‘Kaiko was established in 2016 but the idea of combining business with charity arose several years before.
-The news then told stories of fires and abysmal working conditions in garment factories in developing countries. I got an urge to do something about it myself.
-I had dreamt of the fashion industry but did not want to work in it at the expense of women in developing countries. Gradually the idea of combining manufacturing clothes with charity was born, says Mirjam Sokka.
At first, Sokka's dream was to go out and train women in a developing country and thus enhance the conditions there. However, after her studies and the birth of her child, the dream grew clearer. Two years ago Sokka established her own company that combines the fashion industry and ethics.
-I sewed clothes for my child during my maternity leave and my family and friends started to encourage me to concentrate on children's clothing in particular. Fashion with a mission has become the slogan of the company.
Now Mirjam Sokka runs Kaiko Clothing Company with her two employees, and seven percent of the profit of the children's clothes made by the company is donated to the education of women and children in developing countries. The profit is channelled through Women's Bank.
-Being Finnish is, of course, important but we want to also remember people in developing countries. Indeed, our dream is to one day employ them, offer proper working conditions and a fair compensation for their work, Sokka mentions.
-Women's Bank works for, in particular, women and girls in developing countries so it was an easy choice. I am also really happy that we got our own project in Nepal, which we can hopefully cooperate with in the future.
- We donate 7% of the profit of each sold item to this project. Even though the company itself did not yet make a profit last year, the donated amount still consisted of the profit of each sold garment.
The children's clothing market is a very competitive one and being ecological is nowadays pretty much a requirement.
-We stand out with being ethical. We have also received good feedback for having been ready to give some of the profit to developing countries from the very beginning, Mirjam Sokka mentions.’
The original article was published by Women's Bank on 1/3/2018 in a press release about Women's Bank and Kaiko Clothing having the same goal.