Pebble toys make a difference
Just over a year after Best Years formally launched the Pebble toys in to the UK at Top Drawer Spring the knitted and crochet toys are going from strength to strength.
Best Years wholesale the full range of knitted and crochet toys. They sell due to their fabulous designs and colours which, when combined with tactile and machine washable cotton, make them the ideal toys for young children. Given how competitively the toys are priced then we were not surprised at their almost instant success
However its good to know that the Pebble toys not only make UK children happy but also provide huge opportunities for rural women in Bangladesh. As we look back over a very hectic year we thought it an opportune moment to see the impact that Pebble is making in Bangladesh.
Pebble started in January 2010. It was conceived as the brand of Hathay Bunano. Hathay Bunano started in 2004 but was, until late 2009 making products for other brands around the world. The aim behind Pebble was to bring the stories of Hathay Bunano to the customers who were buying the products.
Over the course of 2010, all HBPS artisans learnt the new Pebble products and moved over to making for Pebble. Currently HBPS employs about 5000 women in 52 rural production centres all over Bangladesh. Most women work part time and value the flexible and local working opportunity that HBPS provide. HBPS also have an urban production centre in a slum area of Dhaka and there the women tend to work more hours and many of them full time.
HBPS does not dictate working hours to the artisans. The philosophy behind the work is that it is flexible, fairly paid, good quality and local. Poor women in Bangladesh have many difficulties to navigate and it is important that they are able to work at times that suit them.
Pebble has grown a lot in just over a year. We are currently working to set up 2 new rural production centres in Comilla and 3 new rural production centres in Sirajganj. These centres will be about 20-30 minutes walk from existing centres and will provide opportunities for experienced HBPS artisans to work as trainers and to teach new batches of women how to knit and crochet and make the Pebble products.
All HBPS trainers are women who started as artisans. They are all women from the same socio-economic background as the women who will be taught and this, we believe, has been the key to successful and rapid training.
We aim to have 500 more women trained and employed as artisans by the end of 2011 in order to meet the continuing and rising demand for Pebble products.
The Spring/Summer Pebble toys are now all in stock on www.bestyears.co.uk and available to order and the Autumn/Winter range will be available on the Best Years stand at Pulse 5th-7th June. We are all looking forward to another 12 months as busy as the 1st year so come and join the Pebble family and enjoy the journey!
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