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«“AARONG” “The fusion of Tradition and Innovation” Submitted To Mr. Sumaon Paul Chowdhury Senior Lecturer, BRAC Business School BRAC ...»

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A study of Social Compliance policy

activity and its impact


“The fusion of Tradition and Innovation”

Submitted To

Mr. Sumaon Paul Chowdhury

Senior Lecturer, BRAC Business School

BRAC University, Dhaka

Submitted By

Abu Fardous Md. Abdullaah Choudhury

Id# 05304057

BRAC University, Dhaka

May 18th, 2010

Letter of Transmittal

May 18th 2010

Mr. Suman Paul Chowdhury

Senior lecturer

BRAC Business School

BRAC University

66, Mohakhali C\A, Dhaka-1212

Dear Sir,

This is the report is on study of Aarong’s social compliance policies activities and its impact, which I have been assigned to work on. I found my work experience quite interesting, beneficial & insightful. I have tried my level best to prepare an effective & creditable report.

I honestly hope that my analysis will help you to give an idea of my work experience and knowledge.

Sincerely Yours, Abu Fardous Md. Abdullah Choudhury………………..

Acknowledgements I got the chance to work on Aarong and it is a very good learning experience for me. It was a lifetime opportunity for me to get real life experience in the field of social compliance through such a big company.

We would like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks to the following people for their contributions and assistance. Without their help and support my internship would have more obstacles. First of all, I would like to thank and express my gratitude to Naushaba chowdhury, senior manager social compliance and producer relations, Aarong, my supervisor in Aarong for her invaluable support and supervision. Without her help, I would never have been able to complete my internship and learning through it in the real job field.

Also, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks, in particular, to Mr suman paul chowdhury my honorable faculty for supervising me to complete this report.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Aarong relationship with BRAC

3. Aarong outlet

4. Aarong products

5. Social compliance and producer relations

6. Social compliance policy and its impact

6.1 environmental policy

6.2 penalty policy

6.3 wage deduction policy

6.4 social audits

6.5 living wages

7. Producer relations

7.1 Grievance Handling

7.2 Business management training and Orientation manual

7.3 others

8. Conclusion/ Recommendation Executive Summary “Aarong”, formed in 1978, had established themselves one of the biggest cooperative groupings in the fair trade sector in Bangladesh. It’s vision to help the artisans to help themselves by restoring their pride and self-esteem, reviving Bangladesh’s traditional Art and Craft. Another aim was to confirm the women right and to establish them as a valuable asset in the society.

The primary objective of this report is to discuss Aarong’s compliance policies activities and its impact on the society. So all the things that I actually tried to construct here is totally based on my work experience and my knowledge.

Since the social compliance and producer relation department is very new and I was the only employee to work with the department head, I was involved in making policies for Aarong.

Here I discus environmental policy, wage deduction policy, penalty policy along with other compliance related activities and their impact on the society. I have made the first draft of those polices. In the end of this report I give recommendation of some problem that I observe during my three month of internship contract.

1. Introduction:

With the vision of enlightened, healthy and democratic societies free from hunger, poverty environmental degradation & forms of exploitation BRAC started its journey in 1972after the liberation war. Aarong established 1978; Aarong is a fair trade organization. Aarong dedicated to bring about positive changes in the lives of disadvantage artisans and underprivileged rural women by reviving and promoting their handicraft. Reaching out to weavers, potters, brass workers, jewelers, jute workers, basket weavers, wood carvers, leather workers & more. Aarong embraces and nurtures 65,000 artisans, 85% of whom are women. Today, Aarong has become the foundation upon which dependent cooperative groups and family-based artisans market their craft, in an effort to position the nation’s handicraft industry on a world patron f appreciation and acknowledgement.

Today few urban consumers will argue that Aarong is the local Mecca for DESHI handicraft.

Aarong product designs has bought consumer attention back to the products and style that are indigenous to Bangladesh, its designers blending the traditional with the contemporary in a manner that has won instant consumer appeal, starting a revolution intent that has now been taken up by countless boutiques and stores. Aarong’s present design focus on the diverse types and textures of crafts and patterns that have been played along from generation to generation among weavers and artisans in craft hubs around the country.

Aarong means a village fair – it symbolizes fairness in the global village. Aarong works as the marketing arm of BRAC. Its objective is to provide a stable and gainful source of employment for the poor rural people. Aarong established in a vision to help the artisans to help themselves by restoring their pride and self-esteem, reviving Bangladesh’s traditional Art and Craft.

Another aim was to confirm the women right and to establish them as a valuable asset in the society. In the process Aarong contributes greatly to BRAC’s goal of poverty alleviation and empowerment of the poor..


–  –  –


i) Lack of information from the other department ii) Communication problem with the officials.

iii) Time limitation.

2. Relationship between BRAC & Aarong The women Aarong employs are among the country’s most disadvantaged. Through Aarong they have been offered a way out of destitution and degradation where before they had none. And the benefits that they received extend well beyond simply the wages they earn of their products, since every single woman who works in Aarong- owned product facilities is also a beneficiary of BRAC’s multifaceted development programs. As a support entity of BRAC, a significant portion of Aarong earnings go directly into financing the NGOs development programs in heathcare, education as well as economic and social development.

3. Aarong Retail Outlets:

• Aarong Center (Head office)

• Aarong at Gulsan

• Aarong at uttara

• Aarong in Nasirabad, Chitagong.

• Aarong in Sylhet

• Aarong in London ( Buyer)

• Aarong at Dhanmondi

• Aarong at Moghbazar

• Aarong at Wari

• Aarong in Halishahar, Chittagong.

• Aarong in khulna.

4. Aarong Products:

Aarong the leading fashion and craft retail of Bangladesh has been playing role in energizing the traditional Arts and crafts of Bangladesh. By using the goods and of the country Aarong offers a huge range of exciting products from traditional to western attire o house hold goods to shoe bags, jewelry and leather accessories and has become the Mecca of Deshi products. The creativity and quality of the products has promoted it to the leading position in the fashion and craft industry of

this country. The range of product offered by Aarong is as follows:

–  –  –

The word “Kantha” originally suggests a light quilt of mild winter and cool monsoon nights.

Through the concepts exist in almost all parts of the world, the form of quilting that’s prevail;s in Bengal is unique and not only serves as functional article but also represents the culturel identity and folk arts of this land. The colorful patterns and designs hat are embroidered on these articles results in the name “ Nakshi Kantha”. Each of this kanthas represents the contents of a woman’s mind and fields with romance, sentiment and philosophy. Cushion covers, Bed covers, tapestry, jewelry boxes, ladies parts etc.

–  –  –

Wrapping paper, Greeting cards, Boxes etc.

• Home textiles/ Home accessories:

There are many types of home accessories. These are block print, woven, jackard, Nakshi kantha, batick, screen print, tie dye etc.

Table cloth, napkins, Tablemats, Aprons, Gloves, Bed cove, Pillow cover, curtains, Cushion cover, cushion, Pot holder etc.

Aarong is the name of differentiation. Its cloth lines are different in design from any other shops of the country. More than 3000 weavers across the country are involved with the production of Aarong clothing lines. Each and every dress has its own significance as they are made by the talented craftsmen which are contributing to the locally manufactured handloom fabric. Every clothing line is exclusive with a variety of shade, textures drawing, and trimmings. Aarong paper products consists stationery, card books, wrapping papers which have their own significance.

• Jewelry:

Aarong is sold silver, Gold, pearl, Beads, Clay & Jute Jewelry. Gold Jewelry of Aarong is guaranteed to be 21 karat. Aarong is the foirst silver jewelry selling outlets in Bangladesh.

Silver jewelry from Tangail, Savar, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Rangpur. Some jewlry products are Bangles/ Bracelets, Ear rings, Necklace, Anklets, Nosepins, Rings and newly Diamond jewelry.

• Metal/ Brass:

The metal products are also available for exclusive home decoration and used Candle stands, Photo frames, Lamps, CD racks Napkins Holder, Flower Vases, Ashtrays, Wall mirror, showpieces & Decorative Wall hanging re the metal and brass items.

• Leather:

Aarong offers the finest quality of leather produced in Bangladesh. It is to be noted that everything is hand done by the artisans. Aarong’s leather product includes all kinds of desk, home, gift and personal accessories. The leather is made by small leather workshop situated in and around Dhaka10 to 15 worker and some trainees are employed. Sheep and calf leather is generally used, sheep leather can be embossed, embroidered, printed and hand printed. Calf leather is stronger and harder than that of sheep. However, it can only be screen printed. Some products like Ladies sandal, ladies bag, Gents sandals, Jewelry box, Belts, Wallet, Key rings, Optical cases, jackets, executive bags, Folder/ Files.

• Terracotta/ Ceramics? Clay:

Clay items are produced by family based groups all over Bangladesh. It is traditional skill handed down through generations. Once upona time all cooking vessels, storage vessels,

many toys are made with clay. Clay products are of two types:

1. Wheel based

2. Dice based.

Some products are- Dinning ware, Mugs, Glasses, Pitchers, Plates, Bpwls, Vases, Lamps, cups, hot plates. Aarong also provides a huge range of ceramic accessories in different designs and collection to its customers.

• Bamboo/ Cane/Leaf:

Cane and bamboo abundantly found raw gave rise to traditional industry who are using this as raw materials. Traditional items include furniture. Aarong makes oother products for day to day use decorations, gifts etc. Bamboo such as trays, racks, baskets, toys etc.

• Candles:

The types of candle design which are offered by Aarong are: Floating candles, birthday Candles, Pyramid, Pillar, Valentine, Circle etc

• Jute/ wood:

Banladsh produces 80% of the world’s jute. Once famous for jute industry. Some of the modern products alongside traditional items are: Bags, Show pieces, Wall hang, Carpets, hammock etc.

• Tapestry:

Tapestry is the nontraditional item developed from ideas of Naksi kantha to frame and hang on wall. The themes are either scene from everyday life or of the mughal court. The designs are nontraditional and fabrics used for silk. Tapestry is also called Bhorat kantha.

Aarong Production Centre ( Ayesha Abed Foundation) Ayesha Abed Foundation (AAF) is an organization that aims to provide avenues for employment and income generation for under privileged rural women. It is an enclave for women, formed to uplift them economically, through their work as producers, and also socially, through their development into entrepreneurs. The foundation provides an appropriate working environment, financial and technical assistance, and training to develop the women skills in various crafts. The foundation was established to commemorate the memory and work for late Mrs. Ayesha Abed, a co-worker and wife of the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC.

The work that is done in the foundation is a testament to her commitment to the issues of education, training and employment opportunities for deprived women, It was she who in 1976 initiated all the present major activities of AAF in Manikgonj.

The AAF aims to work with the most underprivileged women in the society. These women are often the most neglected and are in need of much assistance and support. The AAF plays the role of a facilitator. The women are placed in an enabling environment, with other women of similar socio-economic backgrounds. They are trained and then given the opportunity to generate income. One of the major challenges that these women have to face is that they are marginalized and they, on their own, have no way of becoming part of the economic system.

This is where the AAF steps in, helping such marginalized women out of their peripheral existence in society, and giving them the opportunity to become involved in sustainable enterprise.

The AAF is closely interrelated with other programs especially BRAC Development Program (BDP) and Aarong. The women workers of the AAF come from the BDP organized village organizations. Working at the AAF thus gives the women access to other BRAC programs. All of the AAF’s finished products are sold through Aarong, which additionally provides designs, raw materials and financial support to AAF. Since AAF supplies exclusively to Aarong, it is teemed as Aarong Production Centers.


Aarong has a vision to establish them as world‘s one of the famous fare trade fashion house.

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