Can a T-Shirt Change the World? We Think It Can.
A Note from Allmade Founding Partner, Ryan Moor
When I started in screenprinting, I was just a kid in high school making t-shirts to promote my punk rock band. As a newbie, I took the traditional approach to printing, which meant using thick, sticky plastisol ink on low-end cotton shirts that could be bought for less than $1 at wholesale. Back then, I didn’t really care. After all, the whole reason I got into selling shirts was to make money to support my other interests.
But in time, as Ryonet shifted from a screen printing business to a supplier, I started to think more critically about the bigger picture. I developed relationships with screen printers all over the country who were using more environmentally-friendly water-based inks, printing on higher-quality shirts. Who were rejecting the model of “Cheaper is better,” and saying “Better is better.”
Those screen, with their commitment to the process of how things are made, inspired me to ask “Is there an even better way to make a shirt?”
The answer came just a bit over a year ago at ISS 2016. I had just challenged my team to think about the impact a shirt can have on the world when Zac McCarthy walked up to me with a t-shirt. He somewhat awkwardly held it up and said “We make these shirts in Haiti to help support orphans. Would you be interested in helping us make more?”
Zac worked for GOEX, a subsidiary of the Global Orphan (GO) Project. The GO Project’s mission is orphan care and orphan prevention. The best approach to prevention is living wage jobs that keep families together. GOEX operates a cut and sew facility in Haiti that pays workers a living wage, 5x the typical, and invests 100% of earnings to orphan care and transition programs.
Haiti is a hub for garment manufacturing. Many of the 2 billion t-shirts produced every year are produced in Haiti, under less than desirable conditions, for measly wages that aren’t enough to live on or support a family, using fabrics sourced under terrible conditions from abroad.
Last August, I visited Haiti, bringing my wife and twin boys along. We witnessed firsthand the conditions most people live and work in and what the GO Project was doing to change that pattern. I returned four months later with a group of ten screen printing companies who saw the potential to change an industry and the world with a better choice in t-shirts.
Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Allmade. Allmade offers competitively-priced, high-quality t-shirts produced in a socially-responsible and environmentally-kind way. Our shirts are made from recycled bottles and sustainably-grown natural fibers, and produced by makers at the GOEX facility in Haiti.
Allmade t-shirt are made better. They feel better to sell, buy, and wear. Every Allmade shirt purchased creates dignified living wage jobs; keeps families together; has a lower impact on the environment, and changes the pattern of exploitative manufacturing in the garment industry.
We’d like to invite you to join us in changing the world—one t-shirt at a time—as one of our first customers. This campaign will fund our first production run of 67,000 t-shirts, which will create over 40 jobs at the GOEX facility.
We’re excited about the opportunity to drive real, meaningful change within our industry, and for the world. We hope you are too. Together, we can make it happen.