Hi GOEX family – I’m on my way back from visiting the factory we’re working with in the Dominican Republic and wanted to take a few minutes to update you on the trip!
Before I dive into info on the factory, I want to share super fun news – the port in Haiti opened this week while I was on the other side of the island! The container of fabric we’ve had sitting at the port since August was delivered to Life around noon today, just hours after the container we sent to the Dominican Republic was delivered there! While we have no idea what will happen from here in Haiti but we are hopeful for a season of stability and this was a major step in that direction. We can now keep our team in Haiti working even while we do some catch up sewing in the DR. And with the fabric arriving at Life, we’ll be able to deliver the end of our new 2022 styles – remember Funfetti? We promise, it’s coming and it’s going to be FUN!
So now to more information about the DR. The factory we’re working with is managed and partially owned by a couple with decades of experience in the industry. Their investment partner is a sportswear company in the USA. The atmosphere in the factory was very positive and upbeat. The employees enjoy one another, celebrate birthdays with singing and dancing and are decorating in preparation for the annual visit from Santa! We saw the evidence that there was no work for line 5, which will be sewing our garments! The work we’re providing will keep their income flowing and we feel great about that! While we did not do a payroll audit, we did talk with the owner about employee wages. The minimum wage in apparel in the DR is 3200 pesos per week but he said employees earn more, many of them up to twice that along with transportation allowances. Some light reading on livable wages in the DR says that employees need 4600-4900 pesos per week. This means a large group of the factory is earning a local livable wage. If we pursue additional work with this factory, we will dig in deeper. We had free range of the sewing floor, cutting tables and product development departments – we observed happy employees, about a 50/50 mix of men and women and no children. We were, overall, super happy and pleased with this visit!
As I said in my earlier update, we are committed to our families in Haiti and will support them through all of the political challenges. We are grateful for a solution that can bridge the gaps and take some pressure off of them. And we’re SO grateful for a container delivered today that equals work continuing to flow through Life.
Most of all, thank you to our community for supporting us and our teams. We appreciate you more than you know!