January 1, 2009: A New Distribution Parter! Sales growth over the last several years has stretched Justshirts quite thin. To help us to better service our current and future customers, we have signed an agreement with Axis Gear of Toronto, Ontario to handle distribution and inventory management activities. Norm Chew and the rest of the team at Axis Gear will help us to ensure that your orders are shipped on time and that you receive the customer service that you deserve. After all, buying fair trade and sweatshop free clothing doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice on garment quality and/or customer service!
December 1, 2008: Coop Changes! The last 3 months have been busy at Justshirts. Fraser Thomson, our inventory management expert, decided to scale back his activities with Justshirts so that he can go back to school and do a law degree. Likewise Sharon Mok, our all-purpose handy person, has left us to go to piano tuning school. Sharon will be missed!
Sept 1, 2008: Moving Forward! Over the last year, we have gradually been delegating more and more of the production responsibilities to the Madres. At the end of August, two of the Madres (Rossana and Flor) agreed to act as production, purchasing and quality facilitators. This is a huge step forward as the only tasks not under the direct control of the Madres are the accounting and legal functions.
In the above picture, Maria Gladis jokes with Flor about her growing belly!
August 14, 2008: One of our cooperative members, Sharon Mok, spent a week in El Salvador working with the women. Sharon stayed with the Madres in Cuidad Futura for a large portion of the time, getting to know their community and their children. These bridge-building exercises are crucial in solidifying the linkages between producers and consumers.
June 19, 2008:Today our dear friend Traci succumbed to the ALS that had been the constant challenge in her life these last two years. Traci was one of the first and biggest supporters of the Madres and Justshirts. As CUSO's Western Canada Coordinator, Traci worked tirelessly to nurture initiatives such as ours. We will always remember her proudly wearing one of our first long sleeve olive shirts to public events in Calgary. She will be missed by so many people. And remembered forever.
May 2008: Victoria and Terrance from York University, Canada came to visit, learn from and work with the Madres. Along with Fraser from Justshirts, they worked to reorganize the inventory of material and to create a space for a poster board. They also had the privilege of working alongside the Madres as they pulled an "all nighter" finishing up the last bunch of shirts for the boat container for the Canadian Federation of Students.
May 2008: Encounter Earth has its grand opening in Canmore Alberta. Paul and his partners have worked hard to create a highly visible and vibrant clothing store specializing in fair trade apparel. When passing through Canmore, look for them on the main street.
August 2007: The Madres move to a new commercial space in San Salvador. Check out the video!
Making Fair Trade "Work"