1,000’s of Impoverished Young Women Benefit from Innovative Approach to Manufacturing

 MIT Innovations article demonstrates how the Pebble line of handmade toys, provides meaningful work to over 6,500 impoverished women improving not only individual lives but entire communities.

Austin visits some of the young women in rural Bangladesh who create the Pebble product line.

Austin visits some of the young women in rural Bangladesh who create the Pebble product line.

Canton, OH, September 20, 2013 —In light of the recent devastating collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in which nearly 1,000 garment workers died, Hathay Bunano offers an alternative model of operating which not only gives safe, flexible jobs to thousands of young women but brings much needed wealth to rural communities.

To view the MIT Innovations Article associated with this release, please click here.

This article published in MIT Innovations, looks at the ways in which Hathay Bunano’s model has been able to scale to 64 production centers employing “over 6,500 women in well-paid, and relatively high-quality jobs in rural areas”. In a country where “40% of 160 million people live on less than $1 a day” these jobs provide rural women with the opportunity to avoid working “long hours in unsafe garment factories” where they spend “most of their income on rent and food in unsanitary slums.”

Samantha Morshed, co-author of this article is the founder of Hathay Bunano (“handmade” in Bangla) and the creator of the Pebble brand. Her social enterprise is providing jobs to over 6,500 women, not in one high-rise factory, but in 64 centers located throughout rural Bangladesh. Her ambitious vision to piggyback on the successes of the garments industry within Bangladesh by providing employment to rural women has caught the attention of many, including the Queen of England who honored her for her work awarding her with the title MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2009.

Hathay Bunano’s Pebble product line includes knitted hats, toys, rattles and plush items with an expanding line of organic items. Pebble products are available in over twenty countries throughout the world. Pebble products are distributed in the US by Kahiniwalla and are being sold in baby boutiques, gift stores, fair trade stores, toy stores and hospital gift shops.

MIT Innovations Journal is a quarterly journal which “features cases authored by exceptional innovators; commentary and research from leading academics; and essays from globally recognized executives and political leaders.” Former authors include two U.S. Presidents, a Nobel Laureate in Economics and founders of some of the world’s leading companies, venture capital firms and foundations.

(all quotations are excerpted from Innovations Article)

McKague, Kevin, Samantha Morshed, and Habibur Rahman. “Innovations Case Narrative: Hathay Bunano” Innovations. Special Issue for the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference (2013): 77-96. Print.