Meet Sitara

Sitara pictured holding two screen printed cards of her own design.

Sitara showing Kriti (Trade Aid Craft Buyer) a Saidpur storage box.

Sitara and Michelia (Trade Aid Development Manager).

Sitara Jabeen - Head of the printing department at Saidpur Enterprises


Sitara has been with Saidpur for 30 years. Our top selling Sari Twine is created by Sitara and her team of 7 producers in the printing department.


All the producers are skilled in screen printing, but on a daily basis 3 – 4 do the printing, 2 do the colour mixing, and one does Quality Control.


Sitara’s husband has had kidney damage for the past 5 years and is no longer able to work. She has two sons, 24 and 16 years old. The eldest is a textile engineer who has graduated from Dhaka University and is currently looking for a job. The youngest would also like to be an engineer when he graduates.


Sitara’s role in charge of the printing department includes quality control, research and development, raw material storage and graphic design for the products. It is a full-time role, 6 days a week, 8 hours a day.


“My salary is 29,000 Tk (NZ$435) per month plus other benefits. The producers in the printing section get daily wages of 275 – 308 Tk ($4) per day depending on their skill. It is a good wage, 200 – 250 per day is what is expected elsewhere. Also this work is regular, we don’t like for people to not have work, we try to give them as much as possible.”


Do you like working for Saidpur Enterprises?

“Yes I like working here. Firstly I need the job, but secondly I like the work and I have experience in it now. It was only me and four other producers when we first started. This is good work for women, we have a good time and the women who work here really need the work. It is better work here than in town because it is a fair trade workplace. There is a provident fund, healthcare fund, dividends, two bonuses a year, and a lot of other benefits.”


Do the producers learn about fair trade?

“Here we have training in the organisation, every kind of training. We enjoy every year in May celebrating WFT Day, International Women’s Day, New Years, we enjoy celebrating at these times. And every morning in our meetings we talk about problems, quality, new messages, orders, customer feedback. Everybody knows what the problems are, the good news or sad news. The meeting includes everyone, and we gather on the 2nd floor.”


What is your favourite fair trade principle?

“No child labour. I like this one. And second is, transparency, neat and clean – the second principle. Working neat and clean with customers, my information and your information neat and clean. This makes it very clear, it makes for a good relationship.”


Sitara is involved in the hiring and training process. The training process for producers takes 15 days and they are paid during their training.