10 Highlights of 2013: Ethix Ventures, The Labor Movement, and Our Tribe

Ethix Staff - 057 EDITED - BW (600x480)Reflecting on the Past Year

We work hard year-round to provide orders to factories and manufacturers that operate more ethically in producing USA and Union Made goods. Year-end always brings a little sentimental, but it also is a time to reflect on what the year has brought as well as the opportunities ahead in the future. We’d like to take a quick break at this special time of year to share with our readers some great moments we’re thankful for in 2013.

What is Ethix Ventures Thankful For?

It has been a fast-paced year- one which has revealed insight, delivered growth (within our company and the movement), and provided recognition for the work we do in serving our customers.

We appreciated the time to be able to gather our offices together and have our staff meet together (outside of the office buzz) and strategize for the future. We enjoyed each other’s company so much we memorialized our time together with a group photo session! Hope you like our team photo here showing how happy we were together, and how many of us favor V-neck shirts by Akwa (now that we look at this picture!). Below are 10 more of the most meaningful “events”, reports, and newsworthy moments of 2013.

Please see our high-level overview of the past year complete with summary snippets and links to read more:

February 2013

February 2013

May 2013

A-Bold-Experiment-in-Ethical-Clothing-Fair-Trade-Certified-Apparel-and-Linens-Pilot-Lessons-Learned-2010-2012-COREL IMO-and-Theo-Chocolate-report-cover International-Labor-Rights-Forum-spotlights-ethical-suppliers-of-sweatfree-apparel-Ethix-Merch
Fair Trade USA publicly released the findings of their Apparel and Linens Pilot. We have taken a look and we aren’t confident the process was thorough enough in regards to worker representation and workplace safety and rights. When Theo signed on to a nationwide distribution deal with Whole Foods Markets, the factory workers decided that forming a union was the best expression of their commitment to fair trade priciples and a proactive way to improve their working conditions. But Theo pushed back. “There are a handful of brands that are really trying to produce in a way that’s absolutely ethical throughout their supply chain…including brands like Ethix Merch, UnionWear or AltaGracia.” Gearhart encourages conscious consumers to “find those brands that are really taking the next step”…

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

The-Accord-on-Building-and-Fire-Safety-in-Bangladesh Ethix-Merch-in-the-Worcester-Telegram-and-Gazette-speaking-against-sweatshops-and-for-USA-Made eco-friendly-union-made-t-shirts
(Immediately following the Rana Plaza factory collapse) “The moment for change is urgent in Bangladesh and it will be critically important that Western brands and consumers continue to help Bangladeshi worker organizations drive change. Asking Western brands to join the Bangladesh Safety Accord is a critical way to do that.” “The (Rana Plaza) tragedy forced some European apparel companies into action, signing on to a deal to ensure better standards at garment factories, and it led to the U.S. government suspending trade privileges with Bangladesh last week.[…]EthixMerch, a company that sells what it calls ethically made merchandise, has been following the issue closely.” These 100% recycled (cotton/PET blend) T-shirts have loads of benefits: donated textiles not only reduce the flow of waste to our landfills, but also support jobs to fashion new textiles from old. These high quality shirts promote a healthier earth by using only fabrics made from 100% recycled materials that are manufactured right here in the USA.

August 2013

August 2013

October 2013

Topple-the-TPP-USFT-students-oppose-the-Trans-Pacific-Partnership Richard-T-Moore-applauds-local-company-that-supports-Made-In-America-products Worker-Rights-Consortium-report-Stealing-from-the-Poor-wage-theft-in-Haitian-apparel-factories
“The TPP is a massive potential free trade agreement that threatens to make new rules for the global economy that will threaten human rights, the environment, and democracy.[…]trade justice issues brought back into the student movement[…]this campaign will really highlight the need for fair trade policies.” Senator Moore read about our company’s work in promoting ethically made merchandise, and wanted to recognize our efforts by presenting our staff with a Senate Citation. Our citation recognized our “efforts to set high industry standards and promoting ethically made merchandise” by selling sweatshop-free merchandise. “The FLA requires its member companies to have 5% of their supplier factories worldwide monitored annually, with the particular factories selected randomly. It appears from the FLA website that none of their member companies, including Gildan and Hanes, have had any of their Haiti factories monitored.”

November 2013

Ethix closed its doors for the first normal work day in our 7 year history. We reserved space at the historic Victorian in Whitinsville for our first ever staff retreat. This remarkable setting gave us the perfect opportunity to focus on conversations about all of our core functions without the buzz of the office.



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