Who makes our Zubels dolls
Our company can be called a (micro - cottage) small medium enterprise. These types of companies mostly make out most of the Philippine businesses. In cottage industry, we focus on incorporating communities, especially women, elderly, and the marginalized (LGBTQ+, and ex convicts).
We employ around 25 people in Metro Manila. These women, elderly and the marginalized can't go to factories because it can be too far and tiring, they are taking care of their children, or simply that their husbands and/or partners don't want them to leave home. For the marginalized like the LGBTQ+ and people who have had a bad past, they're usually discriminated because we are in a country that is very religious, and very old fashioned. We offer them a safe environment to earn a living and space to be who they are. We offer them to work in the factory, and we also offer them a work from home basis. They get what they can do at home, and work from there. These operations can be from light sewing, knitting, hand embroideries, and attachments. Someone goes to their specific community and ask people if they are willing to learn a specific skill (embroidery), then we teach them for free (sometimes with allowances as well) and we bring work to them.
For the knitting, someone goes to far provinces (away from the city) to bring work to elderly and women. They don't go to the city because traveling for at least 100km will consume 1/4 of their day, too old to travel, or husbands don't allow them since they have children to take care of. These places that we bring work to are where informal settlers are camping at (Novaliches), or far provinces (far Batangas). Payment is done in a prompt manner. Once they finish, we check their work, then pay them in cash. In each community, there's about 2-5 people, depending if they get work.
We offer our employees with a safe place to stay, so they do not need to pay rent, and spend so much of their salaries in transportation alone. We offer them all benefits from social security, health, housing, and bonuses. Even though our country has been greatly hit by COVID-19, we have been supporting our employees and communities for the past year.
Since all of our dolls, sweaters and hats are hand-made, they take a long time to make. A doll or hat can be finished from half a day to a full day, depending on how intricate the style is. A sweater can be done for a full day to 1.5 days, also depending on the size and how intricate the style is. On average, we can only produce 50-200 pcs per style in a month. The process on how a knitted item is made ranges from yarn rewinding, knitting, knit-revising, linking, link-revising, tying, foam insertion, mending, embroidery, attachment, closing, labelling, quality control, tagging, to packing.
We are also very aware and proactive in where our raw materials come from. We pride ourselves supporting other local businesses in the Philippines, which makes up 98-100% of our raw materials. The yarns, threads, rattles and buttons have been certified by OEKO-TEX100, which is the highest body that certifies the materials are safe and eco-friendly.