Corporate Culture is the Key to Quality in the Workplace
A blog article by founder Firew Konjo
about Shimena’s corporate culture and the responsibility of equality in the workplace that comes with it.
Shimena was founded on the belief economic independence supported by reliable and safe work enables women to make the best decisions for their families and themselves. During the past 3 years, we have witnessed this truth. We have seen the confidence in and the respect for women in our community grow alongside economic security. Maintaining this gender balance in our raw material production and preparation is part of our mission. Women comprise 60% of our employees while promoting changes in gender-demographics, as well as acknowledge and valuing women’s expertise and contribution to every aspect of our work.
Shimena’s work from home philiosophy
Most of our local hand weavers work from home on simple but extremely practical looms such as the one depicted. Shimena employs about 20 home based weavers who are paid on a production basis while working full-time jobs. As employer, we see it as our purpose to enhance working conditions not only on-site, but off-site as well. We upgrade their weaving equipment, provide training on ensuring best of qualities, giving access to financial savings and support artisans sending their children to school then helping them excel in the business world. In addition to this, we provide solar light if required and have established a saving fund for each of our employees such as the American 401-k. It is our duty to ensure that we are delivering the equivalency of quality as an employer, as we receive it by each and every one of our employees – and it makes us proud!
All Stories about Shimena
Over the last three years, we have seen community trust and respect grow alongside economic security. 60 % of the women in our raw material production and processing as well as our employees are women.
Traditionally, men are the ones who take on weaving and the production of textiles and garments as a task. Shimena wants to change these structures and also enables women to learn this ancient weaving culture.
The concept of ‘Natural Dyes’ is by no means a new one and refers to all the dyes derived from the natural sources.
Ethiopia has a long tradition of using natural sources for textile coloration, and Shimena wants to maintain and develop this ancient knowledge.
Every piece of clothing we buy has a story that connects to our own history as soon as we see and wear it for the first time. The stories that happen afterwards we know or they are not written yet, but what about the story before? And by whom was it written?
Everything starts with the procurement of the cotton; just like the dyes and almost every other raw materials, this is sourced from the local area around Abra Minch.
The challenge that I observed from the artisans is they used to spend all their earnings they got from weaving without any saving.
The enterprise also has helped to save the traditional skill transformation and preserve the art of weaving by developing modern use and upgrading the products.