Quantifying Social Impact

November 03, 2016

One of the challenges to our partner Matr Boomie’s mission of empowering communities of artisans: the difficulty of showing the direct link between a fair trade product and the impact made on an artisan’s community.

Even though sweatshop-free advocacy groups have been around for decades, only recently have consumers-at-large really started to call on U.S. companies for increased attention to unjust working conditions in the factories and production centers where these goods are made.

Having a team on the ground in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, gives Matr Boomie access to be intimately and directly involved with artisan communities. SETU is the bridge that allows them to track the progress of the impact generated in the lives of artisan producers.

Instead of what you normally hear from big corporations (namely, that they’ve conducted one or two factory visits and everyone assures them labor conditions are fair), Matr Boomie has created a metric system to assess artisan groups based on two basic principles: people and planet. It’s no surprise that this metric aligns so beautifully with the Good Buy’s mission of choosing products that are “good for the earth and good for workers.”

It may seem like an overemphasis to tell you how groundbreaking and industry-leading this measurement system is, because it’s so straightforward and clear when you see it. Yet, dig deeper and its beautiful simplicity actually shows that if companies are taking a serious look at their supply chains, being in community means hard work.

By keeping track of success in several key areas, it gives Matr Boomie an insight into where artisan communities stand and where they can provide support. Low-scoring groups are considered “at risk,” and they shift focus to strengthening those problem areas, leading them to become self-sustaining communities. See the metric categories and scales in the infographic below from their 2016 Impact Report.


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