The Fair Shirt Project was created as a passion project following a suggestion from the manager at my local Ten Thousand Villages. I drew on my own experience in womenswear--and relied heavily on the skills of the talented stitchers at Work+Shelter!--to develop a classic button-up I thought might build awareness of fair trade among men. Three years in, we've found that our shirts appeal to customers of all genders.
FAIR LABOR PRACTICES
Traditionally the people who cut and sew your clothes are at the bottom of the power structure, and as such are easy targets for economic and social abuses. (If you haven't watched "The True Cost" yet, what are you waiting for?)
Our highest priority is fair labor. Many of our shirts are produced at Work+Shelter, an eco-conscious production center in India that follows fair-trade labor practices. Some are made at Creative Handicrafts, a social-enterprise factory certified by the World Fair Trade Organization.
Manufacturers like these are helping change the landscape of the garment industry by offering paid training, fair and consistent wages, and decent work facilities. Beyond pay and conditions, employees receive support for health care and education and have the opportunity to earn raises and promotions.
Chai break at Work+Shelter.
SUSTAINABLE FABRICS & TRIMS
Fair labor extends to textile production, too. We seek out fabric providers that are similarly working for good. Some of our styles are made from handloomed fabrics from organizations like Eco Tasar, Karghewale, and the Khamir Kala Cotton initiative. Handloomed fabrics use little to no electricity to make, and their use supports small producers and keeps traditional loom arts alive and well. Handlooms are like the ultimate low-fi.
On the hi-fi end is our denim and twill. It’s sourced from an OEKOTEX-certified supplier that tracks its wastewater, energy, and chemicals management.
Full disclosure: some of our shirts are still produced in conventional fabrics with no eco-qualifiers. It's challenging to source eco-goods in small quantities, but we're working on getting better.
The kala cotton weaving process, as illustrated on Khamir's web site.
For protection, your shirt will be mailed in a moisture-resistant, 100% recycled plastic bag (made of #4 recycled polyethylene). This bag can be recycled via grocery store drop-off bins (with plastic grocery bags). This and all our packaging comes from EcoEnclose, and you can check their site for more details.
Our shipping envelopes are made of 100% recycled, 97% post consumer waste paperboard. It is recyclable via any paper recycling program and is naturally biodegradable.
Our shipping labels are made of 100% post-consumer waste and uses a recycle-compatible adhesive.
SHIPPING AND RETURNS
All U.S. orders ship for $5, via USPS First-Class Mail. Orders over $125 ship for free. You can also request express shipping.
Return unworn merchandise with tags still attached within 30 days of purchase for full refund. Buyer pays return postage. Contact us for shipping address.
You've worn it, and you're not happy? Get in touch and we'll make it right.
GET IN TOUCH
Have a question or comment? Let us know.
Wholesale inquires welcome!