WHAT'S IN A FAIR TRADE ORGANIC T-SHIRT?
When you check the label or tag on the back of your T-Shirt and read the words “Made in…”
What do you think after that? Particularly if the country is somewhere like India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam or China. Do you think about the person who sewed that shirt? What about the person who harvested the cotton? Or the person who milled it? The person who dyed it? What about the person who sewed it?
Have you thought about the working conditions of the people making your favorite clothing?
Do they make enough to eat, to provide for their families, afford a roof over the head? Not too many companies will tell you all of those things, right down to the name of the woman who sewed the shirt you’ve come to love wearing almost as much as you love being naked, but Kindred Apparel will.
Just like every person has a story, so does every T-shirt. How many companies are able to provide you the story for not only their T-shirts, but their people, too?
Kindred Apparel can.
As the Canadian distributor for JOYYA (previously named Freeset) we stand by our products, and the women who make them. We are one hundred percent transparent about who we hire to manufacture our items, the type of wages they earn, and what their working conditions are like. We’re proud to say with complete honesty that our products are ethical, fair trade and made from certified organic cottons & traceable raw materials. It’s the truth. We can also tell you that every stitched piece of fabric we sell tells a story of freedom.
For hundreds of women trapped in human trafficking, JOYYA has offered a way out by providing women in their community the opportunity to regain control of their lives. When you purchase one of our super soft T-shirts (or any of our products) you are helping over 175+ improve their quality of life and the quality of life for their families and community.
As an accredited “Fair Trade Guaranteed” company by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), JOYYA is proud to be part of the movement of manufactures who care intimately about the people they employ. As JOYYA official & sole Canadian Distributor, Kindred is equally as proud to know the faces & places where our products are made, as well as the high calibre quality of the product we are selling.
What sets Kindred Apparel apart from other companies is that we don’t sell products so that we can have a business, we have a business so that we can employ valuable, but vulnerable people. People need jobs. Jobs that not only provide them with a sense of purpose, but that pay them well enough so they’re not going to bed hungry, have clothes on their back and a roof over their head. A job that encourages them, helps them develop skills, reach their potential and dream.
That delicious, butter-soft T-shirt you love started its journey to you from the rain-fed region of central India at one of the GOTS certified organic, fair trade Chetna farms. GOTS’s works with small local farms and farmers, assisting them in improving their livelihoods and making their farms a sustainable and profitable occupation. These farmers do not use chemicals, hormones, preservatives, pesticides or fertilizers. Even the dying process is one hundred percent certified organic and Earth conscious.
But your T-shirt’s journey isn’t over yet.
Now that cotton needs to be turned into fabric. A pioneer in high quality organic fabric, the Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills in Kolkata convert that ethically-traded cotton, picked by the hands of over 6,000 farmers into fabric that feels like a second skin. And since Rajlakshmi understands how valuable the cotton farmers are to the partnership, they have gifted ten percent of the Rajlakshmi shares to the Chetna cotton farmers. Now, the farmers receive a share of the cotton mill profits, in addition to what they make from the selling of their raw cotton.
You’re going to sleep like a baby in that T-shirt now, aren’t you?
Not only does Rajlakshmi takes great care in how they treat their partners, but they are also heavily invested in making sure the way they process and treat the cotton is minimally impactful on the environment. They reuse over fifty percent of their waste water, collaborating with dye houses and installing reverse osmosis machines. The sludge is then converted into fertilizer and the fabric scraps are taken from the cutting tables and recycled to produce paper. Nothing is wasted.
After the Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills, the fabric is then used to make that T-shirt you love so much by one of JOYYA’s many respected people. By helping us create quality, ethical clothing, the staff are learning a skilled trade, receive a ten percent annual bonus regardless of profitability, two weeks of festival leave, opportunity for advancement, childcare, healthcare, savings plans.
Every six months management staff collaborate with a local NGO to calculate a living wage, and make sure that even the lowest paid workers are paid above this rate. Wages are then verified by a third-party audit to ensure compliance and fair trade standards.
Once that T-shirt has been sewn and packaged up, this is where we come in. Kindred works with you, our Canadian clients to design, organize & create your orders for JOYYA T-shirts. We handle all the fussy details, and make sure your order lands on your door step ready to go, from coast to coast to coast.
We are the only distributor working with JOYYA in Canada, and we’ve been at it for 12 years. We are beyond proud to say that the people of JOYYA are not only our partners and colleagues, but our close friends and extended family on the journey to impacting change in the communities we serve.
So, by the time that T-shirt reaches your doorstep, you open the package and pull it on, it has helped improve the life and livelihood thousands of people.
It was harvested ethically, traded fairly, dyed with consideration for environmental impact and it was sewn by a warrior.
No wonder it feels so good to wear.