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      Impact — Purpose

      Respecting Cultural Identity in the Marketplace

      Respecting Cultural Identity in the Marketplace

       

       

      Last Fall, we announced our membership into the Fair Trade Federation. With that honor came the commitment to uphold the nine principles on which FTF was founded. Over the following months, we took a deeper look into each of those topics. “Fair Trade” means many things. It means creating opportunities for marginalized producers, developing transparent relationships, cultivating safe & empowering working conditions, ensuring the rights of children, being kind to the earth, and lastly:

       

      Respecting Cultural Identity

       

      Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.

       

      At GOEX, we share the story of resiliency that runs through Haiti. We champion Haitian culture and desire to take customers to Haiti to experience their culture and see the lives that make their apparel. Along with the product, our main selling point is the story behind the apparel. We do everything we can to amplify who makes the product and how they make the product. We tag our t-shirts with the GOEX label because we want all customers to know where their shirts come from and that they’ve lifted lives through the power of purchase. We exist to champion Haiti.

       

       

      Here are a few examples how:

      • The main form of communication at LIFE is in Creole, Haiti’s official language.
      • Within the facility, we celebrate locally made artisan goods and decorate the grounds with Haitian flags.
      • Haiti is a relationship-driven country, so we allow time for fellowship and community building
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      • All Haitian holidays are recognized to ensure that employees can spend time with their friends and families during special occasions.

       

       

       

       

      Open for all!

      We want everyone to see and know Haitian culture, so we implemented an open door policy. We believe open door policies play a vital role in reforming the industry and creating transparency in the apparel manufacturing sector. GOEX opens the door (literally) to reveal all the things you’ve wanted to know or never even thought to ask.

      5 New Year’s Resolutions We’re Making in 2021

      5 New Year’s Resolutions We’re Making in 2021

      ‘Tis the season for new year’s resolutions, and we’re making a few of our own at GOEX. Read below for our top 5 resolutions we’re making in 2021. We hope these inspire you to make some positive changes and make 2021 your year!

       

      1.  Connect our clients and makers in new ways.

      We know our customers care deeply for the hands that make their clothes. We want all of you to feel invested in the difference you’re making in their lives. So, in 2021 look for more specific stories and for ongoing impact data on our employees and their families. We’ll also provide more opportunities for you to come alongside us in investing in programming. Hopefully, we’ll even be able to take some of you to Haiti with us in the second half of the year.  We hope you’re excited to learn more over the coming months!

       

      2.  Continue to grow sustainability efforts.

      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’ll add zippers to the assortment of components using recycled plastics. We will also continue to expand our assortment of garments made of eco-triblend fabric diverting more plastic from landfills. And we’ll begin reusing boxes that originate in Haiti – look for a sticker indicating your box is on its second journey!

       

      3.  Sell more tees, create more jobs.

      Ultimately our goal is to educate more consumers about ethical shopping choices resulting in more tee sales and more fair wage jobs in Haiti and the US. In 2020, we hired two additional full-time sales managers who are ready to serve our growing client base. Thank you to everyone who is already part of the GOEX family! We hope you’ll share our story in the new year and help spread the word about our super comfy, fair trade apparel. We can’t do this without you!!

       

      4.  Practice hospitality.

      We are SO excited about the store space we opened this fall and can’t wait to host you for a visit! Would you like to have a private shopping or printing event? Looking for a space for another event? As we begin to come out of the pandemic in the spring or summer, we would love to host you and your friends or colleagues!

       

      5.  Be grateful!

      Through the challenges of 2020, we have SO much to be thankful for!  We’ve made incredible new friends, continued to support our employees and introduced new products and initiatives that put us in a great place going into 2021. We are incredibly grateful for all of you for supporting us throughout 2020. Cheers to the new year!

       

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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, following us on Instagram or liking our Facebook page.

      Fair Is Fair: Ensuring Prosperity

      Fair Is Fair: Ensuring Prosperity

       

      Comfortable, sustainable apparel is wonderful and our mission is even better. The fact remains true:  we’re a nonprofit organization. After costs to sustainably produce premium eco-friendly apparel and provide livable wage jobs, all GOEX profit — every bit of it — goes to fund projects set in motion by The Global Orphan Project. The Global Orphan Project exists to break the orphan cycle and one of the biggest contributors to the orphan cycle is poverty. That’s where we come in! We exist to create and sustain fair wage jobs that empower employees to care for their families. On average, one of our workers earning a fair wage supports six family members. GOEX exists to improve the lives of the workers and the communities we touch and one way we’re making good on that promise by providing fair wages to our workers in Kansas City and Haiti.

       

      LIFE S.A manufacturing facility in Haiti

      To provide fair wages, you must start with open, transparent conversation. GOEX management has spent countless hours with our team to help analyze costs, employment and tax law, and production benchmarks. We work together to take a long hard look at our mission model. Transparency means we can take pride in our product from seed to stitch. Which is why we have an open door policy at our facilities. We want to cultivate a relationship between you the customer and our mission based on consistent openness and respect. When conflict arises, we work together to listen and solve proving that commerce and compassion can coexist. Better business for a better world. 

       

      When you make the commitment to ensure that your workplace has an empowering environment you are doing more than running a business. You are nurturing a place of growth, sustainability, and progress. Those who work hard should always have the means to lift themselves up. Fair wages are directly linked to a reduction in crime, utilization of social social services, and have a significant impact on the economy. By providing the means to eliminate the stresses of uncertainty we can create better, sustainable fashion and make an impact. Providing fair wages isn’t about PR or soliciting brownie points so you’ll buy more shirts from us. It’s about doing what’s right. It’s about contributing to a cleaner, healthier world. It’s about feeling good AND doing good.  

       

      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. Together we can make an impact. A better shirt for a better world? Let’s do this!

       

       

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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 Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

      Fashion in the Pandemic Era

      Fashion in the Pandemic Era

       Our own roaring 20’s

      March of 2020 marked the dawn of a new era. A raging storm of uncertainty loomed over the world as we hunkered down at home. We prepared ourselves for two weeks of waiting but were met with a whirlwind of permanent change. We changed how we shopped and worked. The world adapted to the virtual world and learned to bake things from scratch. 

       

      Throughout the whirlwind of adapting, we all began to ask ourselves all of those scary existential questions we avoided due to the hustle and bustle of our previous lives. Collectively we began to embark on the terrifyingly wonderful journey of self discovery. Our personal meaning was changing and so did what we wore. 

       

       

      Couple walking

      Nevertheless, we adapt.

      Comfort and leisure became the favored Friday night attire as stilettos and shapewear nestled in for a long winter's nap. Joggers, tees, and hoodies became our uniform on our quest to find tranquility in life’s simple pleasures. The pandemic provided us a unique opportunity to wear what we wanted in a judgement free space. Online quarantine fashion themed groups sprung up on social media providing us a platform to connect and to be inspired. We were home. We were comfortable but we yearned for pageantry again. We if what we wore really mattered anymore. 

       

      couple watching a movie

       

      Does what we wear really matter?

      As we safely ease back into the familiar we have solidified, yes, what we wear still matters. Fashion is a reflection of oneself. It is an expression of our individuality.  It is the first impression we give to ourselves and can impact our entire day. In the past, we stressed about how we presented ourselves to others. “Does this outfit make the right impression? Am I trendy?” We have grown beyond wearing what we think the world wants us to wear. We have learned to ask instead, “Does this outfit make me feel good?” 

       

      You matter.

      Your journey to the person you are now was a bumpy and inspiring ride. We at GOEX want to be there for you while you continue that wonderful path. We want to provide you with accessible, quality garments that you can look good in but more importantly feel good about wearing. Your fashion should reflect the strides you have made as an individual and celebrate your commitment to better. Every stitch is the creation of a fair wage job and a piece of plastic out of the ocean. Every silhouette is hope. Every color, a dream. Be true to yourself by living the lessons we learned in this turbulent era. You have the ability to change lives with an act as simple as putting on a t-shirt. Get dressed. Feel good. Do good. 

       

       

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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 Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

      A Proud Member of the Fair Trade Federation

      A Proud Member of the Fair Trade Federation

      We are tremendously proud to be members of the Fair Trade Federation. Our mission is to do better in everything we do. Becoming members of the Fair Trade Federation was a part of that journey. The FTF evaluates businesses against a “360° fair trade” standard – making sure its members’ entire enterprises are committed to being fair and responsible socially, economically and environmentally. We dedicate ourselves to not just following the nine Fair Trade Principles – we live by them.

      The Fair Trade Federation is a membership organization, not a certifying body. Rather than certifying individual products, businesses must go through a rigorous screening process in order to become members. This screening is a holistic evaluation of GOEX’s fair trade practices.

       

      Why are Fair Trade Federation members different from other companies?

      Fair trade means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But if we get down to the nitty gritty, it means “better”. Better standards, treatment of employees, pay, working conditions, environmental practices, and customer relations. It is important to distinguish between fair trade certified products and fully committed fair trade companies. Fully committed fair trade companies have built ethical behavior into their DNA. It is part of every decision and process. Companies that sell certified products sometimes source only a small percent on certified terms.

      The distinction is great. 

       

      What does GOEX’s membership mean? 

      Fair Trade Federation members go through rigorous screening evaluating our business sourcing, practices and mission. The FTF calls it 360° fair trade, meaning we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do. 360° fair trade means long-term, holistic partnerships that empower small businesses, entrepreneurs, and artisans. It means they have the resources and encouragement to strengthen their communities and grow their businesses sustainably.

       

      How do we qualify?

      Our entire business undergoes extensive evaluations to ensure we source all products in compliance with the entirety of FTF’s Code of Practice.  Here are the nine Fair Trade Federation principles:

       

      1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
      2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
      3. Build Capacity
      4. Promote Fair Trade
      5. Pay Promptly and Fairly
      6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
      7. Ensure the Rights of Children
      8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
      9. Respect Cultural Identity

       

      Learn more about the 360° fair trade principles and FTF’s eligibility requirements here.

       

      Thank you for doing your part.

      Thank you for choosing to care for others and our world through the power of your purchase. We are committed to every person who plays a role in producing your t-shirts, committed to the children and families who benefit from 100% of profit, and committed to providing you with complete transparency and a product you’re proud to wear.