This week six C&A employees from the headquarters in Brussels are visiting India to support business partners of Women on Wings with their knowledge and experience in the textile business. The C&A employees are participating in a volunteer program, which is part of the partnership between C&A, C&A Foundation and Women on Wings, established to create jobs for women in rural India.
Connecting the C&A perspective to more jobs in rural India
“Working in the fashion industry, everyday, it can be easy to slip into a comfortable existence and forget where the product has come from. In every garment, there is a skilled machinist behind each seam and beyond that, there is the creation of the material itself, in a cotton bud or a silk cocoon and everything before and in between” says Gijs Buelens, Regional Merchandise Planner at C&A and one of the team members. “The idea is that we share our knowledge of how to export internationally. We want to support these companies to grow and give more women in rural areas a job so they can educate their children and be treated well.”
Preparing for export readiness
Ronald van het Hof, MD Women on Wings India: “This week started with a two-day workshop on export readiness for our textile and fashion partners. In the first exercise the participants unrolled a ball of red yarn, symbolizing the connection between all attending the workshop in Delhi. We may come from different countries and backgrounds, but at the end of the day we are all involved in working with yarn.”
As part of the workshop the C&A employees gave presentations and the participants worked on assignments on different subjects in the field of exporting including sustainability, quality management, planning, buying cycle, sales, marketing and communication. The workshop proved to be a great platform for sharing knowledge on both sides: participants and C&A employees also had great discussions on the challenges in rural production.
Photography by expert Marcel van Mourik