Improving Rights and Well-Being for Informal Workforce

Nest provides tailor-made training programs and improved working conditions to artisans and homeworkers in the informal homework sector of the global fashion industry.

Nest and its partners localize artisan communities in developing countries and provide them with business education and tools, communication classes, and equipment such as computers and looms to improve their working conditions.

After identifying and equipping a community with the right tools and training, Nest matches each community with established fashion companies. The organization oversees the business relationships and formalizes the artisan partnerships together with artisans and fashion houses, ensuring fair compensation and artisan rights.
Nest collaborates with brands including Stella McCartney, West Elm, Patagonia, and Eileen Fisher. Nest grew from serving 1,528 artisans in 2014 to 5,646 artisans in 2015, and has helped increase production orders by 45% and artisans’ revenues by 76%, according to the company.

Relevance of solution

An estimated 20% to 60% of garment workers work at home and are part of the informal workforce, where no reliable means of monitoring currently exists.1 By providing tools and tailor-made business development programs, and by matching artisans with established fashion houses, Nest is inspiring the fashion industry to use transparency as a springboard for positive change, calling on brands to play a proactive role in developing their artisan and homeworker supply chains.

Triple Bottom Line


The apparel industry accounts for 10% of climate pollution.2 Nest helps artisan businesses better care for the environment during production.


The solution helps to remedy the lack of regulation in the homework sector, currently characterized by unregulated working conditions.


In 2015, artisan businesses receiving Nest programming realized 45% production and 76% revenue growth on average.


  1. Lucy Siegle, “To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” (2011)
  2. NRDC. “Seamless Growth Ahead for NRDC’s Clean by Design.” (2015)