Author - Marisa Love

Fair Trade Federation Principle #4


Promote Fair Trade.

Part of our mission is to make sure you understand the role you play in world trade and the possibility of greater justice within that global economic system. This is also the heart of the Fair Trade Federation‘s fourth principle: Promote Fair Trade.


Your purchase speaks. It tells businesses what they can and cannot do. It can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, distribution of power, and the environment.


Your purchase speaks, but what do you want it to say?






5 questions we want you asking before making your next purchase:



Who made this?

Fashion Revolution coined this phrase and started a conversation around it, begging people to think about the invisible makers. It’s a topic near to our mission. As simple as the question is, the answer goes deep. If a brand knows, and is willing to tell you, who made their clothes, it means there is a real relationship with their producers. We love the quote by The Good Trade, “There should be no hidden faces within the fashion industry.”



Is that a fair price?

We have come to expect cheaper and cheaper clothes. Those prices feel good, but are they fair? Unfortunately, that low price tag probably correlates with warp speed production. Your $10 dollar tee is a layer of stories — from growing the cotton, to turning it into fabric, to sewing it into a shirt, to printing the design, to a store selling it to you. All of these people are trying to make a profitable living, but it’s usually those at the bottom who are left with the least. “By asking whether a price is fair, we can begin to recognize a garment’s true value” — The Good Trade



What is the garment made of?

This is where things get murky. We don’t expect you do be a fabric connoisseur, but we hope we do our part in educating you. You first have to think about the fabric itself, and then you must consider the production process. Even with an plant base option like cotton, there can be shady practices going on behind the curtain. Choosing a natural or recycled fiber is a good first step, and then looking for Fair Trade or Organic certifications ensures you won’t be messing with those murky, big businesses practices. 



Is this brand open and honest?

Ask. Ask. Ask questions. Take a minute and think about your three favorite brands. What do you know about them? Where are their clothes made? What were the conditions of the workers? How much did those employees make? Are they willing to tell you about the money? Whats the breakdown cost of each shirt? These questions matter and the power is in the consumers hands to keep brands accountable. 



What is the true value of my purchase?

You benefit each time you make a purchase, that’s a given but some companies offer more. It’s a question you need to ask yourself now, “Am I willing to spend a little bit more?”. From social justice to environmental activism, there are a wide variety of causes your purchase can support. With GOEX, you are championing the family. You are giving parents the chance to support their families through the dignity of work and a living wage paycheck. Value goes beyond what it adds to your wardrobe when it positively impacts every hand involved. 







Get to shopping!


With all that preparation, you are ready to shop! It can be overwhelming at first, so we made you a little cheat sheet. Here is where you can find fair trade:


  • Stores and cafes in your local community: here
  • Purchase from Fair Trade Federation members online: here
  • Find FTF wholesale suppliers: here
  • Share or learn about fair trade: here

Fair Trade Federation Principle #3

It’s exciting to hear all the fair trade buzz! However, this buzzword often misses the mark. When rubber hits the road, do all of these “fair trade” companies stand the test? As a Fair Trade Federation member, GOEX is dedicated to following the nine FTF principles established to maintain integrity. The third principle protects the independence of farmers, artisans, producers, and their communities.






Building Capacity


This is what it looks like for businesses to actually care for one another.


Protecting a producer’s independence means we have a call to invest our time and resources to help them grow. Success at this third principle might even mean growing apart from us as their capacity increases. It means creating sustainable supply chains. It means sharing marketplace insight. It means spreading best practices and encouraging skill improvement.


When healthy, respectful, and long term relationships like these are built between a business and their producers, space is created for growth.







Our Producer’s Journey: Life S.A.


Life S.A. is a sewing facility new Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where our products are made by skilled Haitian apparel makers. While GOEX is a shareholder in Life S.A., and the largest investor, our goal has never been to own a factory. We have worked over the past three years to train and empower local management to run day-to-day operations, while GOEX functions as a manufacturer’s rep — bringing new customers to the factory.


Our primary, quantifiable goal is to generate at least 1,000+ jobs in living wage conditions at Life S.A. and in Kansas City over the next five years.  


Achieving this goal requires a portfolio of customers both for manufacturing in Haiti and for custom garments in Kansas City. While the two businesses function as partners, we want them to be independently sustainable and supported by customers that meet the unique capabilities of each. This goal requires continued empowerment of local management and creative ways to attract new customers. It also requires excellent coordination and communication between teams in the U.S. and in Haiti, ensuring we all understand capacity, strengths and forecasts.


If we’re successful in our goals of generating demand for our products and services, and therefore creating 1,000+ jobs, our profits will fund the care for thousands of vulnerable children in the U.S. and in Haiti. Ultimately, we seek to break the cycle of poverty by providing jobs and supporting the care and education of local children in the communities where we make.




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GOEX Accepted Into Fair Trade Federation

We are excited to share GOEX is now a verified member of the Fair Trade Federation. With fewer than 200 members worldwide, the Fair Trade Federation’s (FTF) acceptance of GOEX reflects our deep commitment to the highest standards of fair trade and the pursuit of a more just and sustainable world.



What does GOEX’s membership mean?

Behind every product you purchase from any business, there are faces, names, and futures. For GOEX and other Fair Trade Federation members, the heart of our business, our primary goal, is to improve the lives and communities of the people who create our products.


Fair Trade Federation members go through rigorous screening evaluating our business sourcing, practices and mission. The FTF calls it 360° fair trade, meaning we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do — socially, economically, and environmentally. 360° fair trade means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower small businesses, entrepreneurs, and artisans to strengthen their communities and grow their businesses sustainably.


How do we qualify?

Our entire business undergoes extensive evaluations to ensure we source all products in compliance with the entirety of FTF’s Code of Practice.  Here are the nine Fair Trade Federation principles:


  1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
  2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
  3. Build Capacity
  4. Promote Fair Trade
  5. Pay Promptly and Fairly
  6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
  7. Ensure the Rights of Children
  8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
  9. Respect Cultural Identity


Learn more about the 360° fair trade principles and FTF’s eligibility requirements.


Why are Fair Trade Federation members different from other companies that sell fair trade?

“Fair trade” now means many things. It is important to distinguish between fair trade certified products and fully committed fair trade companies. Fully committed fair trade companies have built ethical behavior into their DNA. It is part of every decision and process. Companies that sell certified products sometimes source only a small percent on certified terms.


The Fair Trade Federation is a membership organization, not a certifying body. Rather than certifying individual products, businesses must go through a rigorous screening process in order to become members. This screening is a holistic evaluation of GOEX’s fair trade practices.


Thank you for doing your part.

We would not be sharing this news without you! Thank you for choosing to care for others and our world through the power of your purchase.


We are committed to every person who plays a role in producing your t-shirts, committed to the children and families who benefit from 100% of profit, and committed to providing you with complete transparency and a product you’re proud to wear.


Keep an eye on our blog to learn more about of Fair Trade Federation membership and 360° fair trade.


Shop GOEX.


Apparel That Stands for More

We live in a world that idolizes “cheap” and “fast” in clothing. But hidden behind those low price tags, you’ll find a human supply chain.  


Every piece of clothing you own has been touched by the hands of apparel workers. In the age of cheap and fast, often times you’ll find those employees labor in less than ideal conditions, with low pay in order to keep up with supply. 




We’re seeing more and more people take a stand to demand more from companies.  


GOEX is committed to bring dignity to those in the apparel industry. From the threads of our fabric, to the quality of the provision for our staff in Haiti, to the experience each of our customers has with us, we are committed to providing more — a sustainable future for all involved.  



All GOEX apparel is made in our Better Works Certified production facility. Our mission is to provide a secure future to families through the dignity of work. All workers are paid a living wage, allowing them to support their family and educate their children. And 100% of profit is reinvesting to help care for kids around the world.  


We cannot thank you enough for choosing to positively impact the lives of workers and care for kids by choosing GOEX.