Empowering female tailors through job training
At Passion Lilie, a focus of our sustainable business model is building a more equitable workplace. Long-term, sustainable change is more than just paying fair wages. We work with our Indian partners to provide artisans with opportunities to deepen their skills.
While women comprise more than 60% of workers in the apparel industry in India, few rise to the more advanced—and higher paying—position of tailor. In order to elevate more women to become tailors, we've developed a free job training program.
Through our training program, women interested in entering the apparel industry receive three months of free job training, a salary, and a loaned sewing machine and free space to work in our partner's sewing unit. The trainee learns valuable advanced sewing skills on a variety of garments and fabrics allowing them to become a skilled tailor and receive an increase in salary.
Upon completion of the program, the trainee is offered a job at our Partner's Unit. During the training program the participants do not work on Passion Lilie garments and if they do not wish to complete the program, they have no obligation to do so.
The program began in 2018. our first trainee was Geetha. During her training she received an immediate raise from her previous salary. She learned the steps to complete a garment from beginning to end. And at the end of the program Geetha decided to work for herself, making garments for the local market creating her own sustainable income. She is a role model for those in her community for seeing an opportunity and creating her own business.
Meet Our 2022 Trainee
Poonguzhali Subramaniyan is our 2022 trainee. Poonguzhali, who goes by Jayanthi, is 29 years old and from Tamil Nadu.
Q. Why did you choose to do the training program?
Jayanthi: I learned to sew on basic machines and am an amateur in tailoring. The training program will help me to gain experience with sophisticated machines and skills.
Q. What did you hope to learn or achieve from the training program?
Here I am getting a chance to work with industrial sewing machines and senior tailors are teaching me new skills and sewing methods.
Q. What would you like to do for work once the training is completed?
I will be able to choose tailoring itself as my career.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the training program or working as a tailor?
First, I get paid like every other tailor. Second, I am introduced to many styles and sewing methods in a short span of time.
Q. What new skills have you learned with the training program?
I was doing only safety stitches and straight lines. Now I am working on creating pockets, collars, belts etc.