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 the United States 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 those making their clothes. They let the government regulate the hours, pay and working conditions instead of taking direct responsibility for those people working to sew their clothing.
My guess is that by stating they “give back” to a charity on their tags, they are attempting to cover up their actions.
Sadly, it’s not just people being mistreated. When a garment is made overseas, the fabric used to make it is made overseas. These same clothing manufacturers shirk their responsibility when it comes to how their fabrics are made and they have no control on how much water is used to make their fabrics or what kind of waste is dumped into the oceans, streams and environment after the fabric production is done. In addition, some of these garment lines claim to use “organic” and “sustainable” fabrics but if they are produced overseas, it’s close to impossible to know for sure what they use.
Majamas 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 The 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 overseas, 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 purportedly 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.
-Germaine, MAJAMAS Company Owner & Designer