The workers who made Meghan Markle’s shawl for baby Archie were only paid 37c per hour.
Meghan Markle’s shawl for baby Archie
Meghan Markle was recently swaddling her son Archie in a white and gold shawl. Baby Archie was covered with Erawan Cotton Dohar which is an Indian summer blanket. The newborn baby and his mom were supporting Prince Harry at a Polo tournament.
Daily Mail reported that the organic shawl is sold for £33 by Malabar Baby. The brand is Hong Kong-based and specializes in organic clothes for children.
Anjali Harjani, the founder of Malabar Baby, called his brand “a small, family-run business that prides itself on producing high-quality products which are slowly made in small batches.”
“Its founder is passionate about encouraging people to buy less and buy better quality, but offering products at an accessible price point so they can be enjoyed by all which is why prices start from $18.”
According to the news outlet, this range of clothing is made by a company called Nayika. The factory is located in Bagru, which is “about an hour from the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan.”
Furthermore, workers in the factory are reportedly paid only 6 thousand Indian Rupees per month. This is equal to only 37 pence per hour.
50-year-old Aruna Regar, a worker at Nayika, talked to Daily Mail about the working conditions of the factory. She was the worker who worked on Archie’s blanket.
She said, “The blanket almost costs what I earn in two weeks and that’s difficult for me to believe. We struggle to make ends meet and life is very difficult for us. Our conditions in the factory are good and we are not treated badly.”
Regar was also unaware that the shawl she was working on would go to a Royal baby. She did not know who Archie was, or about Prince Harry and Meghan. However, she did know Queen Elizabeth.
She also talked about her pay, saying, “But our biggest problem is the money that we earn, it’s a pittance. I’m very happy that such an important person is using my blanket because it means there will be more orders for the company and continued work for us.”
The factory owner stated that their sales have increased tremendously after news about Archie’s shawl was spread.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been open about their work to help save the planet and to raise their child in an eco-conscious way. However, it is unclear whether they were aware of where the organic blanket was made.
Malabar Baby speaks up
The Royals have not commented on the factory conditions yet. However, the owner of Malabar baby spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Journal Post.
Anjali Harjani, the founder, said, “Malabar Baby worked hard to research the finest factories, both in terms of quality of craftsmanship but also respect for their staff, to produce our collections. Many of the factories it works with go further and are part of a collective that come together to reduce environmental impact and preserve the art of hand block-printing. It works with factories owned by women where staff have been employed for many years, being paid fairly and working in good conditions. The art of block-printing goes through many skilled artisan hands and it is proud to be a part of preserving this tradition.”
“The dohar blanket takes between 5 – 7 days to make and requires the work of highly skilled pattern cutters and block printers to produce. The dohar is sold for $42 / £33 which is far less than other similar products but Malabar Baby have maintained the price in order that more children can enjoy it.”
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