Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships
Wouldn’t it be nice to know where the fabric of your shirt came from? Wait… what’s even in this fabric? Who made it? How much were they paid? Were they treated fairly?
What story does my shirt tell?
The second principle Fair Trade Federation members must exemplify is radical transparency.
Transparency creates accountability from customers to make sure companies maintain open, fair, consistent, and respectful partnerships. The entire trading chain must be shared through proactive communication to ensure that producers and customers feel actively involved in the process. Maybe most importantly, when we make mistakes, we must work humbly and cooperatively with partners to implement solutions.
Here’s how GOEX opens the door (literally) to reveal all the things you’ve wanted to know or never even thought to ask:
USA Fabric —
We pay more for USA fabric because we can verify the origin of our goods from the cotton fields to finishing. We can visit any of the manufacturers involved in producing our raw materials.
Open Door Policy —
We have an open door policy both in our sewing facility in Haiti and in our print shop in Kansas City. When you visit either facility, you’re encouraged to talk with employees and get a better understanding of how we support the people who make your clothes.
Working Cooperatively —
Making a difference in entrenched systems is hard. The Fair Trade space is full of trial and error and we’re not the exception. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned many lessons. And we’re always willing to share those lessons with other Fair Trade companies. From pay scales in Haiti to sales strategies in the US, we see the value in dialogue with companies working alongside us to make a difference for marginalized workers.
Employee Empowerment —
We want employees at every level of our organization to feel respected, engaged and part of the team. We send all employees in Kansas City to Haiti so they can understand our manufacturing and the impact it has on workers there. In Haiti, we work closely with the employees, union representatives and line supervisors to ensure any issues are addressed and resolved quickly and with respect.
Pricing Model —
We are completely transparent with our pricing model. After costs to produce premium apparel and provide living wage jobs, all GOEX profit — every bit of it — goes to fund projects set in motion by The Global Orphan Project.
So, we invite you to come visit us — in Kansas City or in Haiti. See first-hand where your fabric came from, who made it, or how was printed. And keep putting the pressure on businesses to remain fair, honest, and transparent.