"What is the Difference Between a Blanket from You & from Amazon?" - dignify

"What is the Difference Between a Single Sari Blanket from You & a 5-Bundle on Amazon?" 

November 24, 2018

👆This was a question I received from our contact form a few months ago.

With respect, I think that starting with this question... probably reveals that we are beginning on different pages. Nonetheless, it is a conversation worth exploring and a question worth asking.

In fact, what the writer asked for was a comparison list; so, here we go:


Owners & employees

Amazon

  • Is valued over $1Trillion, with founder Jeff Bezos personally worth ~$96 Billion
  • Workers who fulfill the daily fulfillment have received significantly less compensation... Thousands of warehouse workers went on strike on Black Friday "in anger of inhumane conditions" that they claim employees endure.

dignify

  • Is a family-run business 
  • I think that Ashley (our student, part-time assistant) and Alexi (our part-time site analyst) would affirm that we promote a low-stress, fairly compensated work environment!

 

 


Quality

Amazon

  • Unknown & varying quality of kantha
  • Kantha is, by nature, impossible to be machine-made; very low prices guarantees that there are sacrifices that must be made in quality (of the cloth and/or the stitching standard) and/or payment of the workers creating the kantha

dignify

  • Artisans at Basha have been trained to a high standard of quality, prior to making full blankets for dignify
  • Stitching is straight, edges are clean and do not come apart or fray
  • Each standard throw takes ~23 hours to create

 


Supply Chain

Amazon

  • Supply chain transparency is not valued; onus is on the individual merchants
  • We really have no idea about the working conditions of the ones making inexpensive kantha; low pricing suggests lower payment

 dignify

  • Buys exclusively from Basha Boutique
  • Basha is completely transparent, including stories shared of their artisans, whose names are stitched on each kantha blanket
  • Basha's not-for-profit arm, Friends of Basha, takes care of additional assistance for artisans & their families: day tutoring & school support for all children of Basha employees; high protein snacks in the daycare centre (2x/ day), a girls' home for vulnerable, underaged girls; training for women leaving prostitution in Tangail (renowned brothel town), counselling, mentoring, & psychiatric care as needed... and more

 

 


Pricing

Amazon

  • Is able to price for very, very low margins (the difference between the price paid for a good by the seller, and the price that they in turn sell the goods) — this is due to the massive volume of movement of products
  • Is characteristically is aggressive in pricing: using data, they find high performing products in their marketplace and elsewhere online, and undercut competitors with their in-house product prices

dignify

  • Prices fairly to purchase goods from Basha at their set price (to sustain wages that match or exceed fair trade standard) and to compete in the North American market

 

 

 

Beyond this comparison list, nothing accounts for the actual, real care & love that women receive when they work at Basha. There are many difficulties for women who have experienced trauma — including the challenge of being "good" employees! Basha extends grace, care, and promote dignity for each of their artisans... not as assets to produce goods, but as persons of great, treasured value.

You can read more about Basha here, browse our Shop Good blog for more on dignify's philosophy (and differentiators). Or, feel free to comment below or ask further questions!


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Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.

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