Spotlight On: BESTSELLER
Find out more about BESTSELLER’s POWER Programme
The fashion industry has the potential to drive positive social and economic development for its workers, their families, and their communities. Women make up 50% of BESTSELLER’s Tier Zero and Tier One workforce and as such BESTSELLER is committed to implementing empowerment initiatives across its supply chain to support these women.
Historically, BESTSELLER has worked with a number of implementing partners to deliver women empowerment programmes in Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan, reaching more than 152,000 women workers.
In 2021, BESTSELLER launched a new partnership with Turkish NGO, Mother and Child Education Foundation (AÇEV), to develop a curriculum for a women empowerment programme tailored to the local context and addressing the needs of women workers in garment factories in Turkey. The Turkish market accounts for roughly 12 percent of BESTSELLER’s manufacturing volumes, and the agreement with AÇEV-Equality Matters is an important step towards reaching BESTSELLER’s goal of equipping women working in garment factories with the skills, the environment and the opportunity to make informed decisions about their personal and professional life.
Over 10 months in 2022, the new curriculum was tested at four suppliers: Deniz Tekstil, Realkom, Farbe Tekstil, and Hamaratli Tekstil. The POWER programme consisted of 13 sessions focusing on different topics from personal development and self-care to women’s labour rights and participation in decision making. Women were also taught about concepts such as personal goal setting, work-life balance, technology-media, child protection, equal distribution of household responsibilities, and opportunities to complete formal education.
The first edition was a 10-month pilot project and reached 1,120 women. All parties expressed that the POWER programme had created clear benefits for both women workers and the workplaces in general. Each of the participants who completed the POWER programme was awarded with a certificate and celebrated at a graduation ceremony.
“As a mother of three daughters, I found use in knowledge about the benefits of taking time for myself and how to respect my children and their ideas. I learned how to control my own budget and made new friends during the training. Also, I found out how to produce really good ideas and share them with others.” – Havva Tileyi, Worker, Deniz Textile
“The women who participated were so excited and proud to be a part of the programme. It was also quite emotional since they had developed a strong bond with the trainers from AÇEV-Equality Matters, who spent the last ten months sharing their experiences and personal lives. The women reported feeling encouraged and motivated, and our suppliers are also reporting similar comments in terms of improved communication and confidence among the participants,” – Seçil Orhan, Social & Labour Manager, BESTSELLER Turkey
In November 2022, BESTSELLER Turkey invited its implementing partner, AÇEV-Equality Matters, and the four suppliers to evaluate the programme.
The aim of the evaluation days was to clarify how the programme will be sustained by each of the individual suppliers and how BESTSELLER can support them, with the help of AÇEV-Equality Matters. Discussions also focused on how the programme can be scaled within and outside of BESTSELLER’s supply chain in Turkey.
Going forward, BESTSELLER has engaged two more strategic suppliers this year and will continue the efforts under the women empowerment strategy to further provide improved opportunities and possibilities for women workers in garment factories.
BESTSELLER is one of Global Fashion Agenda’s Strategic Partners. Find out more about our partners here.