I bumped into Dookaz website when looking for good quality t-shirt suppliers for Dinchack. That’s how I met the owner, Iris Chan, whose story is nothing short of inspirational, and something I must share…
Iris is a qualified nurse who always wanted do something bigger and better, something that helps the community. So she founded Dookaz a few years ago, with a promise to:
- make changes to our environment by doing what is right
- encourage and conduct fair trade, fair business, equality and justice
- encourage and protect our environment
- spread positive messages all round
That’s quite an undertaking for a t-shirt company. After the initial challenges of any new business, her work became known in Hong Kong. They were the first company to offer anyone to print their own design, logo or message on t-shirts, without any minimum quantities – as long as the message was positive. Iris started teaching under-priveleged children and adults to learn how to make t-shirts and make a living. Business expanded to printing bags and shoes and labelling services, but still ensuring that none of the material or process would cause any harm to the human body or the environment. Her team grew to over 20 designers and workers, all of them as passionate as her to do good.
Then few months ago, her machinery broke down. With no money for repairs, business depended on handmade stuff only, and soon started to decline. She lost the entire team one after the other, but continued working all by herself to serve her existing clients as best as she could. Then last week, she broke her arm. All her family and friends told her this is a sign that she should finally close down the business. But Iris said, ‘I still have one arm, and the other will be ok soon’. And there she is, making t-shirts all by herself, with just one arm, serving her clients with a smile, and making a difference!
Iris is likely to read this piece, so please feel free to share your comments with her.