We’re conscious that none of what we do could be done without our workers. That’s why this month’s blog will spotlight our workers!
Culthread classics are made in our factory, AV, near Ho Chi Minh, in Vietnam. Our workforce is 90% women. We hold ourselves to the highest standards with regards to worker’s rights (see our policies here). That extends well beyond wage, to health insurance, maternity and paternity leave, trade unions, and more.
We’re proud that most of our employees have been with us for 20 years, a testament to our fair wages and policies, along with the interesting work we continue to do.
But why listen to us, when our workers can tell you directly?
“I’ve worked in the textile industry since 1989. I’ve been at AV for 6 years, working as the manager.”
To Jessy, AV is different because it is full of skilled workers, with training, who are devoted to their work. Our policies include two health check ups per year, one which is mandated by the Vietnamese government, and the other which is much more thorough, provided by AV. This helps maintain everyone in good health.
“AV closes at 4:30pm, which means that parents can go fetch their children at their kindergarten. We also have lunch provided by a certified canteen, that is checked every three months.”
“When we decide on our leadership, we look at capability versus gender. We care about performance. With time, everyone is given a chance to be promoted, which maintains motivation and keeps our retention rate high. For example, for a merchandiser to get to team leader, that will usually take two years.”
Jessy has one son, who owns his very own bookstore, a dream he had since he was little.
“I’m happy with my life and my work,” she says.
MEET MS. LUA
“I’m 43 years old, I’ve been working for AV for 20 years, and have just been promoted to be Product Development manager of the whole company.”
“Back in 2003, I took care of general material consumption, which was then split into development and making. I then moved up to merchandiser, team leader, followed by most recent promotion.”
“I love AV because the environment is friendly and supportive. It suits my life: I don’t work overtime, and can ride home to my 3 year old and 5 year old daughters in 10 minutes. I am also constantly learning, because there are always new designs and new work.”
Miss Lua highlighted that employees also get bonuses based on business, and are more generally paid well.
“I really appreciated the 24/7 accident insurance when I had a motorbike accident which led to an ankle injury.” Many factories don’t pay the insurance in time, which means that workers aren’t sure whether they can go to hospital immediately. At AV, they know that they can.
MEET MS. TIEN
“I’ve worked at AV for 17 years. I’m a sample operator, who makes samples for our clients.”
Similarly to Ms. Lua, Ms. Tien has been promoted over the 17 years. She loves working on a wide variety of products, which keeps the work interesting.
But for her, the real highlight of working at AV is the yearly trip. “Every year, we have a trip for all the employees and our families. Before COVID, we went to the highlands, this year we have a choice between the sea or the highlands. It’s so much fun!”
MEET MS. NA
“I’m also a sample operator. I used to work as a tech engineer in the garment field, and came to AV 15 years ago, when moving to Ho Chi Minh. There are four people in my family: my husband, me, and my two boys. One is studying engineering at university.”
“What I appreciate about AV? Well, I love the trip too. I also appreciate the consistent work that we have. Recently, I also had to go to hospital, and the insurance covered it all – I didn’t have to worry.”
I’ll be honest, I knew that we had more than respectable policies with regards to our workers all over the world. But, I had never spoken to the workers about their lives and their experience making culthreads. Their joy and wish to share, despite the slight language barrier we faced, was extremely heart-warming. When they compared culthread's policies to previous work experiences or friends' stories, I also understood the gratitude and was saddened by the fact that this type of treatment is not the norm.
I’m so proud to work for a company who treats their workers well across the globe. There’s absolutely no pretense of “gender equality”, nor fake policies in place (like unpaid health insurance).
culthread respects our People.