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Can toys be produced any more ethically than this? Meet Hathay Bunano and Pebble Toys

Ethical baby products

Hathay Bunano is the company behind Pebble Toys. We discovered Pebble Toys at our first ever baby exhibition and their famous crochet octopus and turtle were the first toys we bought for our store! They ticked all our boxes: soft, fun, suitable from birth, affordable, and ethical.

Hathay Bunano is a non-profit that was founded by Samantha Morshed in 2004. Shortly after moving to Bangladesh, Samantha contacted a local NGO and invited 12 women to her house where she taught them how to knit a range of products. 

After just three weeks the team started work on their first order. Four months later the Narshingdi unit was set up. “We started it as a way of bringing fairly paid, flexible employment to areas where there is very little opportunity for women,” Samantha explains.

The number of women employed by Hathay Bunano and the number of units operating across Bangladesh increased over the next six years, leading to the setting up of for profit venture Pebble Child Bangladesh.

The newly appointed CEO of Hathay Bunano, Rayhan Kabir says: “Pebble is the commercial arm of the organisation and markets the products made by Hathay Banano around the world. Hathay Bunano is a completely non-profit organisation and due to Bangladeshi law is not allowed to sell products internationally. It therefore sells goods to Pebble, which is responsible for distribution.” 

The combined efforts of Hathay Bunano and Pebble have meant that the organisation employs around 8,000 women across Bangladesh and exports to 37 countries including the UK and Australia.

As a registered Fair Trade organisation, Hathay Bunano has taken part in a number of external auditing processes, which have ensured that both safety and wage requirements are being met. The analysis showed that the wages offered by Samantha and her team are double that of the average wage in garment factories across Bangladesh.

Hathay Bunano and Pebble Toys provide:

Pebble Toys provide employment
Hathay Bunano provides fairly paid, good quality, flexible and local employment for rural women who are poor and often disadvantaged.

Pebble Toys create beautiful toys
Hathay Bunano, means hand made or hand knitted in Bangla. The women create contemporary, beautiful soft toys all by hand, working with organic textiles.

Pebble Toys support families
When you purchase a Pebble product, you are helping poor women in rural Bangladesh support their families and keep them together. No longer do they need to move hundreds of miles to big cities to find employment.

Pebble have also been working in partnership with the USAID's CREL project and Winrock International to connect poor and resource-dependent people with the private sector. By teaching women in these very remote areas to knit, so that they no longer need to go to the forests and deplete the natural resources for their livelihoods. Its all about working together to mitigate the effects of climate change and enable climate resilience.

Source: https://www.pioneerspost.com/news-views/20150323/handmade-success-hathay-bunano-empowers-7000-women-bangladesh

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