The EFI aims to contribute to poverty reduction by supporting the creation of sustainable and decently paid jobs for artisans from disadvantaged communities in Haiti, Africa and Central Asia.

Our work directly contributes the achievement of SDG’s #1, #5, #8 and #12.

We provide artisans with market access, as well as training, which enables them to be included in the value chain of major international fashion and lifestyle brands. We guarantee that fair labour and environmentally friendly practices are implemented in their value chains through the EFI compliance scheme.

Our compliance scheme was developed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of local and international experts, and enables EFI’s production partners to implement decent and fair working conditions and systems, that are compliant with national and international regulations.

The Informal Sector

Dialogue and respect for community values is at the centre of our compliance scheme. The formal and informal sectors, often referred to as the ‘handworker economy’ are not faced with the same labour and traceability challenges. Our scheme has been adapted to the work in the informal sector too, where specific “minimum requirements” are defined in consultation with the heads of artisan groups and fair labour experts. We work with our partners hand in hand, to improve working conditions and raise worker’s living standards in the long term.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct, Fair Labour Standards and Living Wage

The EFI Code of Conduct

Based on the ILO’s conventions and recommendations and the Fair Labour Association’s code of conduct, our code of conduct is extensive, defining fair and decent working conditions and payment of a living wage. This ensures that workers can lift themselves out of poverty through their work. Social workers are embedded in the communities in which we work, and closely monitor the implementation of these standards.

The Living Wage

Our living wage calculation tool is designed to calculate the living wage in the various localities where the EFI works. Legal minimum wages are either non-existent or too low to enable workers to have a decent standard of living. Through giving workers a living wage to cover their basic needs, and those of their dependants, we aim to lift workers out of poverty.

The Wage Ladder

Once we have identified the living wage per region, (living costs and available infrastructure vary from region to region), we develop a wage ladder and work hand in and with our social enterprise partners to close the gap between the living wage and the actual salary of artisans. Wage developments are then monitored via impact assessment.

Impact Assessment

To verify our work and social impact, we collect extensive data to carefully measure the impact of each order.

Before integrating a community into our value chain, we conduct a baseline impact assessment, to have a clear vision of their initial situation.

Order based assessments evaluate each stage of the manufacturing process to track the impact on the communities involved. A Social Impact Report is produced and verified by a third party before sharing with the brand. Brands often use this information in their marketing materials.

Yearly impact assessments are conducted to ensure that the work is positively impacting the lives of the artisans and that our projects are working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

You can explore all of our brands impact assessment reports by clicking here.

Protection of the Environment

Respect and protection of the environment is at the heart of EFI’s scheme. We promote respectful practices and help partners to reduce their impact on the environment. Depending on the activities of the partner and their effect on the environment, the emphasis will be put on reducing emissions, water treatment, waste reduction, switching to solar energy, or any other relevant action to minimise impact on the environment. Through interaction with artisans we also seek to raise awareness among communities on the importance of environmental protection.  

Transparency and Traceability

We believe in total transparency. That’s why with every order, we assess each stage of the manufacturing process to track the impact on the communities involved. A Social Impact Report is produced, and verified by a third party before sharing with the brand. 

Explore our brands and the social impact that their partnerships create by clicking here.