Monthly Archives - September 2019

Living By Our Own High Standards

At GOEX, it’s important for us to not only maintain our high standards, but to also live by them.

 

Our Executive Director, Jessica Ray, decided to make a big change while she was promoting GOEX at the annual Fair Trade Federation conference earlier this year. As she went through speakers and workshops at the conference, she realized that half of what she was wearing was not Fair Trade or ethically made. She also realized that she regularly purchased garments she didn’t need just because she gets caught up in fast fashion availability.

 

After the conference, she made a commitment to only purchase fair trade or ethically made garments for herself for the rest of the year. She’s caught herself a few times with something in her cart at Target that she’s had to put back – amazing how mindlessly we shop, right?

 

She’s made it over six months and has some incredible brands she’s found and supported. Read on for some of her favorite suggestions:

 

  • The Root Collective – This company sells cute leather shoes handmade by artisans in Guatemala.

 

  • Athleta – Did you know Athleta is now a B-Corp and offers many styles manufactured in Fair Trade Certified factories?  Yet another reason to love this brand!

 

  • Target – Yes, Target! Not every item, but the store is making strides toward social conscious manufacturing and recently introduced a line of certified Fair Trade denim.

 

  • Elegantees – This line of tops and dresses is ethically made by women in Nepal.

 

  • Sika’a – In case you didn’t hear, we had a pretty big event in August that required attendees to dress to the nines. It was a little more challenging to find a cocktail dress, especially since I wanted something different. Luckily I found this cool British company that makes incredible garments!

 

  • Second hand and consignment – Shopping second hand is always an ethical choice! I buy almost all of my kids’ clothes second hand and items for myself and my husband as well.

 

  • GOEX (of course!) – I wear a tee almost every day! Layer it under a blazer with a statement necklace or wear it with a skirt to dress it up or tuck it into slacks with a great belt. There are so many ways to make our favorite Fair Trade tee look professional and polished – choose the ladies v-neck in black or white for simplicity. Or check out our new ladies flowy tee for a more unique twist on the classic tee.

 

One caution as you shop: just because a company has a socially conscious mission, doesn’t necessarily make it ethically made. Ask questions and make sure a give back isn’t overshadowing a product that doesn’t care for the hands that make it. In order to truly be ethically made, the item has to care for people throughout the supply chain.

 

Now it’s your turn! Choose ethically made and go find the brands that fit your style. Here’s a blog dedicated to fair trade and ethically made products with a great resource list!

 

 

Follow the story.

We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters, following us on Instagram or liking our Facebook page.

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Does “For Cause” Make It Ethical?

 

If a brand is “for cause” does that automatically make it ethical? Because a garment “gives back” is it fair trade?

The short answer is NO. With the increasing number of companies whose products include a donation to any number of causes, it’s easy to classify them all as ethical or even fair trade. If the item itself is not ethically manufactured, no donation to a U.S. charity when it’s sold makes up for the cost to the hands that made it in the first place. Too many for cause businesses negotiate lower costs for their products so they can afford to give back. That low cost of goods adversely affects the makers. In the same way that consumers are upset because companies pass higher tariffs onto them, manufacturers can only offer lower costs by keeping workers’ wages low or using lower quality, or questionably sourced raw materials.

 

Nowhere is this more true than in t-shirts. Of the billions of t-shirts sold in the U.S. every year, millions of them are for some kind of cause. Fundraisers, events, give back graphics, awareness messages and more – most of the time the seller wants the cheapest tee possible in order to maximize profits and therefore the donation to the cause.

 

But at what cost? Think of this irony: A U.S. non-profit is set up to provide education to the poor in Bangladesh, Haiti, India, etc. – noble cause for sure! The non-profit creates a cool graphic and sells tees to raise money. Also a great idea. However, thousands of people are employed for pennies a day in these countries sewing tees. Their wages are so low that they can’t afford healthcare, a clean home or an education for their kids. It’s not unrealistic to think that the tee the organization sold to support education in those countries was actually made by the parent of a child the money raised will be used to educate. But super inefficiently because of organizational overhead. Instead, if that parent was paid a fair wage to make the shirt, they could afford to educate their own child eliminating the need for charitable funds. Instead, that non-profit could invest in educating and supporting the teachers to make sure the education the parents are paying for is the highest quality available.

 

We hope the next time you get ready to purchase a for cause item, you’ll ask how it was manufactured. That you’ll demand better from the company selling it.

 

We know it seems counter-intuitive to pay more for a garment when trying to raise as much money as possible by selling it. We’ve had several proof of concept partners who have proven that when they could say the shirt itself is giving back before any message is printed on it, they actually sell more shirts and raise more money even with a higher cost of goods. When the entire product is ethically made, customers respond and find increased value in the purchase.

 

At GOEX, there’s nothing we love more than a customer who tells our story as part of their sales strategy and then calls to tell us how much more money they made as a result! But don’t just listen to us, here’s one success story!

 

Shop tees made with you in mind.

We’d love to get you started with a better basic tee today! Choose from our many styles, colors, and fits to make the perfect garment for your next group event — something you can feel proud to wear. Browse our Digital Catalog today!

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Top 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your T-shirt Color

 

There can be several factors that go into selecting your t-shirt color and it can be a fun but overwhelming process. The good news is that our expertise can help you navigate the color wheel and create a unique design that will make your t-shirt stand out among the rest.

 

  1. Consider your audience:

One of the most important things to consider is who will be wearing these t-shirts, why & where. For outdoor events in the heat, we suggest not going with a dark color. If your event is in the summer months, we suggest going with a brighter pop of color for fun and to keep the wearer nice and cool. The season also helps determine whether you choose short sleeves, long sleeves or even fleece. For a company event, we suggest sticking to a neutral color or a color on brand with your company. The makeup of the group can also help determine if you want to purchase unisex or ladies fit t-shirts. 

 

 

  1. Consider the design/artwork:

There are so many t-shirt and ink color options to choose from. It’s important to consider how many colors are in your design and if they will be dark or light colors. This also helps determine whether you want the design to be bold and pop, or to be more faded and tonal. If you want a tonal design, we suggest choosing a color that is in the same color family, just a different shade.

If you want the design to pop, consider choosing a color that is either much darker or lighter than you design or on the opposite end of the spectrum.

 

If you are wanting something colorful, go for it! We can work with you to make sure the colors will still show up the way you want. Keep in mind, there is also the risk of your design looking like a negative photo, so if you want a silhouette or outlines of an image, choose dark ink instead of white so that your image does not look distorted. 

 

  1. Consider price point and inventory:

Lastly, and most importantly, consider the price point you are looking for in order to decide which material of shirt you should order. Consider a triblend or fleece option for something that will be longer lasting and can stand up to everyday wear. If you are looking to order many shirts at the lowest price point possible,  consider a cotton t-shirt with a one-color design on only one location. No matter what option you choose, we will print your t-shirt at the highest standard, and it will be the best t-shirt for you and those who made it. 

Sometimes it can be hard to visualize what you design will look like on the shirt, that is why here at GOEX we provide a digital example before printing. This will help you visualize and determine how your art actually looks on the shirt. Let’s get designing!

 

Shop tees made with you in mind.

We’d love to get you started with a better basic tee today! Choose from our many styles, colors, and fits to make the perfect garment for your next group event — something you can feel proud to wear. Browse our Digital Catalog today!

 

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Workers Receive Free Eye Exams and Glasses

GOEX’s first priority is our workers — they are the reason we exist. That’s why it’s so important to us to not only maintain a safe working environment, but to ensure their overall health is held to a high standard.

 

Last month, we provided clinical eye exams to more than 100 employees at LIFE S.A., our  boutique apparel factory, in Tabarre, Haiti.

 

Eye exams and reading glasses were offered to all employees, with special attention to those affected by presbyopia, which is caused by normal loss in vision with age. A four-person team comprised of local optometrists came onsite prepared and equipped to perform the clinical exams.

 

In total, about 70 reading glasses were distributed and over a dozen other employees were referred to a nearby clinic for further care. We are so thankful for the opportunity to provide eye exams and glasses for our workers who we truly care about.

Travel with us to Haiti

See for yourself.

You play a big role in keeping us accountable — so come visit our facilities first hand! We know Haiti isn’t a “drop everything and head down next weekend” kind of destination for everyone, so start planning now. Check out our trips calendar, find a week that works for you, and then say “yes!”. Travel with us to meet the makers of your tees and see their facility conditions in person. We promise to let you have the aisle seat on the plane.

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