Sabahar strives to create respectful, ethical and sustainable work opportunities for artisans in Ethiopia. We believe the private sector has a critical role to play in the development of a country and the betterment of its people. By providing international buyers the opportunity to purchase Fair Trade products in Ethiopia, we are also supporting hundreds of people to earn salaries on which they can live.
We are a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), which is the only global body that certifies companies as being Fair Trade.
We comply with 10 standards set out by WFTO that guide us on how to be a company that empowers and elevates the people we employ. In 2013, we underwent a 4-day assessment conducted by the German Fair Trade Association. They looked into our Fair Trade practices and also gave their seal of approval of our approach.
In practice, this is what being Fair Trade means for Sabahar:
- We provide sustainable income to more than 120 people.
- Our employees earn about 250% more than the industry average for the work they do.
- Employees have permanent contracts and receive regular salaries every month.
- The work week is 37.5 hours (vs. the average, legal 48 hour work week in Ethiopia).
- Employees receive pensions, paid vacation, maternity leave and medical coverage.
- Staff members who are interested in going to school get time off to do so.
- All employees attend regular and comprehensive training and capacity building.
- Fifty percent of our staff is women and about 75% of the management positions are held by women.
- We use only environmentally friendly dyes and have a water filtration system working to minimize our environmental impact.
- The workshop is airy and light with lots of space for the employees.
- We re-distribute a percentage of our profits each year in bonuses.
- We introduce our artisans to world-renowned fashion designers, business people and stylists so they can learn what is needed to succeed in the global market.