One of the reasons why I started SAROWA were the poor working conditions in developing countries. Some say: you are manufacturing in Cambodia.That is automatically exploitation. Why don't you produce in the EU?
That's a good point! There are many places in Europe (e.g. Spain, England, Portugal or Eastern Europe) where you could produce well and environmental and social standards can be respected more easily.
Countries like Cambodia build their whole economy on textiles. They are dependent on it. You can imagine how badly they have just been hit by the Corona pandemic.
Now a little excursion: here in Germany, inclusion is a relatively present topic. It's about not excluding people with disabilities, but integrating them in the middle of society. In Germany, there is a social system that takes care of these people.
In developing countries, things are different. In places where people are fighting for survival, societies cannot afford safety nets for the disabled. That's just the way it is.
I was incredibly lucky to meet Koky, my current producer. A native Cambodian, he owns a small production facility in the capital Phnom Penh. There are 14 incredibly positive people working there, including some physically disabled people.
I think we often forget how fortunate we are. Just because these people live several thousand kilometres away doesn't mean that we, as privileged citizens, have some responsibility towards them. That encourages me every day.