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Hela Clothing recognised as Most Inclusive Employer of the Year in Ethiopia


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Hela Clothing, a global apparel manufacturer with factories across Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the Most Inclusive Employer of the Year by the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) at the Inclusive Employers Forum. This award was in recognition of Hela’s efforts to nurture a culture of inclusivity within their workforce that is further exhibited in their hiring, promoting and retention policies.  

Group General Manager – Human Resources and Administration Manique Jayasooriya David

Commenting on the award Group General Manager – Human Resources and Administration Manique Jayasooriya David said, “This award is further validation of our belief that our strength lies in our diversity. We have always prided ourselves in being an equal opportunity employer and as such have nurtured a culture that is respectful and inclusive. We have also set procedures and programmes in place to ensure that we empower our team members as well as take care of their health and needs. This includes transparent decision making, clear-cut career paths, opportunities to upskill, free meals, free transportation, free onsite medical care, and many more.” 

“We make sure that our team members have the tools they need to succeed in their careers and in life,” she added.

According to the World Report on Disability, jointly issued by the World Bank and World Health Organization, 17.6% of the Ethiopian population live with disabilities. And 95% of all persons with disabilities in Ethiopia are estimated to live in poverty with many depending on family support and begging for their livelihoods.

Having commenced operations in Ethiopia in 2017 as Hela’s Ethiopian operation quickly grew to employ 1600 people and account for over two thirds of the country’s total knit women’s underwear exports. In 2019 the factory reached the milestone of producing over one million units per month with a target to increase to two and half million units per month by 2021. 

The Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) is an Ethiopian civil society organisation established in 2005. The ECDD works collaboratively with other organisations to promote, facilitate and build capacity for ‘disability inclusive development’ in Ethiopia.

Hela Clothing is a $ 200 million company that provides sustainability focused apparel supply chain solutions. The company works closely with global brands, from design to delivery, in the intimate, sleepwear and kids product ranges. With 10 factories across three countries and a workforce of 15,000 across the globe, Hela leads the industry in ethical and sustainable working environments. 


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