With the launch of BSR’s HERessentials pilot project, vulnerable factory women will be equipped with adaptive capacity for crisis resilience

Artistic Milliners and BESTSELLER are collaborating to roll out BSR’s HERessentials pilot program in Pakistani partnership with the UK FCDO’s “Work and Opportunities for Women” (WOW) program. The pilot project will run in Artistic Milliners factories targeting managers and factory workers. The new HERproject program has been designed especially for women workers to build their adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of crisis. The program also aims to bridge the gender gap that has deepened further owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 60% of women in Pakistan are illiterate. Due to a variety of socio-economic and cultural factors, they either don’t have access to education or are not allowed to attend schools. The COVID-19 pandemic had made the situation worse. They have even less access to tech literacy. Given the situation, women find themselves more vulnerable at work and are often left behind. A large cross-section of these women is employed in various factories across Pakistan including Artistic Milliners.

“With a growing value chain transparency, we feel the need to contribute directly to the success of female factory workers.” said AndreiVasilev, Social Impact Manager at BESTSELLER. “We are inspired by Artistic Milliners’ commitment towardwomen’s economic empowerment. I am confident that our collaboration to equip women workers with the most relevant tools will directly contribute to their progressive role and success at work as well as the society. Our long-term vision is to make HERessentials training available to all vulnerable groups of women workers in Pakistan.”

The HERessentials program offers training on stress management, communication, health, and finance topics through a tablet. Designed to increase workers’ tech literacy, the program will enable the much-needed resilience for low-income female workers in an increasingly technological world.

“We are thrilled to partner with Artistic Milliners and BESTSELLER for the expansion of HERessentials in Pakistan,”said Christine Svarer, WOW Team Leader and Director at BSR’s HERproject. “Both Artistic Milliners and BESTSELLER have demonstrated long-term commitment to women workers, and we are excited to take this new step of introducing a digital learning app in partnership with them and inspired by the bigger ambition to catalyze improvements for women workers across the garment sector in Pakistan. From a HERproject perspective we are also looking forward to once again work in Pakistan.”

“Our women workers on the factory floors are the most hardworking, they deserve a safe work environment as well as opportunities to progress,” said Murtaza Ahmed, Managing Directorat Artistic Milliners. “We have successfully launched many women’s economic empowerment programs at Artistic Milliners. However, HERessentials is one of its kind- in terms of its adaptability to changing times. We are excited to collaborate with our brand partner BESTSELLER to bring this program to Pakistan. It is heartening that they support our passion to help women excel in their careers. With the right implementation, HERessentials has the potential change lives of many marginalized women in Pakistan.”

A few years ago, Artistic Milliners successfully rolled out HERhealth program in its factory.

Building on to this experience, HERessentials will be rolled out for women managers and workers. After the successful pilot phase, the program will cover all female factory workers of Artistic Milliners. In the second phase, the program will become available for other manufacturing facilities and eventually it will be an online, free to access training module for all marginalized women workers.

HERessentials will be launched with the help of a local implementing partner in Pakistan. with funding made available through the UK FCDO’s flagship women’s economic empowerment programme, Work and Opportunities for Women (WOW).


BESTSELLER is an international, family-owned fashion company with a strong foundation. With a range of more than 20 individual fashion brands, BESTSELLER provides fashion clothing and accessories for women, men, teenagers and children. Our company is built upon fairness, opportunities and a sense of responsibility towards our surroundings. We believe that cultural differences are an advantage promoting quality, good results and strong values. Our world may be large but we strive to create nearness despite distance.

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