Start with cotton grown on organic and bio-dynamic farms that use crop rotation, hand farming, and botanical pest control. Next is low-impact processing and azo-free, Oeko-tek certified dyes and silicon-free softeners. Carbon offsets are purchased from Native Energy, Inc. to offset the environmental impact of ocean shipping. It doesn’t get much more earth-friendly than this!
But there’s more. The facility in Kolkata, India that produces the tees employs over 700 workers and participates in collaboration with Belgian non-profit Solidaridad which works to promote human rights in apparel production. The organic cotton farmer cooperative is a 10% shareholder in the facility. Workers' wages are 20-50% above the legal minimum depending on skill level. Annual raises are applied to adjust for cost-of-living and accommodate trade union negotiations. Wages include a 10% bonus and a 5% housing allowance.
Other benefits include meal coupons that subsidize 65% of meals, reimbursement for school fees for all children of workers, fourteen annual paid holidays, overtime paid at double the normal wage, medical insurance, a retirement pension fund, and interest-free loans of up to six months wages.
These are literally some of the cleanest, greenest t-shirts on earth. And over 700 well-paid, well-cared-for workers are living proof that fair trade can and does work. This facility is one of the very few on the planet that Fair Trade USA has deemed Fair Trade Certified®.