Whenever we come across a company that plasters its charitable donations all over its signage, we find ourselves happy to support them, don’t we? I mean, who wouldn’t want to support a “compassionate” corporation who is giving tons of money to people in need?
So why am I so skeptical when I see a clothing company that professes to give thousands of dollars to charity all over their packaging and signage? Perhaps it’s because I know these companies don’t sew their garments in responsibly and my guess is these are marketing campaigns disguised as charitable donations to hide their poor business practices.
The garment business is known for abusing the factory workers who sew their clothing in other countries. The Bangladesh factory collapse in 2013 shed light on how many garment lines turned their backs on the people who made their clothes. They let the government regulate the hours, pay and working conditions instead of taking direct responsibility for their shops and the people in them leading to a horrible disaster.
My guess is that by stating they “give back” to a charity on their tags, they are green washing their actions.
Sadly, it’s not just people being mistreated. With no government regulation on how factories are run, the fabric used to make some of this clothing isn’t produced responsibly. Waste can get dumped into the oceans and streams after the fabric is made leaving the very people working in these mills with no clean drinking water and a horribly polluted environment. In addition, some of these garment lines claim to use “organic” and “sustainable” fabrics but if they are produced with no regulations, it’s close to impossible to know for sure what they use.
MAJAMAS EARTH donates as much and as often as possible to amazing charitable organizations that help clean our oceans, protect our environment, help women in under-developed countries start a business and more. Organizations like the National Wildlife Federation, Ocean Conservancy and Whole Planet Foundation.
Most importantly, we manufacture everything in the United States. This costs a garment line like us a lot more upfront but we are more than happy to pay our contractors fair and decent wages, ensuring the factories they sew in are clean and safe. We believe this makes us truly transparent and unlike those sewing elsewhere, we feel this is the right thing to do and a responsible way to operate a clothing company.
So buyers beware! Check the small print before purchasing that t-shirt that gives so much to charity. If the company doesn’t take responsibility for their production from the very beginning to the very end, perhaps that donation is just a marketing ploy to hide the damage done to those people sweating and starving to make their clothes.
Time to Care What You Wear!
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer