Sunday, November 17, 2013

T-Shirt Sourcing in America

"You? Me? Who?".
"No, it's You and Who".


Best thing about my university is that there is always something going on. There is always an event or an activity taking place varying from guest speaker series, visitations from awareness clubs, and company advertisement socials. Now a lot of those events provide swag, so what does any normal tuition paying student do? He or she plays along and approaches the table that provides an opportunity to obtain said "free-bees".
(Side note: Are they really free-bees when I'm paying thousands in loans to the institution housing the events? I am obligated to those free things.)
But anyway the point I was getting to is that I was lured to this table that promised a free t-shirt if you helped advertise for them. Now I wasn't about to advertise for a company without knowing what they were advocating so I stuck around and did some digging. And...I LOVED IT. 

Here is this company advocating ethical fashion something BASI has been striving to do in order to prevent the cruel and coerced labor of those overseas. RIGHT. HERE. IN. BUFFALO. And in other cities such as these:

I found out this company builds upon the very foundation that Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Giver of TOMS Shoes uses: business by charity!

So here I am telling you of You and Who, a company with a One for One initiative. They provide a shirt -or meal, if you so choose -for every shirt that you buy. Sound familiar?  Now what is it about this company that is so different from TOMS

For each pair of shoes TOMS sells it gives one to a person in need. The same goes for selling a pair of glasses with an exception that they give someone else the gift of sight through surgery or a pair of glasses. TOMS has its shoes made in China, Ethiopia, & Argentina while enforcing appropriate business practices and ensuring that corporate responsibility standards are upheld. Their Giving Report states,

"On an annual basis, we require our direct suppliers to certify that the materials incorporated into our products are procured in accordance with all applicable laws in the countries they do business in, including laws regarding slavery and human trafficking."

And while trying to abstain from sick production practices consistent with forced or bonded labor, such as physical abuse, isolation, malnourishment, etc. TOMS has been trying to integrate environmentally friendly policies. Awesome, right?

Now, You and Who on the other hand uses artists from local communities to create t-shirts made out of sustainable materials, providing the artists with jobs and encouraging the arts. For every t-shirt bought a matching one or meal is given to organizations such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, organizations that help at risk or runaway youth. The company started up in 2010, but after the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh this year You and Who decided it was time to remove their clothing from being produced globally to being produced only within America. Therefore, providing American residents with jobs too. The transition is still taking place and they need your help. So if you are a person who is also into helping your country as well as others I encourage you to check them out by clicking the link or watch the video below:

"Let's show the world you give a shirt".
-You and Who

But let's give a hand to both TOMS & You and Who for their accomplishments and hope that they can continue to expand. Thus, providing other ways to provide for people whether American, or non-American.

Your co-editor, 

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