Freeset began in Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red-light areas with ~10,000 sex workers, many of whom were taken from homes in villages and communities across West Bengal. Our women hoped for something better. Through jobs at Freeset making bags and tees, we worked to build new homes and a new community of freedom in Kolkata.
We believe every person needs a community to belong to. At Freeset, we live in communities marked by extreme poverty and vulnerability. Our people are world-battlers, fighting daily for the good of their families and neighbors. We want to see freedom prosper in our communities, with every person having a chance to not only feed and clothe themselves but ultimately reach their full potential.
We believe that a key piece of bringing freedom to communities is offering education and spreading advocacy. That’s why we financially support Tamar, Freeset’s non-profit partner that provides health, literacy, economic, educational, and emotional support services to Freeset employees in West Bengal, India.
Another way that we fight for freedom from ignorance is by advocating fellow Americans about the harsh realities of poverty and the oppression of human trafficking. We partner with like-minded organizations including Dressember, Free the Slaves, Justice Ventures International, Freedom Center, and Red Tent to accomplish this goal.
In 2014, our women started dreaming about returning to their ancestral homes. We visited communities across the Murshidabad district (rural West Bengal) and began starting new businesses in strategic locations. We’re seeing some of our women return home for the first time. Better still, as we’ve gotten to know our new neighborhoods, we can help communities ensure their daughters are never trafficked away.
Our heart is for the thousands still seeking a safe, caring community to call home, and the millions more at risk. We’re still launching new businesses in Kolkata and more in West Bengal. We make bags, tees, and apparel for sale around the world. In buying Freeset, you’re strengthening homes and communities.
Why Fair Trade?
Sustainable, People-Centered Products
We believe business has the ability to lose its way in the world. For too long, profit has been more important than people, and sourcing cheap resources has been at the expense of the environment.
Fair Trade is a growing movement supporting fair wages and conditions for producers in the developing world.
Freeset is committed to providing fair, living wages and a healthy working environment for all employees. Wages are above the national minimum and all staff receive training, health care, child care, and savings plans.
As a business that subscribes to the ideals of Fair Trade, we are committed to empowering our staff and working to alleviate poverty in our community. We also want to empower you, the consumer to choose products made under fair conditions.
Freeset Bags & Apparel has been awarded Fair Trade Guaranteed status by the World Fair Trade Organization (Guaranteed status valid from 12 April 2016). This achievement recognizes our existing Fair Trade practices and our commitment to constant improvement. The cotton in our Tees is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified 100% organic, which means it is good for the grower and for you.