Lost Stock: the clothing box that helps workers in Bangladesh
Bangladesh lives off the textile industry, but this has been severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. So how can we help the affected workers? With boxes of clothes…
Lost Stock: a “mystery box” of solidarity
Created by Cally Russel, the Scottish company Lost Stock partners with the SAJIDA Foundation in Bangladesh to help textile workers. The NGO works in 26 districts of the country to spread “health, happiness and dignity for all”, especially since the pandemic has had a strong impact on their economy and standard of living.
Lost Stock markets clothing boxes in the United Kingdom. To order a box set, the buyer must indicate their age, size, gender, and favorite colors, although they can not select particular models. The customer pays £39 for the “mystery box” and receives it in the mail six to eight weeks later. The box contains at least three tops that are initially worth £70. If the items are not suitable, Lost Stock offers to donate them to the British Heart Foundation. This solidarity boxing initiates a new way of shopping. The clothes come directly from the manufacturers based in Bangladesh, allowing them to make a profit from their surplus and to maintain an economic activity thanks to their oversupply. For each box, 37% of the sale price, or £13, goes to SAJIDA. The foundation redistributes them to its Bangladeshi citizens, whereby one box helps a family for a week.
A disastrous economic and health situation
Lost Stock and SAJIDA are supporting workers who are in extreme poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of confinements, many ready-to-wear stores have cancelled their orders with suppliers. The textile industry accounts for 84% of exports and the cost of these cancellations or suspensions is estimated at $2 billion. Factories are now virtually unproductive and have excess inventory. As a result, 2.28 million workers have been affected by this decline, and many families without adequate income. Lost Stock has made use of the cancelled stock though its mystery boxes.
Supporting Bangladeshi factory workers
Cally Russel’s initiative meets with unexpected success! While she planned to sell 50,000 boxes by the end of last year, the company has now sold over 115,000! Faced with this success, Lost Stock plans to expand its customer base to the rest of Europe, the United States, and Australia; as well as to create children’s boxes. This increase will surely support 250,000 households with food and vital supplies by 2021. Thanks to the donations it receives, SAJIDA supports workers with very low income or those who have lost their jobs. Families can thus carry out basic necessities (food, household, bills…) until sustainable support is put in place. The NGO also fights against Covid-19 with an emergency action plan. It has set up an isolation and treatment centre, mobile hand washing stations; it also distributes food and hygiene products to 300,000 inhabitants. Its awareness campaigns have reached over 450,000 people.
Sources : The Guardian ; Positive News ; Blog Sajida Foundation
Crédits Photos : Mumtahina Tanni/Pexel ; Lost Stock
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