All culthreads are handmade in our own atelier in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Culthread is a female owned and managed brand - our core team members are Rina, Sarah, Tara, Jessy, Nhi, Lua, Da Thao, Jace and Susanne. We believe in female empowerment and want to do our bit to rebalance past gender inequities by being a female centric brand, created for women by women. This is represented in our logo which is the Chinese symbol for woman, enclosed in a circle, the universal symbol of inclusion and timelessness.
The director of the atelier is Jessy, who has been running things for us for the last two years – before that she was employed by Hugo Boss. We have our own pattern makers, fabric cutters and product developers working alongside specialised tailors who make individual culthread products by hand. Many pieces are made entirely by a single craftsperson who takes a lot of pride in the outcome! We can operate like this at culthread because we make very small quantities per style, which is part of our sustainability ethos.
Our team uses CLO technology, a 3D CAD application, in order to reduce our footprint during the product development stage. They use the latest material cutting software in order to minimise textile wastage at the cutting stage.
All of our talented tailors, pattern makers and customer teams are fairly paid.
The Legal Minimum Wage (LMW) in HCM City (the highest in level in Vietnam) is $134
The union wage demand level is $149
The Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) for Vietnam is $246
The Global Living Wage Coalition for HCM City is $321
The pan-Asia Floor Wage is $404
Additional information on all the above can be found on the Fair Labour Association’s Compensation in Vietnam available here; Appendix A is a useful summary of different wage calculations.
In our atelier the average wages paid are as follows:
- Sample operators (specialised tailors that sew individual garments) - 77% above the Global Living Wage Coalition level for HCM City
- Customer team ( in charge of the process from design through to finished product) - 140% above the Global Living Wage Coalition level for HCM City
- Pattern team (responsible for making patterns and grading) - 165% above the Global Living Wage Coalition level for HCM City
Not only are all wages paid considerably higher than the appropriate Living Wages, they are also significantly higher than the pan Asia Floor Wage
In addition, all staff receive the following on top of wages: 17.5% social insurance, 3% health insurance, 1% as unemployment insurance, 24/7 accident insurance and regular health check-ups.
At culthread we abide by all government guidelines. Labour Laws are comprehensive in Vietnam - Vietnamese female workers have 26 weeks maternity leave (in Southeast Asia the average is 12-13 weeks according to the International Labor Organization). Other government employee regulations we follow are:
- working hours cannot exceed 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week
- rest breaks of 30 minutes minimum must be included in those hours
- employees are entitled to a minimum of 12 days paid annual leave
- an extra leave day must be given per 5 years of continuous service
- employees are entitled to paid sick leave
- sick pay is covered by the social insurance fund
- long term sickness is covered up to 180 days a year
- leave must be granted for the death of a grandparent or sibling
- female employees are entitled to 6 months maternity leave at 100% of pay
- paternity leave is 5 days
- parents are entitled to paid leave to care for sick children
- employees cannot be dismissed for reasons of marriage, pregnancy, maternity leave or nursing a child under 12 months
- all employees are represented by the grassroots trade union
- employers must comply with the law on occupational safety and hygiene
- employers must provide health insurance and regular health checks for employees