ReCreate's sewing centre is located in the disadvantaged community of Dey Tmey, Cambodia. The people of Dey Tmey were originally slum dwellers who lived in the capital city of Phnom Penh. In 2007, in efforts to improve tourism in Cambodia, the authorities evicted many slum dwellers into rural sites called relocation areas. One of these areas was Dey Tmey, meaning "New Land".
As this relocation area was far from their former jobs and schools, the people quickly found themselves in desperate situations with little opportunity for employment or education. Income was found through prostitution, drugs, washing clothes and selling food. Children were kept home from school to collect rubbish, watch siblings, or in the worst cases sold for slave labour or to brothels. As the years passed and the community developed, opportunities for women to find rightful employment remained scarce. So in 2013, after several years of working alongside a local non-profit organisation within Dey Tmey, the founder of ReCreate, Erica Gadsby, became inspired to establish an opportunity for women. The ReCreate sewing centre was launched and the first intake of students began their journey of learning a new skill in order to transform their lives.
Our first sewing student was Somphor. She and her family of four were homeless, living under a table in the local marketplace in Dey Tmey. Somphor had employment in a nearby factory where the typical work week was 60 hours and she faced issues such as unfair pay and unhealthy working conditions. Her work was monotonous, performing the same task over and over. When Somphor heard about the opportunity to work with ReCreate, she was excited to have the chance to develop a skill. However with only a Year Four primary education and unable to read or write, she was fearful of her ability to learn. Under the guidance of our sewing trainer, Somphor slowly gained confidence and thrived as she received sewing instruction as well as literacy training, growing in skill and knowledge as the months passed.
Today Somphor is our sewing team leader and trains new students in all that she has learned. Her husband, Hiet, received full training in sewing as well as machine repair and loves working alongside his wife at the sewing centre. They now have a third child who plays and sleeps at the centre while their older children attend school. They own a beautiful home and enjoy cycling to work each day.
ReCreate is not just about meeting minimum ethical standards. We are committed to people and seeing their lives transformed. Each year we train and employ new students from within the Dey Tmey community who have a desire to learn a lifelong skill that will provide for themselves, their families and their futures. In addition to full sewing training, students receive lessons in money management, reading and writing, and basic healthcare. Alongside these students, our core team of skilled garment makers are employed in an empowering work environment, earning a living wage while continually being provided with opportunities to improve their skills.
Our brand headquarters is located in New Zealand where our team is led by Erica. Together with our amazing design and operations team of Marielle, Lauren, Ashleigh, Charlie and Erana, we are continually working towards providing even more training and employment opportunities for marginalised people in Cambodia. And together with you, our customers, we will change the face of the garment industry. Together, we will transform lives.
|XS / 8
||S / 10
||M / 12
|| L / 14
||XL / 16|