Ethix supports buy-local campaigns to grow small businesses and reduce the environmental footprint of our industry.
The Sweatfree movement in the United States has targeted the collegiate market, as well federal, state, and local governments to set a purchasing standard for merchandise procured with taxpayer dollars. With the current instability of the US economy, a strong argument can be made for local procurement as a way to keep dollars rotating within our communities, build up the middle class, and place upward pressure on wages and working conditions around the world.
However, it is a common misconception that a “Made in USA” label is a guarantee against sweatshop abuses. Sweatshop conditions persist, especially in the inner-city garment centers of New York and Los Angeles, or in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), where US labor laws are difficult to enforce.
We recognize that the availability of locally produced, union-made goods can be limited, and we value the environmental benefit of shorter shipping distances, (and reduced dependence on foreign energy resources). Therefore, Ethix does offer products from certain non-union suppliers noted within the industry for their relatively fair worker policies. In the end, our task is to offer as much information as possible about the ethical tradeoffs in choosing between one supplier or another, and leave the rest up to our customers.