From the Floor Series: Meet our Team
From the Floor Series is a further insight into what we do at Dorsu, how and why. Have you ever wondered where your clothes were made? What the production process is? Who makes them? Well we would like to show you, every step of the way, from idea generation to final product.
Our team is the most important thing to us at Dorsu. We do what we do because we believe the conventional garment industry is inhumane, unnecessary and in dire need of some serious change. Clothing production doesn’t have to exploit people along the supply chain- as a global community we have made that choice so we can purchase more clothing, at a cheaper price. At Dorsu, we want to break that cycle, provide a alternative for both workers and consumers and celebrate the talented people in our team that make this a possibility.
A little bit of context...
The garment industry in Cambodia is one of the largest in the world, and is rife with unsafe working conditions, unfair labour standards and dangerous worker transportation. Garment workers often come from rural areas, transported to and from work on trucks overflowing with people; or live in cramped, poorly maintained rooms on the edges of the factories.
With limited rights and no job security, Cambodian garment workers are subject to a cycle of long working hours in harsh conditions for little compensation. Majority are women, typically supporting 2-3 family members on a single wage. Although the garment industry is one of the only industries in the country with a legal minimum wage, it isn’t enough to maintain a safe and healthy level of living standards for a huge number of these workers and their families.
Operating as an ethical clothing producer, we provide a safe and fair alternative working environment for garment workers. With high safety standards, formal employment contracts, wages that exceed minimum wage and healthy working hours, our staff are able to support their families and play an active, positive role in their communities. With a secure job, staff can develop their skills and grow their experience, increasing their exposure to higher pay and further job opportunities either within Dorsu or externally.
As an ethical and transparent clothing producer, we would like you to meet our team and and learn more about or practices.
Meet our team
Our Employment Conditions
Being an Australian- Cambodian owned company, we have chosen to model our business against Australian standards, placing staff safety and wellbeing above all else. The following provides some detail on our employment conditions.
Contracts and wages: All staff are employed on permanent contracts, provided with quarterly performance reviews and relevant skills development. All contracts are reviewed in full, annually, with monthly performance-based bonuses and an optional 6th working day at overtime rates during busy periods.
Working hours: our staff work 5 days a week, one day less than the standard Cambodian 6 day working week. Each day is 9 hours, inclusive of a 1 hour lunch break and 2 x 15 minute morning and afternoon breaks. Our sewing team generally break together, with lunch, drinking water and snacks provided by Dorsu. Our team love having this downtime together, finding it a great way to get to know each, relax and do craft activities!
Leave: all staff members accrue annual leave, have all main national public holidays off and have sick, personal, maternity and paternity leave.
Safety: a production workspace poses an array of risks, and we take safety in these areas very seriously. Our equipment undergoes regular maintenance and all staff are subject to annual operations, fire safety and equipment training. We have strict safety policies in place, forming part of our employment manual, orientation and on the job training.
If you have visited our production space or stores in Kampot, you may have already met or seen our team in action! We are a diverse group of skilled individuals from all throughout Cambodia and across the world. Dorsu was co-founded by Kunthear from Takeo Province in Cambodia, and Hanna from Tasmania, Australia. Together, Hanna and Kunthear have built a strong and dedicated team that inherently believe in the importance of ethical production and providing an alternative for employment (and consumption), especially in the context of Cambodia.
Our production team of thirteen talented individuals is made up of nine sewers, one cutter, two quality control officers and one all rounder.
Kunthear leads our production team, as the Production Manager & Pattern Maker. With extensive experience working her way up in garment factories, Kunthear has managed to build a system that works efficiently and utilises individual strengths whilst maintaining balance and enthusiasm across tasks in a production line.
Our lead quality control officer, Vanny, has been with Dorsu for 2.5 years and according to Kunthear, is the fastest worker she has ever seen! Working alongside Vanny in quality control is Leak who started with us in 2013.
Samorn is our first official in-house cutter, who developed her cutting skills when she joined the team in 2016. She is now also the second in charge to our production manager, Kunthear.
Our sewers make up the largest section of our overall Dorsu team. Each person brings a different level of experience and skill to the team, ensuring diversity and strength across our day to day activities. Sothy is our longest standing team member, joining us in the very first days of Dorsu back in 2008. Following closely behind came Sokly (who spreads her time between production and working in the store), Sreypow, Thida and sister duo Sreydieb and Sophat. As our longest standing sewers, this group of talented women each show commitment and passion for what they do.
Ngim, Sapong and Sreyroem have only very recently come on board, and hope to stick with the team for a while yet and see Dorsu grow and succeed.
To total our production team to thirteen staff, our all-rounder Nget comes in each day to manage the cleaning and cooking as well as assisting the production team with the washing and various small tasks.
Our retail team is lead by Set, our superstar sales supervisor who manages both our Kampot stores, inventory and staff. Since starting with Dorsu in late 2015, Set has created a store experience like no other, and significantly contributed to Dorsu becoming a Kampot destination.
Our store staff hail from all over the world - we currently have staff from 3 different countries! From the Philippines, England and Cambodia; Cori, Emily, Set, Pharith and Sokly provide a unique store experience and can tell you all about the inner workings of Dorsu whilst you shop for clothes.
The Management and Creative Team
Currently from Cambodia, Australia and the US, our management, operational and creative team is slowly expanding and is now located across borders.
Our distribution is managed by Lisa in Tasmania, our photography is done by Rita who lives in Melbourne and we have just welcomed Megan onto our team who is also located in Melbourne.
We run all day to day management from our office space located upstairs at our Road 33 Production studio in Kampot. Kunthear heads our production as well as taking on the role of our in-house pattern maker, Hanna is our company director and Pharith is our ‘doer’, managing shipping, providing operations support and working in our stores. We then have Nita, who manages our Accounting, Tavie leading our website and Ellen as our sales and marketing manager. With plenty of fans and lot’s of good music, this team lead Dorsu day to day and are working on some big and wonderful things for Dorsu in 2018 and beyond!
Over the years, we have also been very lucky to have a handful of volunteers and interns join us, from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France and more. Undertaking small projects, these experienced professionals and students spent some time with us in Kampot, becoming a part of our crew and global family. With their help, we have been able to achieve many great things, continuing to bring ethical clothing to Cambodia and the world.
So that’s us! A team built with passionate individuals working together to achieve a common goal and strive for a better industry- in Cambodia and across the world.
Questions about what we do, our team or employment conditions? Please share with us and we would love to chat!