Above: an atelier
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a loan of up to $1 million to support a new manufacturing company in Haiti.
The firm, Industrial Revolution II LP (IRII), will be able to retrofit and equip a garment factory in Port-au-Price and train works “at the base of the economic pyramid” with the loan,” according to the IDB.
The project is sponsored by an investment group led by Joelle Berdugo Adler, the founder of Montreal-baed ONExONE Foundation; Richard Coles, a Haitian textile executive and Robert Broggi, a Boston-based finance industry executive.
IRII will introduce and “innovative” model for apparel manufacturing that “radically departs from the prevailing paradigm of low-cost production in commodity garments,” according to the IDB.
“The IDB is supporting IRII because we believe the project can change the paradigm for apparel manufacturing in Haiti by demonstrating the feasibility of producing higher-quality products that yield greater benefits to workers, the local community and the country,” said Rahul Desai, the project team leader at the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority initiative.
IRII plans to hire local works, mainly women, who will be trained to produce, not “high-volume, low-margin” apparel, but high-end apparel, utilizing the “latest manufacturing technologies and adhering to superior social and environmental standards.”
According to the IDB, IRII will allocate 50 percent of profit distributions to programmes for employees, their families and the local community.