#MeriPehchan (My Identity) is our philosophy to make everyone feel welcome in the Artistic Milliners family and be a valuable part of our workforce regardless of their age, colour, gender, social background, personality type or disability.
Artistic Milliners workforce is a melting pot of people of diverse ethnicities and abilities. Our D&I strategy, the first of its kind from a denim manufacturer, rolls out a three-year plan to make our company culture more inclusive.
Pakistan’s overall literacy rate is far from impressive; standing at 57%, almost half of the population cannot read and write. Similarly, almost half of the factory workers at Artistic Milliners are illiterate. In 2016, AM initiated a pilot project on Adult Literacy with Literate Pakistan. The 6-month pilot project invited 30 factory workers to learn basic reading and writing. What improved wasn’t just productivity but also the workers’ self-confidence.
Fast forward to 2019, we have scaled up the program to provide basic literacy to 2600 factory workers in partnership with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and LS&Co. Foundation. We chose to partner with TCF for this project because of their proven expertise in running a highly effective adult literacy program called ‘Aagahi’ for the past 14 years. The program won the prestigious UN Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2017.
Run in collaboration with Gap Inc., Artistic Milliners was the first company in Pakistan to embark on this project in 2015. GAP Inc. P.A.C.E. is a life skills training program that educated women on the topics such as Communication. Problem Solving, Legal and Financial Literacy. The centerpiece of the program is 65-80 hours of module-based instruction focused on women’s life and professional skills. Once the workers complete the life skills modules, they are given the opportunity to participate in enhanced technical skills training. “I give credit to Artistic Milliners for taking up the challenge of bringing the GAP Inc. P.A.C.E. program to Pakistan. It takes vision and leadership to be pioneers and AM has lived up to its legacy by positively impacting female garment workers by providing them with foundational skill and support that will help them advance in the workplace and in their personal lives” - Elvis Francis, Director, GAP Inc. P.A.C.E. Program
Following IFC guidelines on Family Friendly policies, Artistic Milliners introduced free of cost day care facility for the factory workers. Additionally, we offer shift hours and grocery support for our workers along with fair work hours for a work-life balance. We will expand our family friendly initiatives to help our workers have access to safe work environment and better quality of life.
Artistic Milliners is the first Fair Trade certified factory in Pakistan. We have scaled up the Fair-Trade advantage for our skilled workers to include two more garment factory units now fair trade certified. More than 3,000 workers benefitted from the Fair-Trade premium in the first phase. With the newly certified factories, the number of beneficiaries is now more than 5,000. Our workers chose to buy monthly groceries from the Fair-Trade premium. The Fair-Trade premium not repays workers for their hard work but is also helping them with a sustainable livelihood. https://www.fairtradecertified.org/news/amina
HERProject is a year-long program that aims to attack taboos around women’s
health and lifestyles. It leverages an informal network of women to impart education on such topics as personal hygiene and nutrition, maternal health and family planning, etc. Artistic Milliners is
running this program in partnership with an NGO, Business for Social Responsibility, and a Denmark-based fashion
We are now exploring the possibility of implementing a new BSR Her project for our female workforce in line with the changing socio-economic and workplace dynamics.
Adopted Government School
Artistic Milliners has an adopted Government School near its Denim mill in the Landhi area. The school was adopted in 2015 to ensure quality education for more than 400 students enrolled in the school at a time. Artistic Milliners funds the regular upkeep of the school building and our volunteers conduct fun learning activities with the students throughout the year.
Fire incidents are a major accidental threat for textile companies. For the safety of our employees, Artistic Milliners has invested in the Fire Tenders that are compliant with international standards. In collaboration with the Government bodies, our Fire Tenders will also help the national Fire Brigade in case of a fire accident in our surrounding vicinity as well.
Emergency evacuation drills are carried out on regular basis so that employees know how to exit the building in less than 3 seconds in case of an emergency situation.
In 2019, our leadership was deemed as a pioneer in Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for our work in Gender Equality, for our Women at Artistic Milliners project.
Artistic Milliners is one of the few companies in the world that promotes women empowerment from the bottom up: From factory floors to top management. 50 percent of our top management comprises strong, dedicated women. On the worker level, we are running dedicated training programs for the female workers to help them learn new skills as well as the confidence to progress in their personal as well as professional lives.
We have decided to take this project to the next level, the newly launched project is titled A.W.E.S.O.M.E: Artistic Milliners Women Empowerment, Solidarity and Mentoring Program, symbolized by the Sword Lily a signifier of strength and integrity.. We want to cover women of all age groups in our supply chain. For us, our gender diversity is critical to realize that girls in different business functions get a chance to grow not only in Pakistan but outside of Pakistan as well.
Artistic Milliners was selected as UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer in 2019 for Gender Equality and Decent Work. With a commitment to worker well-being and environment conservation, Artistic Milliners has been contributing to achieve all 17 SDGs.