To achieve global workforce inclusivity and women’s wellbeing beyond factories, Nest is committed to collecting, leveraging, and measuring data to advance the global handworker economy.
Building Globally Applicable, Fact-Based Solutions
Nest is committed to building its programs based off data collected through its Nest Guild and onsite compliance assessments.
To build and prioritize solutions with the greatest potential to drive impact on the global scale, the fragmented data pools surrounding handwork must be centralized and leveraged to inform fact-based solution building. Solutions should be prioritized based on the needs most prevalent and critical across the entire global handworker economy, breaking from the myopic view that the work is highly localized. Once solutions are in place, their impacts must be measured and shared widely, giving the entire industry access to what’s working and what needs to be refined.
Global Sector Solutions in Progress
Responsible Wastewater Management
Nest is working alongside engineering partner, ECOPSIS, participating artisan businesses in the US, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh; and partners Patagonia and Levi Strauss & Co (through its collaborator program) to build a globally applicable solution to responsible wastewater management for textile dyeing.
Recognizing a widespread need for safe, centralized workshops across the global artisan sector as a whole, Nest is working with non-profit architecture firm, Inscape Publico, to create a series of small artisan work studio prototypes that will ultimately be available to artisan businesses around the world as a replicable kit-of-parts. A pilot for the program is currently underway in Varanasi, India.
Video Training Series
To guide more artisan businesses on the path to improved worker wellbeing and business transparency and compliance, Nest seeks to launch a series of videos featuring engaging roundtables and dramatic role-playing to empower workers and employers at both the subcontractor and artisan levels with tools for how best to engage in socially responsible practice.
Ensuring Wellbeing for Women Beyond Factories
Nest is committed to leveraging new technologies like mobile surveys and blockchain to ensure that home-based work, and women’s work, is fairly compensated and valued
Best industry estimates indicate that between 20–60% of garment production is done at least partially outside of factories. The ILO estimates upwards of 300 million homeworkers globally, though it’s unclear what portion of these are engaged in craft-based work. The wide degree of variance in these statistics points to a glaring lack of visibility to home-based workers, most of whom are women. When women’s work is not measured, it’s not accounted for or valued in the global economy. This chronic and widespread invisibility is directly contributing to unfair pay, harassment, and lack of investment in female homeworkers—stifling their ability to drive economic and social impact.
Worker Rights and Business Transparency
businesses had a handworker manual, meaning that no formal policies or procedures were in place specifically for handworkers
of businesses had some form of a training program to educate handworkers on their rights
had a process for handworkers to report grievances
Child Advocacy and Protection
of businesses had a formal policy handwork
of the workers surveyed felt that they were not being fairly compensated for their work
Fair Compensation and Benefits
had complete and accurate records of wages for handworkers
of businesses factored minimum wage standards into wage setting for piece-rate handworkers and of those, only a small number could show written documentation of wage calculations
Health & Safety
did not have proper fire safety measures
did not have sufficient first aid equipment
of businesses using machinery were not properly maintaining the safety of equipment
of those businesses whose production processes included some form of water disposal had waste water treatment systems in place
Making the Case for Investment
Nest is committed to working alongside artisan businesses and brand partners to measure the impact of both its programs and overall investment in handwork.
“Artisan” is often misunderstood as niche and not scalable, contributing to a lack of philanthropic and for-profit investment in the sector. Furthermore, the lack of impact data quantifying the social and economic benefits of increasing supply and demand for handmade items weakens the case for investment in supply chain development. In addition to measuring its own impact, Nest is committed to working alongside industry partners to collect and share data that demonstrates the value of handwork in achieving global social and economic impact.