CEO, VIA DESIGN
Janet Rogers, a British designer and consultant, founded Via Design in 2005, motivated by her commitment to ethical trade through excellence in design and production of market-led products. She is passionate about empowering women who have not had the freedom to make their own choices.
Since 2011, Via has provided consultancy to Freeset, a social business in West Bengal, India, which provides fairly paid employment for women who have been trafficked or who are at risk of being trafficked. Freeset manufactures custom bags, t-shirts and handloom products for export and domestic markets. Janet was involved with research and setting up a new unit (handloom weaving) as prevention, in a rural area of West Bengal where women are known to be at risk of trafficking. Freeset received an innovation award/grant from Harvard SAI and Tata Trusts in 2015 to research and make ergonomic improvements to looms and processes, which benefitted the women and improved wellbeing, efficiency and production.