In partnership with social enterprise Project Workforce, we are developing a co-fabrication model that expands market access and promotes social welfare and transparency amongst small fashion producers in Bangladesh’s notorious informal Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector.
For small garment producers in the shadow economy, the ability to move up the value chain is foreclosed by the difficulty of achieving the necessary accreditation and standards compliance.
Project Workforce offers a solution with industrial co-working spaces that are well-planned, safe and environmentally sustainable – equipped with shared resources and a platform for sales and access to buyers.
A first phase with two producers is being piloted on the outskirts of Dhaka. The second phase will remodel an existing 7000sqm factory to house 15 individual units, establishing a bottom-up methodology of design and implementation for future sites.
A major aim is to try to reconceive of the factory as a kind of vertical campus, a place for upskilling, continued learning and the long term development of everyone working within the building. Healthcare, childcare and nutrition all integral to cultivating a community that moves way beyond perceived commercial constraints.
Heat Island is developing an environmental design approach that reduces material and energy use and wastage, mitigates occupational health issues in the industry, learns from existing users and employees and creates a new standard for welfare in the workplace.
Whilst factories are turning to sensor technology to monitor working conditions, Project Workforce explores the potential of technology to promote fair, networked and ethically traceable working environments