Fair Trade is an alternative to conventional commerce based on the principles of cooperation, fair pricing, sustainability and transparency.
Cooperation means that Justshirts actively collaborates with the producer cooperative that sews the clothes that we later sell. We provide the money that is used to buy the materials and machinery. Justshirts also shares the risks and rewards of production through a sharing of any profits that are generated.
Fair Pricing means that Justshirts is committed to ensuring that producer cooperative members are receiving a price for their work that allows them to sustain their families, their cooperative and their community. At present, a traditional maquiladora operating in El Salvador receives $.35 per shirt sewn with this money going to pay workers, factory overhead and ultimately profit for the owner. The result is that maquila workers receive less than $.10 per shirt for their labor. In contrast, the collective of women that work with Justshirts receive $.40 per shirt for each shirt that they sew and we pay for the materials, machinery and factory overhead.
Sustainability involves balancing economic, social and environmental considerations on a constant basis. Justshirts believes that only way to be economically sustainable is to produce a quality product at a price that is fair to both the producer and consumer. Socially, we think that it is important for Justshirts and our producer cooperatives to be actively involved in the communities in which we live, work and play. We do this by using our financial and human resources to support our communities and our members. Finally Justshirts believes that environmental sustainability is important. For us environmental sustainability involves buying locally-made fabric to cut down on transportation costs and on ensuring that the act of sewing the clothing itself doesn't have negative environmental consequences.
Transparency refers to our willingness to share information about where and how we produce the clothes that we sell. It is the recognition that we have a moral obligation to be forthright and honest about the business decisions that we make.