Pakistan: Creating New Jobs With Soft Goods Production

Sourcing & Production In Pakistan

“This is a human story.”

As Barebones continues to evolve and grow, it has allowed us to expand our supply chain and focus on creating jobs in communities around the world. This year marks year two of the development of our soft goods in Pakistan. Creating products within this culturally-rich, mountainous region transforms underdeveloped communities and builds bridges with families. Through this cross-cultural enterprise, craftsmen and craftswomen earn living wages that help raise their economic standing and provide more for their families.

As a B corp focused on sustainability, Barebones is constantly looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact. Producing goods in Pakistan also limits unnecessary fuel waste and delay-prone shipping logistics, as almost all of the materials needed for our soft goods are grown or crafted locally.

Cotton and leather are two primary examples of this: Pakistan is one of the leading exporters of leather, and cotton weaves are produced from start to finish here. The climate is ideal for cotton farming, and it is spooled and dyed locally. Even the recyclable packaging we use to ship our waxed canvas Neelum bags is sourced in Pakistan. It is a vertical, sustainable process.

(Note: The hardware from our soft goods is supplied via China. Pakistan does not have the manufacturing ability yet to produce high volumes of metal hardware. China excels at this type of production.)


The Classic Work Glove

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Our Pakistan journey started with the Classic Work Gloves. These durable, multi-use gloves are crafted from local leather and were originally produced in small villages where men and women do not typically have opportunities for this kind of work. The local Pakistani community was able to develop their skills while working higher-paying jobs. This partnership also allowed women to work inside of the home.

As the success of our gloves has grown, so has our need for higher volume. We now work with more established factories in Pakistan to produce Classic Work Gloves and several of our other leather and soft bags. Within this expanded production, men and women work side by side where working conditions and quality of goods are better monitored.

Robert’s Visit To Pakistan

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In early 2022, our CEO and Founder, Robert Workman, traveled to Pakistan to visit and meet factory owners and operators and to confirm that health and safety regulations are up to Barebones' high level of standards.

“I went and spent a week in the factories and sat side by side with these workers. I wanted to know - would they stand up to our hopes? If I went over there, would I be happy?”

With the help of an interpreter, Robert sat and talked with the Pakistani workers to better connect to their way of life. He spent countless hours with management to confirm sourcing, employee payment, and regulations. This transparency is at the core of our mission: Barebones aims for best practices throughout our entire supply chain. It is possible to produce quality products and create sustainable, ethical jobs.

BSCI Compliance & Creating New Jobs

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All Barebones factories are either Business Social Compliance Initiative (BCSI) compliant or are working towards this compliance with our help. If a factory does not meet safety and health standards, we will work with them to ensure these conditions improve or pause our work to maintain product integrity and worker safety.

“Working towards compliance…it’s not a matter of [being] perfect. It’s the trajectory. Are you meeting today's minimum standards? Our Pakistan factories are well above these minimum standards.” - Robert Workman

We believe in transparency, and our supply chain is not always a clear, easy path. As an example, the factory we hoped to partner with for our new Damascus steel production did not meet our safety standards. With the help of local oversight, we hope to help this factory set better standards for its local workers.

Barebones, along with several other philanthropic-focused companies, pulled together resources to help expand factory production in Islamabad, Pakistan. With durable, second-hand equipment from Germany and Japan and a skilled workforce hungry for the opportunity to provide for their families and community, our product line can eventually expand to include Damascus steel, a specialty in this region.


New Opportunities In Pakistan & beyond

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We are passionate about providing new opportunities for long-term, sustainable growth in this underserved economy.

“Everything we do is to create jobs. If people can’t support themselves - how are they going to support their neighbors? Any time we can create more jobs, and put more money into the pockets of those that work for us, we've accomplished our giveback.”

Our goal is to move beyond Pakistan and source in additional countries with similar goals.

Sustainable Growth At Home

“We create sustainable jobs wherever we go, including in the US. To me, every time I'm able to hire someone downstream or upstream, we’ve scored.”

While creating jobs outside the US, Barebones has continued to create high-paying jobs in Salt Lake City, Utah, and beyond. Our expansion is just as essential for people locally as it is in Pakistan, China, and anywhere we produce quality goods.

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