Built to Scale? Growing Pains Hit Cambodia’s Businesses for Good

Monday, November 18, 2019

By Matt Blomberg

A snippet of Leakena’s life is written on a pair of jeans.

It marked the high point in a tale of redemption: from being exploited and ostracized to working a steady job making $250 jeans for a boutique manufacturer in rural Cambodia, with enough spare time and money to raise two children.

And then the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, stepped off a plane in Australia last year wearing a pair of “slave-free” Outland Denim jeans, into which was sewn the story of a faraway seamstress like Leakena, adding a new twist.

“People like us are often given little value,” Leakena told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during a visit to the factory.

“But now we make outfits that are suitable for queens.”

Photo courtesy of aaron gilson.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

human rights, scale, social enterprise