Whitcomb and Shaftesbury of London

Whitcomb & Shaftesbury was started with a goal to show that in a world of mass-produced clothing, people can wear individual, stylish garments which have been created by hand using traditional skills, with respect for the environment and ensuring that the producers receive a living wage.

Our business is inspired by a modern capitalism where profit is made without harm or offence to anyone, and part of it is set aside for initiatives that really make a difference in people's lives : rehabilitation, schools, and childcare services.

At Whitcomb & Shaftesbury people are at the very centre of every production process, because we believe that human dignity is restored solely through rediscovery of the conscience. Work elevates human dignity and the emotional ties that derive from it.

In 2004, after the Tsunami in South East Asia, we established a social rehabilitation program to assist families that were devastated by this horrific catastrophe. In conjunction with 'Children of the World' we have actively assisted families impacted by the Tsunami by providing housing and rehabilitation support. Our goal was to provide an alternate set of skills and livelihood for those whose traditional means of income were destroyed and to give them a chance to establish their identities in society.

Following the successful partnership with the Children of the World, Whitcomb & Shaftesbury has continued its rehabilitation efforts. In 2009 we established a new program concentrating on abused and deprived women in rural India. We are proud to currently have sponsored over 300 women through our program.

After trainees complete a rigorous 3 year training and certification program, they are sent to work as apprentices with our master craftsmen. All our employees receive a generous allowance, performance bonus and company shares making them active partners in a worthy social enterprise. In addition, they receive a generous contribution to a pension plan, full medical support, education for their children and micro-finance loans from the company towards purchasing homes and weddings.

Our workshop in Chennai, India is set up as a collective of artisans who are active partners in our business and benefit directly through the sale of every garment that they create. Through our efforts at creating and sharing wealth with the producers we have helped create jobs and livelihoods for over 300 artisans, a majority of them women.

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