Our Ethical Policy

Building Better Futures for the Next Generation


Our Ethical Policy is rooted in our values, and driven by our three-fold social enterprise mission:
  • To create opportunities for mothers in Bangladesh to provide for their children with dignity
  • To contribute to the circular economy by reclaiming, repurposing, and reusing cotton fabric 
  • To celebrate the vibrant cultural heritage of Bangladesh with a wider audience
Our mission and values are written into our Articles of Association as a Community Interest Company (a special form of business registration in the UK designed for social enterprises like us), and they drive every decision we make.

For example, we prioritise:

-Rigorous product safety testing - this is what we invested nearly half of the money we raised through our start-up crowdfunding campaign in!

-Testing the market through collecting pre-orders, to avoid excess inventory.

-Membership of best practice networks and communities we can learn from, like the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS), the Nest Artisan Guild, Weave a Real Peace, Social Enterprise UK, Good Market and In the Loop.



We are exploring the feasibility of certification against the Fairtrade Textiles Standard, the SA8000 social accountability standard, and the Nest Seal of Ethical HandcraftWe know that these processes can be very expensive – and we’re also conscious that our operating model is very much evolving, as we’re learning so much on a daily basis at this early stage in our social enterprise journey!

Beyond a Living Wage

Our commitment to transparency includes sharing how we calculate wages. We pay seven times the local wage rate and nearly 1.5 times the Living Wage rate, based on this report’s methodology.

Ultimately, we’re trying to strike a balance between paying as much as we can to help the mothers we partner with to build better futures for their children – but not offer such high wages that we are creating all sorts of problems within the community where our partners live, especially given that we can only offer opportunities to a small number of mothers as we start out.

We know that predictability of income is vital for our artisans to be able to make the kinds of decisions that can transform their families lives over the long-term, like sending children to school, instead of out to work. For now, we pay piece rates, but our number one goal is to shift to monthly salaries. In order to be able to do this, we need to build up our monthly sales and customer base - so please help us to spread the word!
We also know that for positive change to be sustainable, you need to go beyond the individual household level and strengthen the fabric of communities. That’s why:
  • We source the materials we need to create our blankets locally, as far as we can, and partner with like-minded enterprises empowering rural communities when we have to venture a bit further afield. For example, we partner with Prabartana to create the fabric we use for the outside layers of our Happy Blankets, which is hand-dyed and hand-woven by artisans in the district of Tangail, just North of Bangladesh centrally-located capital city.

  • We'll be investing our profits in initiatives that will benefit the wider community, and we would love to ultimately develop a model that allows us the mothers we’re partnering with to earn a share….but first we need to become profitable 😊
But wait - it's not just about the money!
One of the most important things about the opportunities we’re creating for the mothers we’re partnering with is that they can work from the safety of their own homes, and set their own working hours, based around their childcare and household responsibilities.

It hopefully goes without saying that we don’t use child labour, or forced labour!

We offer freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and we're planning to hold a workshop to properly explain what this means to our artisans.

A Sustainable Future for the Children who will Inherit our Earth

We are proud to contribute to the circular economy.

Check out this three-part blog series to learn more about how we’re regenerating the kantha tradition to meet global hygiene and safety standards while retaining its circular principles.

When we say our blankets are ‘handmade with love’, we mean it!
The blankets themselves are entirely hand-stitched, as are the re-usable cotton bags made from vintage saris that they come packaged in.
But that’s not where our handmade ethos ends – check out this video of our design template being handmade, and this clip of our fabric being hand-woven.

Reclaim, Repurpose, Reuse



When we we were getting started, we were kindly donated 215kg of ‘deadstock’ cotton fabric (surplus fabric, leftover from various stages of production in the garments supply chain) to use in our Happy Blankets and other textiles products.

It's estimated that cultivating 1kg of raw cotton takes an average of 10,000 litres of water [1], while processing a kilo of cotton fibre into finished fabric requires 100-150 litres of water [2].  If we take the lower estimate, this means that we're saving 2,171,500 million litres of water by upcycling deadstock cotton fabric to form the inside layers of our products, rather than using new cotton.



The outside layers of our blankets are made from new cotton – we’ve searched far and wide, but we ultimately struggled to find fabric that we could reclaim, repurpose and reuse that met all our design and safety testing requirements.

But the fabric that we’re using is hand-woven and hand-dyed using Oeko Tex-Eco-Passport certified dyes, which means that the carbon footprint – and broader environmental impact – is minimal compared to factory-produced cotton fabric (and by partnering with Prabartana, we’re able to support the livelihoods of more rural artisans). 


Our Carbon Footprint

At Khushi Kantha, we want to create the lightest possible environmental footprint across our production process and broader supply chain. 

That’s why we decided to calculate the carbon footprint for the production of our first collection of Happy Blankets in the most extensive way possible, right down to the production of the rubber we use in our branded stamp – and the ink that accompanies it! 

As a first step, this has enabled us to offset our emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. It also highlight where we can make further savings, to help us create an action plan to achieve net-zero. This is our ultimate ambition, but we are still figuring out exactly what this would entail for us. 

Learn more here.

Minimising Waste

When we first started out, we only made Happy Blankets to order. We were in testing the market' mode, and we didn't end up creating blankets that won’t end up going to a good home. 

We expanded our product range (which now includes bags, wall hangings, doll bedding, scarves and cushion covers) using a similar demand-driven approach.
We continue to offer all our products on a bespoke basis.

But we’re also realistic – and know that sometimes customers won’t want to wait weeks or months! So we maintain a small inventory at our founder's little flat in London, which means we have some products available to be sent out to straight away.
Rowsa, our Head of Production, personally cuts all the fabric for each Happy Blanket, to ensure that we minimise cutting waste. We haven’t yet decided how we’re going to utilise our offcuts…so watch this space for a plan!

To personalise or not to personalise

We’ve thought long and hard about whether to offer personalised blankets.
On one hand, it seems like the antithesis of sustainability!

But at the same time, sustainability is a multi-dimensional concept – and if we can’t make Khushi Kantha into a financially sustainable social enterprise, thinking about environmental sustainability and creating opportunities for the mothers we’re partnering with to earn sustainable incomes becomes a bit redundant. So we ultimately decided to go for it!

And as we very much hope that our blankets will be treasured from child to child, we’ll be offering all our customers who go for personalised blankets the chance to send them back to us so we can stitch in the name of the next child to inherit the blanket for free. We love the idea of our blankets ultimately ended up covered in the names of all the little ones who have enjoyed them over the years!

Our Packaging

Every product we make comes packaged in its very own reusable cotton bag made from vintage saris, with a double-sided insert explaining our social enterprise story, which is printed on recycled and recyclable card. 

We send out orders in recycled and recyclable envelopes.
Rather than using branded stickers, we decorate the envelopes using a re-usable branded stamp.

What happens once our products reach the customer?

We often get asked whether our handmade textiles can go in the washing machine. Our founder is a mother of twins – of course they can, she wouldn’t be selling something that wasn’t practical! But as our labels clearly state, in order to be kind to the environment, we recommend a gentle wash at 30 degrees, and not tumble drying.
We also think it’s important to highlight the fact that our Happy Blankets are multi-purpose! When you’re expecting a baby, you can feel bombarded with endless lists of ‘essential items’. Check out this two-part blogpost to learn more about the many ways in which you can use a Khushi Kantha. As practical as they are pretty, investing in one of our Happy Blankets means you can ‘buy less and buy better’.

We ultimately aspire to conduct full life-cycle analysis for all of our products, but we first need to learn how we should go about doing this.


Sharing our supply chain

We’re committing to sharing every step in our supply chain, from the artisan business that hand-dyes and hand-weaves fabric we use for the outside layers of our blankets, to the local market where we source our needles (Phulbar Market in Dinajpur, North-West Bangladesh, which is located in the same village that are textiles are hand-stitched), the slightly further afield market where we buy the vintage cotton saris we use to make the reusable, handmade cotton bags that our blankets come packaged in (Saidpur Old Cloth Market in Nilphamari district, North-West Bangladesh, which is around 90km from the village in Dinajpur where our blankets are hand-stitched), and the company that is kindly producing our labels for free, as they’re inspired by what we’re trying to do.

We don’t use a ‘middleman’ 

Khushi Kantha’s founder Laura Rana is collaborating with her sister-in-law Rowsa Hasan (our Head of Production) to partner directly with the mothers who hand-stitch our blankets. 

This not only reduces our overheads, which means we can invest more in ensuring every aspect of our business model is as ethical and sustainable and possible, it also means that we can be 100% confident that every Taka (the local currency in Bangladesh) that is promised to the mothers goes into their pockets, and that the reality of their working conditions matches. 

Sadly, this is not always the case when partnering with artisan communities on the other side of the world.

Having lived in Bangladesh on and off for over a decade, Laura is currently based in London, and hasn’t been able to travel to Bangladesh since launching Khushi Kantha. But she wanted to move ahead with setting things up from a distance as soon as she could – the pandemic meant that creating opportunities for the mothers we’re partnering with to provide for their children with dignity from the safety of their own homes was more important than ever!

Once the stitching of each Happy Blanket is complete, the mother who made the blanket sews her name into the label, along with the unique number that is given to that particular blanket. Our labels also feature the geo-coordinates of the village where our blankets are made. Our packaging inserts feature the name and story of the individual mother who made the blanket that you have bought or gifted.

Our production process

Check out our youtube channel for a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our production process – we’re just getting started, so there will be plenty more videos to come!

We also share detailed production updates via our monthly newsletter (see this link for a sample newsletter if you’re wondering what you get when you sign up!) and social media accounts.


Financial Transparency

At this early stage in our social enterprise journey, we're still in experimental mode!

This includes confirming the assumptions in our financial model. We ultimately aspire to share this information with our customers (i.e. explaining exactly where your money goes when you buy one of our handmade textiles!)



For now, check out p36 of our Impact Report to learn more about our finances.

Health and Safety

Customer Safety

We are have frequently been told that we are going way above and beyond what our customers would expect on the hygiene and safety testing front as a small, early-stage social enterprise.

But rigorous testing has always been non-negotiable for us!

We are very lucky to have benefitted from some brilliant pro-bono support from a product safety lawyer at DLA Piper, and expert guidance from a Softlines Technical Consultant at the very beginning of our journey, who explained exactly what we need to do to keep our little customers safe 😊

Our Happy Blankets are safety tested against the UK and European safety standard (BS) EN 16779‑1:2018, and our doll bedding is safety tested against BS EN71-1: Mechanical and Physical Properties, BS EN71-2: Flammability and BS EN71-3: Migration of Certain Elements, and CA/CE marked.
The fabric and embroidery threads we use in all our handmade textiles have been additionally tested to confirm that they are free from harmful chemicals (specifically, Azos, APEOs and ‘dispersed dyes’).

Worker Safety


Mothers in Bangladesh need safe income-generation opportunities they can undertake from home more than ever.

The Oeko-Tex Passport-certified dyes used for the outside layers of our blankets protect our artisans from harmful chemicals, and treated wastewater prevents harm to the local community.

We prioritise the comfort of our artisans - for example, through our impact measurement system, we ask whether they feel they have sufficient breaks, whether they are exposed to noise/fumes, whether they have sufficient light, and whether they have access to a place for meals and common interaction with their co-workers, and nearby green space for walks and relaxing, as well as asking questions about psycho-social wellbeing.

Our working week is strictly 40 hours - for everyone except for our founder!

Measuring our Impacts 


Our founder Laura Rana has spent fourteen years supporting organisations all over the world to understand, measure and communicate their impacts. From Malawi to Mongolia, and Serbia to Sri Lanka, she’s worked with ‘big name’ charities helping hundreds of thousands of people affected by major humanitarian emergencies, like Save the Children and the British Red Cross – and small organisations doing brilliant things in local communities, like the Happy Baby Community, who support pregnant women and mothers who have fled from violence or traffickers to seek international protection in the UK.

Learn about our award-winning, multi-dimensional impact measurement system here.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our social enterprise mission, creating opportunities mothers in Bangladesh to generate sustainable incomes from their own homes, setting their own working hours around their other commitments.

At this early stage in our journey, we’re partnering with a small number of mothers.

We'd ultimately love to be able to create opportunities for any mothers who would like to get involved with what we’re trying to do, whatever their backgrounds and abilities. But first we need to build up the customer base that will allow us to do this in a sustainable way!

We’d love your feedback on our Ethical Policy – for example, is there anything you think is missing/unclear? Click here to share your thoughts.