Meet the Artisans - Learn more about the Empowerment Mindset and the Artisans' benefits

Ethical. Sustainable. Empowering.
Three words we take seriously in regards to how we view people and our world.
That's why we're proud to share the different ways Elevate is currently investing and empowering our artisan partners at the Tecsoe Leather Shop in Kolkata, India!
The Empowerment Mindset
Like previously mentioned in our 2020 Impact Report, most people are surprised to know that the leather shop in India isn’t called Elevate, it’s called, Tecsoe - a hindi word that means “longevity”. 
That’s because we don’t own the leather shop in India, but rather have dedicated our efforts to empowering a group of entrepreneurs and artisans to start their own business from scratch! 
Because seeing people equipped and empowered so that they can sustainably take care of their families and see their dreams come to life... well let's just say that makes our heart sing. 
And we know that it makes yours too...
Because in less than 5 years, Elevate's customers and gracious donors have loved on this heart mission, turned non-profit by replicating the empowerment model 160+ times in 10 different countries around the world.
Meaning every time you've purchased with us, you've directly fueled 1 out of 160+ families livelihoods and small business dreams in some of the most underserved areas of the world...
Something we are still so humbled by every day.
The Fashion Industry and Living Wages
While our relationship with our partners has evolved over the years, we believe that the empowerment mindset model not only stimulates independence, but it restores ownership and dignity to those working in the garment and textile industry.
Tecsoe sets their own fair and living wages, provides their artisans with benefits that are rarely provided in the leather industry, and controls their own work production schedules. 

Our artisans benefits and bonuses.
In most cases, small unregulated factory workers have no social security coverage such as health insurance or pensions. We’re proud to share that our artisans are provided with adequate health care, end of the year bonuses, retirement plans, advance payments, and education/training in regards to savings and investments. 
When it comes to medical bills and health care, each of our team members are given health insurance right when they join the Tecsoe team which will cover up to 200,000 rupees in medical bills ($2,695 USD). A major benefit that most workers in the fashion industry never receive. 
Artisans also receive end of the year bonuses that are equal to one month's salary. 
Tecsoe teaches team members about savings and investments and how to use money wisely for the future. This helps artisans to create a plan and direction for the income that they are receiving in order to best serve their families.
Also available to each artisan is the option for advance payments! If there is a family in need, Tecsoe will pay them their monthly salary in advance to meet that specific need. While this may seem simple, it is perhaps one of the most helpful benefits to workers living in developing countries due to the fact that most people don’t have access to large amounts of capital. If there is a family emergency or funeral to prepare for, advance payments help workers who need cash fast, but don’t want to turn to a loan shark. This is too often the case with so many, and it can be crippling when the interest rates are so high, they can't pay them back. Advance payments changes that!
And one of the newest benefits under effect last year, is that every artisan may receive a retirement plan when they join the team. The funds deposited to their accounts are not drawn from their salaries! A major perk for those who join the team.
We are so proud of the honest ways in which the Tecsoe team has been taking care of their workers by putting their people first above profit. 
Now, meet the faces behind every purchase! 

Age: 32 | Married | 2 Kids 
One of his kids is currently going to school.
When asked how he found out about Tecsoe, he responded that his friend introduced him. If he could learn anything additional in this line of work, he'd choose to learn sampling.

Age 50  | Married | 3 Kids
Three of his kids are enrolled in school!
A close mentor introduced him to Tecsoe. Given the opportunity, he would love to learn embossing. 

Age 22 | Unmarried | Currently lives with his family.
Sayon has a friend who introduced him to Tecsoe.
If he could learn anything in the leather shop, he'd like to pick up stitching.
Age 34 | Married | 1 kid
One of Nazirudin's friends introduced him to Tecsoe. If he could grow into a new position he'd learn stitching on the cylinder bed.
Age 29 | Married | 1 Kid
One of his close friends introduced him to the leather shop. He's interested in learning how to make patterns during sampling.
Age: 32 |Married | 3 kids
2 of Rashid's kids goes to school.
A friend introduced him to the leather shop and if given the opportunity, he'd love to learn skiving and gage cutting.
Age: 30 | Newly married
He's been with the Tecsoe team from the very beginning.
Faruk aspires to learn CAD and digital prototyping!