Certification is a tricky issue for us because there are numerous certification and monitoring organizations, each "certifying" and "monitoring" something different and each with different concerns and interests. Some organizations are primarily concerned with the environment, others with the working conditions of agriculture workers who farm the cotton and finally those that focus on the workers who make the clothing.
At Justshirts, our primary concern is to ensure that our women partners earn a wage that exceeds the national minimum wage and that we comply with national labor legislation. We also compare our workplace practices to those advocated by international monitoring organizations in order to ensure that we meet and, if possible, exceed these standards.
Our focus on people doesn't mean that we are uninterested in the environment and the plight of agricultural workers. Indeed we believe that our decision to use leftover fabric from local mills is both socially and environmentally responsible in that it provides jobs for local communities and cuts down on the cost of transporting fabric from China or India. While these decisions prevent us from using the "organic" or "fair trade" label on the actual cotton, we believe that this decision actually is more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.