At a time when dollars need to stretch as far as they can, being socially conscious about clothing may seem out of reach. While it’s true that some ethical brands can seem pricey due to the cost of materials and paying workers a fair wage, I’d like to share a Toronto-based brand with you which creates ethical fashions at a reasonable price: Progoti.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with Nurjahan, the founder of Progoti, who explained that she was determined to start a company that prioritized people over profit. As someone who had worked in the fashion industry for many years, Nurjahan saw first-hand how grassroot-level workers were often neglected. So, with ambition and years of experience under her belt, a trip to Bangladesh with her partner in 2017 provided the opportunity to build wholesale relationships and develop samples to create her own ethical clothing brand.
How do you know that you are getting a reasonably priced garment?
Progoti shows their consumers how each piece is priced using a chart. They give you the lowest price possible, instead of the tradional retail model that is focused on maximizing profits. Here is an example of how the cost is determined on a cover-up:
Progoti also offers consumers the option to support the purchase of benefit plans for garment workers. 100% of these customer contributions go directly to the plans which fund pensions that provide long-term security and include life and accident insurance. Individual policies are attached to each worker so the benefits continue even if workers change employers or leave the industry.
“We are empowering customers to vote with their wallet and improve the lives of garment workers.”— Nurjahan Begum
I own two dresses from Progoti and I am impressed by their smart, casual designs. Both pieces were beautifully made using quality fabrics.
My lovely “Maja” dress features a feminine floral pattern with flattering pleating at the front. I was so excited to discover it had pockets! I love how the model above paired her dress with an edgy black boot. I know this will be one of my spring staples.
The second dress “Jessie” is my favourite piece that Progoti currently carries. It’s a cozy red and black flannel print with pockets and a high neckline; it’s perfect for the fall and winter season. I’ll be pairing it with black tights and black booties!
A final thought:
We have all heard about the mistreatment of garment workers, but a lot of us think there is nothing that we can do. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You have power in the purchases you make. When you buy clothing from Progoti, not only are you getting quality clothing at a reasonable price, you are also supporting change and empowering garment workers. Your donation, whether it be $1 or $100, is going towards something priceless: peace of mind. I challenge you to think about the clothing that you purchase. Are the people who make the clothing being paid fair wages? Do they work in safe conditions? Do the brands represent your values?
To check out Progoti and where to find them please view the links provided below.