Altogether, we Presbyterians print a lot of T-shirts. Unfortunately, almost all of the apparel readily available to us in stores was produced in sweatshops. The good news is that sweatshop-free shirts are available from the PC(USA), ready to print with your group’s logo or design. Whether you’re creating shirts for your youth group, upcoming mission trip, presbytery summer camp, congregational celebration or special event, put your faith in practice by choosing Sweat-Free Ts!
There are many ways concerned Presbyterians can support our sisters and brothers in Christ who work hard on the production end of the garment chain. Since all of our actions — including our consumer purchases — reflect our faith and values, each purchase we make supports either the sweatshop industry or the growing number of innovative companies and cooperatives that abstain from sweatshop labor and have committed themselves to sweat-free values. Purchasing garments from responsible manufacturers, companies and cooperatives not only sends the message that we support their principles — it reflects our faith in a God and who promises that a better world is possible.
The following are examples of sweat-free principles:
- Workers receive a fair living wage and benefits.
- Working conditions are just, including:
- Freedom from excessive working hours and forced labor in all its forms.
- Freedom from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
- Protection from workplace health and safety hazards.
- Children are not subject to working conditions that jeopardize their physical, psychological, or intellectual development.
- Women are neither discriminated against nor harassed.
- All workers are free to organize and negotiate collective bargaining agreements.
Who Made Sweat-Free Ts?
Sweat-Free Ts came from the Nueva Vida Women’s Sewing Cooperative in Nicaragua. While not currently functioning, this women owned co-op was created with the assistance of the Center for Development in Central America, thanks to seed money originally provided by the One Great Hour of Sharing and distributed by the Presbyterian Hunger Program.