We’re a Haitian family, living in Miami Florida. My name is Gavin and together with my wife Erline, we own PROUD TSHIRTS COMPANY. We got in the business of screen printing two years ago. It’s been an awesome ride so far. Besides personal interests, one of the reasons we got into this business is after watching countless of Ryonet’s and Ryan Moor’s YouTube videos. So, from early on we were a fan of Ryonet’s values and ways of doing business.
When we (my wife and I) first heard about Ryonet’s involvement in Haiti, we thought it was cool but honestly, we were skeptical. Without getting into too much politics, skepticism is a natural reaction the average Haitian person will have when hearing of foreign involvement in the country of Haiti. Our history has been plagued by outside interests and forces that have exploited and abused the way of life in Haiti.
Since we’ve launched our business, we’ve come to learn that the garment decorating space in the US is a super cool industry to be part of and there’s a lot of upsides. With the right people, strategy, and education, it can be a great business. Since we’ve been in, we’ve worked for and connected with many cool people and brands. Two years ago I never thought screen printing would offer us this many experiences, but we’ve also come to learn that there is a dark side to the industry that most people don’t talk about. This dark side is mainly in the garment creation and manufacturing sector.
The Downsides to Garment Creation
So let’s take a moment to chat about this dark side. We now understand that garment creation is extremely harmful to the environment. Creating garments takes a lot of the earth’s precious resources - the whole manufacturing process takes a lot of energy and water.
The overall creation and distribution of garments is also a major issue because a lot of the final product goes to landfills and/or developing countries in the form of “aid.” To me, the most destructive part of garment creation is the negative social and human aspect.
In developing countries all over the world, textile and garment manufacturing jobs are common. This should be a good thing. In my opinion, it should mean being able to be self-sufficient and being able to live a decent life and take care of your family. The reality is far from that. In the case of Haiti, the average textile industry worker makes less than $6 USD per day. That salary is not able to maintain one person sufficiently, let alone take care of a whole family.
Now fast forward to Allmade. We’ve visited their manufacturing facility in Haiti a few times. We chatted with fellow Haitians that work at LIFE. We’ve spent some time with the people behind Allmade.
Their manufacturing facility in Haiti is world class and offers a dignified workplace for all that work there. The average worker can make 3 times more in salary than other workers that work in other textile factories in Haiti. More importantly, the workers can live a decent life because of the opportunities offered.
So, what does Allmade means to me as a Haitian?
Allmade is a beacon of light that is lightly lit right now. I hope that it catches a huge fire and clears the path for other foreign companies (and people) to follow. Allmade is proving you don’t need to settle for mediocrity or follow others that are exploding and taking shortcuts. Allmade showing “aid” is not giving people “things” and false hope but instead is giving them a real opportunity where work and dignity goes together. Allmade is changing lives.
As a Haitian and looking out for the interests of my countrymen, I recommend and support Allmade. I challenge the people of Allmade to stay to true to their values even if things become a bit difficult down the road.