The Sew Good Company is a clothing company that provides women in rural Cambodia with fair, safe, family friendly employment. We work with women to promote their rights and significance within the workplace with the aim to promote women as the leaders, change makers and role models that they are within their community and their family.
We agree with how the International Women’s Development Agency describes the current situation in Cambodia in their 2018 article.
We encourage you to read more about the challenges facing women in Cambodia. We believe all change starts with awareness. Once you know better. You do better.
While in Cambodia working with our partner foundation The Cambodian Kids Foundation (CKF) , we saw and learned first hand the impacts of unfair and unsafe working conditions on the lives of Cambodian women. Through our existing Australian based stores and experience in retail, we saw an opportunity to provide a safe and positive workplace for the women who live in Soksan. We started small, stocking hand-made sock monkeys. We never imagined we would grow to be what we are today. A team of women with the skills, the support, the creativity and the product that sees proud women support proud women.
Speaking of proud, we are particularly proud of the following aspects of our business:
** Employee Benefits **
Each member of our team is provided with a generous salary package. We believe it is important that our team members have the opportunity to not only thrive but also to save and invest. Other benefits include 12 weeks parental leave at full pay, unlimited paid personal and carer’s leave, 6 weeks paid annual leave and quarterly wage increases.
Each team member receives a Family Health Care Plan. Our health care plan covers the cost of all medical and dental expenses for each of our team members as well as each member of their family. Included in the health care plan are preventative health care programs, which include water filters, mosquito nets and access to health education programs.
Each member of the Sew Good team receives career development training and education. At the Sew Good Company, we promote from within our existing team and provide each team member with the opportunity to learn and contribute to all aspects of the business. Financial support is available to team members seeking further education and training opportunities. For example, this year we have a team member attending University to study fashion design and another commencing a career in fashion photography. Earlier this year, one of our project managers came to Australia to learn about and experience the retail distribution process.
** Community centred, community led **
The Sew Good business model was created in partnership with the Soksan community with a focus on removing barriers to employment by creating flexible work schedules. Family comes first and we are particularly proud of the proximity of our workshop to the local school and our in-house child care centre, which allows parents to breastfeed and take time to be with their babies and young children.
Our management team is led by members of the Soksan community, who ensure that Cambodian culture, tradition and values are celebrated and respected within the workplace and who provide community focussed advocacy on behalf of the wider team.
** Environment **
The Sew Good Company maintains an ongoing focus on minimising wastage of any resources we use. Running a business often means using valuable resources. This is something we are constantly aware of and we are always seeking ways to reduce any negative impact we have on the environment.
Our fabric is recycled. We use salvaged dead stock; we do not create any new fabric. We use our fun and creative designs to turn this fabric into beautiful, comfortable clothing. Many hours are spent working out the best way to cut each pattern to ensure minimal cutting wastage. All cut fabric not big enough to be used in clothing is given new life in the form of accessories or carry bags. Even the tiniest fabric waste is kept and used to make string hammocks and to stuff mattresses and pillows.
The Sew Good Company has never used plastic bags in our stores. In 2018, we ceased procurement and transport of products packaged in plastic.
Each year, the Sew Good Company works in partnership with the local community to plant over 1000 trees. Through this program, we are able to initiate conversations about the value of maintaining the natural environment.
The Sew Good Company was founded through a desire to create a community-centred, ethical workplace where team members could earn a fair living, save and invest in opportunities and also feel free to take the time to care for their health, their wellbeing and their family. We practise and promote these values in our business in both Cambodia and Australia.
Together we are trying to change the way the garment industry works, not only in Cambodia but worldwide. The Sew Good Company exists not only to offer employment, but also to educate consumers about the harsh realities of many garment factories. We aim to be a catalyst in the fashion industry by changing the way people perceive 'fast fashion’. We offer an alternative to unethical clothing and provide an answer to the question of, "Who made my clothing?”
Meet Phean ( and Phen Phen)
Pattern creator & cutter.
Phean is an important woman within The Sew Good Company. Phean will cut the pattern and do the sewing of any new design we want to create. She will then teach the other women how to cut and sew those particular designs, once the others have it down perfect she will move on to creating the pattern for the next new design. Phean was taught how to sew by her sister when she was 16 years old, she is one of the only women that owns a sewing machine.
Before Phean worked with The Sew Good Company she was a roof tiler, she used to get sick from the conditions in the tile factory and illness spread quickly there as lots of people were unable to visit the doctors or were carriers of tuberculosis. All our team have health tests throughout the year to make sure they are healthy and any illnesses that arise are treated by our free healthcare program that we provide for all the women and their families.
Phean is such a cheerful woman with a cheeky sense of humour, she is always laughing or making other people laugh which helps to create a really beautiful and fun working environment for the team. On behalf of Phean and the entire Sew Good Company we would like to thank you for buying ethical and shopping Sew Good, as well as supporting women with visions and goals and big dreams for their families futures!