From backyards to our amazing national parks, the outdoors is one of our greatest gifts. April 22nd is Earth Day. It celebrates the beginning of the environmental movement. The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and since then it has grown to include over 1 billion people and 193 countries. Earth Day focuses on areas such as climate action, science and education, conservation and restoration, activism, plastics and pollution, and bringing communities together.
Fair Trade Federation members seek to meet their own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. This requires active consideration of the environmental impact of every decision the company makes and creative adaptations in business practices that advocate responsible stewardship of resources. Simply put, members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. Caring for people means caring for their physical space too.
There are three key ways GOEX implements healthy environmental practices.
1) Responsible Sourcing:
We incorporate sustainably grown materials into our products by sourcing our fabrics from Carolina Cotton Works in South Carolina — they offer a variety of recycled materials. We use Repreve, a recycled polyester yarn and then spin our tri-blend shirts from US-grown cotton, recycled polyester, and rayon. Every tri-blend shirt contains the equivalent of approximately 6 plastic water bottles.
2) Responsible Use:
A large part of environmental stewardship is the day-to-day operational practices we have established. Our screen printing facility in Kansas City operates from an environmental and sustainable neutral position. We work with local authorities and agencies to ensure that the disposal of all waste/excess is in accordance with our positive environmental policy. We have an electric car charging station at our office and print shop to encourage electric cars. We recently moved into a new industrial building with large windows and low dividing walls to capitalize on the natural light, thus conserving electricity.
The main challenge we face is screenprinting effluence. We are currently evaluating a system to capture all of our effluence from printing in tanks and to recirculate them and dispose of them. Attention is given to our suppliers to ensure the types of chemicals included in their products are friendly to the environment.
3) Responsible Waste:
When we can, we take extreme care to avoid waste in the first place, but it’s near impossible to be a Zero Waste print shop. Instead, we focus our attention on how we want to responsibly handle the waste we can’t avoid. We go back to the elementary school basics: reduce, reuse, recycle.
In 2020, we introduced buttons, labels, drawcords, twill tape and packaging made from recycled plastic. We also introduced a line of garments created from remnant fabric diverting waste from landfills – our ladies rib tee, rib tank and rib cardigan are all created from scrap fabric! In 2021, we added zippers to the assortment of components using recycled plastics.
When it makes sense, we gift extra materials from the production facility in Haiti to the community. For other materials, like plastic, paint, cardboard, etc., we diligently recycle. We also reuse screens, boxes and ink containers in an effort to reduce our overall consumption. We will also continue to expand our assortment of garments made of eco-triblend fabric diverting more plastic from landfills. And we are reusing boxes that originate in Haiti! Be sure to look for a sticker indicating your box is on its second journey.
Celebrate the day.
Earth Day commemorates how far we have come. Take the day to smell the air and know that you, as an ethical consumer, have done good. By celebrating and reflecting every single win we can continue to work for progress and for a better world. Feel good. Do good.
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!