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Bensfi Designs (Blog-Enabled No-Sweat Fashions from India)  (idea #104)
Date: 2004-01-11 
Category: Durable / Apparel
Price: 50
Target Audience: Non-exploitative apparel manufacturers/importers who sell high-end ethnic clothing to well-heeled leftie types.

Description: Enlightened consumers will gladly pay more to have a personal connection to the products they buy, which is gravy for local artisans and farmers' markets, but what about importers? Bensfi Designs (Blog-Enabled No-Sweat Fashions from India) has the answer: Publish the company's org chart online, and give every employee their own blog, which they can update on company time, uncensored, every week. Next time you're out wearing one of the Mumbai-based company's stunning vegetable-dyed Kalamkari or Ikat full-sleeve tops, you can share the lives the seamstresses who made it -- their workdays, their hopes for their families and communities, and any messages they have for the people who wear their clothing in other parts of the world. These online accounts provide more than just a feeling of connection; they also guarantee that the manufacturer's employees are not being exploited, more convincingly than any "No Sweat" logo or other institutional certification. And if you ever travel to Mumbai/Bombay, you can schedule a tour of the Bensfi factory and say hello to some of the team members in person. Wear your Bensfi design, and you'll get in free of charge-- just like all the leftie journalists visiting to cover the company's inspiring success.

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