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      Impact — Purpose

      Our hearts are with Haiti.

      Our hearts are with Haiti.

      Reports of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have generated many calls to GOEX. We have invested in the lives and livelihoods of the proud people of Haiti and are happy to report that our team in Haiti is safe. With the threat of violent demonstrations looming, we have temporarily closed our manufacturing operations near Port au Prince and have instructed our staff to remain at home with their families. When we are confident it is safe, we will return to normal operations. Until then, the work will wait while the country heals.

      Thank you for your continued care and support. If you have questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us:

      cs@goex.org

      (816) 800-8284

       

       

      Makers First. For Good.

      Makers First. For Good.

      Recent news revealed that many major retailers purposely withheld payment from their makers  for garments already made. The reason cited by industry leaders was setbacks caused by COVID-19. The work had been done. The garments were ready to ship yet thousands of makers were left high and dry. There is a word for this exact predicament - slavery. The fashion industry has benefited from the suffering of others long before the pandemic. Enough is enough. 


      Our makers deserve better.

      Maker sewing


      Behind every item you purchase there are living, breathing human beings. Just like you they wake up in the morning and go to work. They dream of providing for their families and yearn to be empowered in their communities. Just like the consumer, the maker has the right to a healthy work environment, a fair wage, and dignified work. 


      Arguably, one of the biggest challenges with Fair Trade business is convincing the world to accept those few extra dollars on the price tag. We are conditioned to paying undercut prices, and change is hard to accept — especially when that change is not a tangible difference to the consumer but instead, a tangible difference to the producer.

       

      Those few extra dollars empower producers, who commonly get taken advantage of, to set prices within the framework of the true cost of labor, time, materials and sustainable growth. This is the motivation behind the fifth principle that GOEX and other Fair Trade Federation members must follow: Pay promptly and pay fairly. 

       

      In addition to ensuring not just a working wage but a livable wage Fair Trade enterprises strive to support safe and empowering working conditions. 

       

      “Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.” — Fair Trade Federation

       

      We deserve better. 

       Woman smiling


      Can you truly feel good about wearing exploitive materials? Of course you can’t! However, we have sustained a way of life where it’s easy to add an item to your cart with little or no consideration for how it got there. Having an appealing product that was affordable may be enough to secure a sale but what impact does it have on the quality of life of those who make and on the planet? The conversation of how we can best connect the maker to the consumer continues.  


      Sustainable, ethically made products and education have become much more accessible than they were 20 years ago. With the rise of the internet and social media the fashion revolution has grown from a tick on a to-do list to a worldwide movement. From red carpet walkers to mindful bloggers, people are ready to remove the blinders and make purposeful purchases. It’s so amazing that we’ve come this far and we can be hopeful for even more progress. 


      The Journey ahead.


      Let’s face it, monitoring justice, equity, and sustainable development in trade structures is an ever evolving matter. There are many wonderful organizations advocating for accountability and dignity in commerce. Organizations such as the Fair Trade Federation have worked tirelessly to educate consumers and to advocate for workers. We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation. The means we and the federation share the same ideals of fair, environmentally conscious business practices. By building our mission around the nine Fair Trade principles we can not only hold ourselves accountable but lead by example in order to influence real, lasting change. 


      Being a Fair Trade enterprise is a continued, conscious effort that requires constant introspection and full transparency. This journey is not only important for the makers and the planet. You have a big part to play too. You have the ability to change lives through a simple purchase decision. Perhaps most importantly, your partnership sets an example in the marketplace that ethical commerce can affect systemic bottom-up change through the dignity of work. They say, “it takes a village.” We say it takes the world. It’s a big dream but with every contribution we make together big dreams come true. 

       

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      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 and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

      Real Talk: Disparity In Green Spaces Part II

      Real Talk: Disparity In Green Spaces Part II

      Last month we talked about Environmental Justice. This is an important conversation but it can’t be reserved for board rooms or government contracts.  When moving towards greener more sustainable practices it is vital that we include all who are involved. Two more pillars of Fair Trade respecting cultural identity and create transparent & accountable relationships. Anything done to a community from the top down is in violation of these values. Any new initiatives must include the community.


      If a company or organization chooses to change the way it operates there are numerous factors to consider. Who does this impact? How much should be invested in education and training? Will this create jobs or eliminate them? 


      These decisions can not be made on the word of the board members alone. We must include the organization as a whole. There is no one better qualified to provide insight to matters than those who are directly impacted by them. Artisans, logistic operators, managers, interns all have valuable knowledge and experience that can contribute to an equitable evolution of an organization. Consider the example below. 


      Over 20 years ago, scientist Esteban González Burchard discovered that a mutation of small protein that is key in cell signaling was linked to asthma severity. He also found that this mutation was common in African-Americas. From his previous work, he knew that Puerto Ricans had deeper African ancestry than most people realized. Thus he was able to make the connection between the gene mutation and the asthma risk in Puerto Rican communities. Before González, this was a problem that was being explored, and had he, a Mexican American, not had personal experience to draw from, the research wouldn’t have moved in the right direction. This is the value of diversity. 


      Bringing diversity is so much more than scratching off an item on a to-do list. In order to ensure that true advancement occurs, we must diversify the decision making panels.  Our workers and customers contribute directly to our success. It’s not the numbers on a graph or projections in a report. It’s about making connections and doing the right thing. We don’t spend money on PR ads telling you how good we are. Instead we invite you to see for yourself. When you visit either facility, you’re encouraged to talk with employees and get a better understanding of how we support the people who make your clothes. Transparency is only one of the ways we seek to do better in everything we do.

       

       

      As one of the elite few who have passed the Fair Trade Federation’s (FTF) rigorous screening, GOEX is dedicated to following the nine FTF principles established to maintain integrity: create opportunities, develop transparent & accountable relationships, build capacity, promote fair trade, pay promptly and fairly, support safe & empowering working conditions, ensure the rights of children, cultivate environmental stewardship, and respect cultural identity. These principles hold us accountable to serve for all hands that touch our garments. Honestly, it goes beyond accountability. It’s our dogma. We don’t do what we do so you’ll like us and buy shirts from us. We exist to make an impact - to create jobs, to heal the planet, and to do good. 


       Environmental justice is the right of the entire population to be protected against environmental pollution and to live in a clean and healthful environment. This is a basic human right whose necessity arose from our destructive impact on the planet. We are all created equal and we have the undeniable right to a clean, healthy living environment yet many are completely omitted from these ideals. As ethical and sustainable producers, movers, and shakers we need to have an open conversation about disproportionality in green spaces. For too long there has been disparity between what could be and what needs to be. 

       

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      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 and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

      Real Talk: Disparity in Green Spaces Part I

      Real Talk: Disparity in Green Spaces Part I

      Caring for the planet is caring for people.

      At GOEX Apparel, our purpose is to use a simple tee to connect the customer and the maker because our customers sustain the fair wage jobs that empower our workers in their families and their communities.  So, we often get asked why we also talk so much about sustainability.  If our purpose is people, why focus on the planet?  The answer is simple – caring for the planet is caring for people.  Having a clean, healthy environment provides a variety of benefits primarily around health and wellness.  

       

      Why does this matter to us specifically?  Many communities, and most of those where we serve here in the US and internationally, have been negatively affected by environmental disproportionality.  This is the reality that communities in urban or rural ‘poverty pockets’ as well as in third world countries face some of the worst environmental devastation in the world.  These communities have fewer trees and green spaces, more industrial pollution and waste and less access to resources.  This affects low-income black and brown communities at greater rates than other groups contributing to health issues such as asthma, diabetes, heart conditions and obesity.  In the US, this came to the forefront during this pandemic where we saw higher death rates in these communities because of these underlying health conditions.

       

      And so, GOEX is doing our part to uphold the pillars of Fair Trade including “Cultivate Environmental Stewardship”.  For us, this means not only using recycled components or fabrics but also joining in conversations about environmental justice and equity. 

       

      Environmental equity involves fair treatment and coming together as a community. 

      Environmental equity describes a society in which no single group or community faces disadvantages in dealing with environmental hazards, disasters, or pollution. It involves fair treatment from a region’s authority and meaningful involvement with its constituents.  And none of this is easy but we can all do our part.  Here are a couple of examples of things we’ve done to reduce our impact on the environment & improve conditions for our employees in Haiti:

       

      1. One of the biggest pollutants around Port au Prince is Styrofoam.  If you’ve ever visited you’ve seen roadsides carpeted in Styrofoam food containers.  When we started providing lunches to our employees last spring, we knew we didn’t want to add to the problem.  So, we purchased reusable food containers and pay more for each meal so our vendor can wash and reuse the containers.  This provides additional work to our food supplier and eliminates daily waste at the factory creating a win-win.
      2. Our factory is not located in an industrial park but instead is in the middle of an undeveloped piece of land and surrounded by trees, grass, wildlife and fresh air.  Our employees walk to work through the trees and enjoy fresh air breezing through the building.  This isn’t the case for employees in other apparel manufacturing facilities.
      3. We make garments or accessories out of as much scrap fabric as possible to decrease waste going into landfills.  Check out our blog about our rib collection here.

       

      We exist to make an impact. 

      As one of the elite few who have passed the Fair Trade Federation’s (FTF) rigorous screening, GOEX is dedicated to following the nine FTF principles established to maintain integrity: create opportunities, develop transparent & accountable relationships, build capacity, promote fair trade, pay promptly and fairly, support safe & empowering working conditions, ensure the rights of children, cultivate environmental stewardship, and respect cultural identity. These principles hold us accountable to serve for all hands that touch our garments. Honestly, it goes beyond accountability. It’s our dogma. We don’t do what we do so you’ll like us and buy shirts from us. We exist to make an impact – to create jobs, to heal the planet, and to do good. 

       

      Smartphone Icon

      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 and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

      GOEX is Better Work Certified

      GOEX is Better Work Certified

      GOEX, the brand that cares for kids, is proud to be a Better Work certified organization. What does that mean? It means that our partner production facility — LIFE S.A.— goes above and beyond the highest labor standards internationally.

       

      The Better Work certification is one of the most difficult certifications to obtain.

       

      “Our vision is a global garment industry that lifts millions of people out of poverty by providing decent work, empowering women, driving business competitiveness and promoting inclusive economic growth.” —Better Work

       

      Meet Olivier.

      A little over a year ago during LIFE S.A.’s annual audit, Olivier Desire, a Better Work auditor, fell in love with GOEX. He now serves full time as our operations manager in Haiti.

       

       

      “When I came here, I really liked the ambiance, but the story really blew my mind. I was amazed by the mission of GOEX and LIFE S.A. What I like most about the GOEX team is really the people, because we’re not just making t-shirts. I feel so proud to be part of the team.”

       

      When you purchase any GOEX product, not only does 100% of the profit go to help care for kids through The Global Orphan Project, but you also create living wage jobs and help keep families together. You can be confident that you are partnering for the welfare of kids and families around the world.

       

      A t-shirt never felt so good.