You’re a marketer at an organization that actually lives according to the corporate values etched on the conference room glass. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur who has worked hard to build your company into a brand that is closely aligned with the environmental and social values you hold close to your heart. In both cases, every day you experience businesses that are profitable while still making the world a better place.
The trend toward socially conscious and sustainable businesses isn’t just being driven by those within the company walls; it’s also in response to what consumers are demanding. And those consumers are extremely demanding. They’re watching carefully to make sure the brands who are saying all the right things are also doing all the right things. If they put their trust in a business to, say, not lay waste to the rainforest, they take it personally when that brand betrays them by chopping down trees for brochures, or cardboard cup holders.
If you’re a values-forward business or organization, you’re being watched. And it could get embarrassing.
Consider the humble t-shirt. Now consider the potential for #tshirtgate.
Toxicity of the T-Shirt
Shirts for values-driven brands like yours are regularly printed on fabrics that take hundreds of gallons of water and toxic chemicals to produce. Even just a plain cotton t-shirt requires multiple pounds of pesticides to produce if it’s not sourced from organic crops. And what about the people who make those shirts? Often they’re employed in factories where toxic chemicals permeate every production stage, and they’re paid wages that do nothing more than contribute to a cycle of poverty.
If you’ve taken the steps to build a company aligned with environmental and social values you need to walk the talk in all aspects of your business. Why tarnish it with a throw-away t-shirt made by a brand that uses poorly paid workers and harmful materials?
Want more info on the impact of t-shirts? Check out the TED-Ed video below.
Quality That Matches Values
Allmade has taken a stand with its t-shirts to truly change an industry. In addition to shirts made with materials free of harmful chemicals like organic cotton, its Repreve polyester is made using recycled plastic bottles — about six bottles a shirt.
We can all agree that less plastic bottles floating in the ocean is a great thing, but Allmade takes their passion for fabric one step further: feel. In addition to 50 percent Repreve polyester, Allmade’s blend uses 25 percent organic cotton, and 25 percent of TENCEL Modal, which is a high integrity cellulose fiber. Allmade shirts are soft to the touch and they hold up in the washing machine, which means that people will actually want to wear your promotional shirt again, instead of adding that shirt to the growing garbage heap of low-quality clothing.
Working with the Global Orphan Project in Haiti, Allmade’s shirt production in Haiti provides well-paying jobs for families in poverty. Offering three to four times the average Haitian salary, Allmade t-shirt production also provides transitional job training with an overarching mission to help keep families together.
Stop compromising your corporate values with a crappy t-shirt. Hold your promotional budget to the same values you hold yourself to. Allmade shirts feel good both on the skin and they hold up to the values stress test. When you start with Allmade t-shirts, there will be no #tshirtgate on your watch.