When we first considered offering branded merchandise as a vehicle to fund the humanitarian endeavors we support – we were only looking to find a reliable platform to host our shop. We chose Threadless to host our designs.
Over time we have continued to look at a variety of other platforms as well (hoping to save international customers a bit of money on shipping), and it looks as if Merch by Amazon might be the best option for us in that regard. We’d like to get things going there – but having issues getting the first of our designs uploaded.
Try as we might Amazon’s system keeps kicking it back.
We’re also trying to find a vendor that can provide high quality “cut & sew sublimation” (via print-on-demand) for the specialty designs we have ready, and plan to use for promotions and contests we have coming down the way. Print-on-demand services helps us avoid high production costs of having to purchase in large quantities and then warehousing merchandise.
As things have slowly been added to the website and our content & message improved and refined, we have kept those following us on social media, and participants in our focus & discussion groups (on Facebook) up to date on the overall progress of our enterprise.
One of the concerns we want addressed with our merchandise is how ethically sourced it is. Especially since proceeds are being used to fund humanitarian projects and create change thru social impact – it is vital that we make an extra effort to ensure fair trade practices, from the gathering of raw materials – right through the manufacturing process (not using sweatshop or child labor).
We reached out to the folks at Threadless to ask about
their protocols for ethically sourcing materials and product – they provided
an extensive response. We’re happy with what they had to say:
Currently, we are using the same tees that we use for the regular site, Threadless.com. The 100% cotton tees for Men and Kids (regular crew necks, V-necks) are made by Anvil, Bella Canvas, or AS Colour, the Womens cotton tees and all Tri-blends are made by Next Level, Baby and Toddler tees are made by LAT Apparel and our Fleece (hoodies and sweatshirts) are made by Delta or Bella Canvas. Our yarns mostly use US cotton and are generally spun in our yarn spinning plants in the USA.
Those yarns are sent to our textile facilities in Honduras and the Dominican Republic to be knit, dyed, finished and cut into fabric parts for sewing. The cut parts from Dominican Republic are either sewn in Dominican Republic or Haitian sewing facilities.
Tees and other items made overseas are manufactured in updated facilities adhering to the International Labor Organization’s Conventions (ILO) and Recommendations, which promotes rights at work, encourages decent employment opportunities and enhances social protections. Our manufacturing partners make every effort to ensure compliance with rigorous social and environmental standards. You can read more about how some of our overseas items strive to meet those standards here.
All Printing is done in the USA.
We’ve been looking at adding more options and allowing you to select specific brands but that would be with future updates. We’ll be sure to let you know when those options are available!