Providing fair work for the disadvantaged

A woman sits in a chair while holding her hands. There are purses on a wall in the background.

Sasibai Kimis is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer of social enterprise. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Sasibai is providing her artisans with the support they need to alter their lives for the better.

Sasibai Kimis is the founder of Earth Heir, a conscious lifestyle brand based out of Malaysia. Earth Heir provides income to artisans including refugee women groups, indigenous tribes, prison communities and differently abled persons in Malaysia.

Earth Heir supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the company's principles. Goal 5: Gender Equality is supported by the fact that 98% of their artisans are women whose ages range from 25 to 73. In addition, Earth Heir supports Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth by paying a fair wage to artisans and employing refugees who would otherwise not be able to work in Malaysia. Earth Heir also supports Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production by using natural fibers in their products which last many years.

It is important to note that all of the Earth Heir staff and a majority of their artisans are women. Sasibai Kimis and Earth Heir have shown that the safety and protection of women is important through the careful consideration when choosing places to meet and types of transportation. This is especially important for refugees and victims of violence against women. These safety steps are taken in order to ensure the women are not exposed to triggers of their trauma.

Earth Heir also provides fair income to those who are disadvantaged, including refugees, in order to provide them with a higher quality of life and the ability to provide for their families. As we move towards a sustainable future, it is important that we do not leave those who are disadvantaged behind; People like Sasibai Kimis and brands like Earth Heir are ensuring this does not occur.

“We share our values of mutual respect and diversity with the public through conferences, workshop and artisan tours," Kimis said. "As a pioneer of social enterprise and women entrepreneurship, we have widely shared not only our good practices but our failures and challenges to youths and potential women entrepreneurs to encourage their leadership."