Whether its for pride or protest, the t-shirt has become the flag of today’s movements. A print for cause and the t-shirt unifies the individuals marching, standing, waving, walking, and creating a case for change. It literally embodies belief and empowers the wearer to go farther, be louder, and to not give up. But behind the print for the cause is the canvas it is printed on, which is far too often the silent antithesis of the progress it wears so proudly on it. How can the fabrics we choose to print and wear our cause on either rebuild, improve, and last, or tear down, destroy and die? How can we make sure our missions align with the hands, resources, and end product of these substrates for chase? And how can we make an impact, not just an impression, and change the world whilst furthering our cause, one shirt at a time?
Something you may not have known about a shirt
Fashion, of which shirts are a huge part of, is the 2nd most wasteful industry on the environment. Why?
Most shirts contain 1/3rd their weight in chemicals that are used to grow and process them. We use 103 million drums of oil a year to make Polyester, for clothing!
The average cotton shirt takes over 700 gallons of water to create.
A garment travels on average 16,000 miles before you wear it and we throw away or donate (IE throw away), 100,000,000 tons of clothing each year. Oh ya and those donations… 80% of them get thrown away.
Meanwhile, though it is one of the worlds largest cash crops due to price pressure and market saturation, cotton farmers internationally resort to the use of harmful chemicals which are many times manually applied in order to make the output needed to survive. In places like India, over 12,000 cotton farmers commit suicide annually due to such a competitive and depressed environment.
Also, it is one of the worlds largest employers, yet the countries of which most work is done in are some of the lowest earning and most economically depressed areas of the world. This leads to massive social issues like the economic orphan epidemic (ya, they have parents people, the parents just can’t afford to care for them).
Silently we are wearing our planet to death and stripping the life and dignity from those who make them for us.
Ironically, some of the causes many of these shirts are printed for are raising money to combat the very issues that these shirts create. What, just because we spin it in to fiber, dye it, wash it, sew it, and print it, it hides everything that is wrong with it? You wouldn’t see a animal activist wearing leather boots and a fur coat at a animal rights parade would you? Of course not! Then why is it common practice basically wear the same anti cause in a t-shirt?
Help Make It Better
Before you get angry, depressed or be too hard on yourself let me first say, for most people, it's not your fault. This information, though if you google it is widely available, is hidden. Just like the effects of smoking and the gas industry were not widely known for a long, long time. Also, it's hard to do anything different. It took forever for electric cars to gain traction simply because no one made them. The powers at be directed industry tides and make it hard to do anything different. But now that you know, what do you do now? Do you do choose what’s easy, convenient, and probably lower cost, or do you decide to change the world simply by changing the shirt.
We, at Allmade are aligned with these world changing visions and missions, and we have created a better shirt to tell your story on. Instead of oil, we used recycled water bottles, keeping plastic out of landfills and our oceans. Instead of chemical cotton, we use naturally grown and sustainable organic cotton and Tencel Modal, which uses no chemicals and take a fraction of the environmental resources to grow. This fabric is environmentally and ethically constructed, dyed, and finished in the US, making up over 70% of the cost of our shirt and supporting our own economy. Instead of paying workers the least in the lowest cost countries, we went to the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti, and BROKE the status quo. We are paying workers 3-5 times local industry wages resulting in a mind shift from brokenness and poverty to abundance and life. For those children who are the outcome of the current situation, abandoned and orphaned by economics, we train, not just in a living wage job skill, but in life, confidence, and love so that can build a world for their children to grow up with them unlike the world they were born into today. Allmade is a product you will not only be proud to wear because of what it does, you will love to wear it too because of how great it feels and how long it lasts! A better shirt for a better cause all around.
Yes, doing it this way does cost a little more, but when I mean a little more I mean a LITTLE more. The end cost to do it right is going to be less than the coffee or lunch you just had while reading this. Doing better costs a little more but the impact you make is priceless and I would go as far to ask, could you afford not to?
So be a part of the change, share this with the organizers and world changers leading the movements you are supporting. It's a choice and I would say a responsibility. Share it, wear it, and let #makeitbetter together!