The Social Front
What makes Indie Mamashop a social enterprise?
This is what we do:
If a product-based business didn't have a social mission, this is what most people would do:
Which is not a bad thing either. People in the manufacturing country get jobs and customers enjoy cheaper prices from mass production (hopefully, unless the savings margin gets taken up by the company as profits).
So why do you do this social enterprise?
Do you recall our family from above, referred to us by the Social Worker?
They don't fit into Singapore's high-flying economy now. There are barriers to be broken down before they can aspire towards a stable, regular job.
Good try, Meritocracy. But that's not enough.
What sort of barriers, you may wonder. Click on the links to find out more:
- What does it mean to be poor in Singapore?
- Why low-income may make 'poor choices'
- Healthy eating a challenge for low-income Singaporeans amid diabetes fight
- 3 hard truths about poverty in Singapore
And sewing can save them?
Sewing is a starting point for us to explore how persons in need can enjoy flexibility to work at their own pace and deal with exigencies that arise, without fear of losing a job or upsetting a boss.
The main crux of the matter lies in the home-based flexible work arrangements that we have with them, and how we can try to rearrange work, business processes and costs to provide an economic solution for the low-income segment of our community.
So what's the economics?
Whether your sewn item is "factory-made" or "hand-made with love", the production process essentially looks like this:
Sewing, or manufacturing of apparel in more industrial terms, is essentially what we in Singapore would regularly consider a non high-tech, low value-add type of job.
But we all need their end-products - clothing, bags, shoes, etc.
Yes, we can put someone abroad behind a sewing machine to make all these, or we can try to put someone in Singapore behind a sewing machine, because they have no better alternative at the moment and that's terrible.
And what is the ideal scenario?
We need to redesign work to help low-income families earn back that dignity, assurance and confidence to provide for their families, and to give them more peace of mind to deal with the many other situations they face.
We have more proposals to develop a broader ecosystem of redesigning work for inclusive employment for the low-income segment. We welcome potential partners and funders to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out more about what we can do together to make life better for someone else.