Destination Bangladesh

Find out more about the social business set up by Okaïdi in Bangladesh in partnership with the ÏDKIDS foundation.

As part of its commitment to We Act For Kids and to increase its impact, ÏDKIDS is doing business differently by putting people first. We work every day to make our timeless, high-quality products available to as many people as possible, mainly through our suppliers’ careful sourcing, some of which takes place in Bangladesh. As part of our social responsibilities, our partners are subject to a rigorous selection process and we help factories make advances in human rights and international labour regulations. We ensure their processes are compliant through regular audits carried out by independent third parties.

In 2014 we also founded a social business with the ÏDKIDS foundation in partnership with Grameen Shikha, an NGO helping women living in the slums to find work and their children to receive an education.

How the social business works: first we collect surplus clothing produced by our partner suppliers. This is then resold by a network of women known as “the ladies” via the social enterprises Grameen Distribution and Jita. Keen to work for a living, the ladies resell the items for modest sums in remote Bangladeshi villages.

The revenue raised by the social enterprises helps to finance educational programmes for children living in Dhaka’s slums:

  • Schooling for 1,500 children in years 1 to 5 (aged 6 to 11). They also enjoy music lessons and artistic, cultural and sporting events.
  • A clinic funded by the ÏDKIDS foundation to give children from Dhaka’s slums and their families access to medical care (follow-up, dental and eye care) and provide information on hygiene and nutrition.

Since this social business was created:

  • 3,000 women living in rural areas have found paid work selling surplus clothing.
  • In 2017 and 2018 we went into partnership with the NGO Eau et Vie to give families living in Mirpur’s slums, where the schools are located, access to drinking water and toilets (10,000 euros in funding). In developing countries access to clean water is a critical issue and one of the major difficulties facing the most vulnerable communities. Eau et Vie creates social water distribution enterprises locally to establish a “water network” connected to the public network in the town and distributes water to urban areas. Its goal is to connect every family home and every public place to mains running water.

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Our goals for the coming year are to grow our partnerships with our suppliers, other foundations and other brands; encourage ÏDKIDS employees to raise funds to educate secondary school children; and create a complete education system for the most vulnerable children.

  • According to Isabelle Anton, ÏDKIDS CSR manager: “The aim of our social enterprise is to help vulnerable communities grow through jobs and education. We do this to help families living in the slums have a brighter future through better education and healthcare.”
  • More about the ÏDKIDS foundation: the ÏDKIDS foundation brings together ÏDKIDS brands and their customers to support vulnerable children in the countries its products are sold and produced in (e.g. Madagascar, Bangladesh and China). It also encourages all ÏDKIDS employees to do their bit for its partner charities.
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