the following topics:
- The journey of Shahi over the last 45 years
- Why suppliers need to take a leadership role in the sustainability agenda
- Barriers to genuine partnership and collaboration between buyers and suppliers: Power dynamics, lack of trust, and perceived lack of incentives for suppliers to invest in sustainability
- Why Shahi set up Good Business Lab and the need for an evidence-based approach to worker wellbeing programs
Part 2 (Episode 28) covers the following topics:
- The advantages of becoming a vertically integrated supplier
- Sourcing cotton in India and the challenges faced by cotton farmers
- Our new research project with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), through which we are reclaiming textile waste to grow cotton more efficiently as a way to support cotton farmers
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Read Kim’s blog JUST FASHION here.