“TNSTAAFL” rings true at Ethix,”There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”, and T-shirts aren’t free, either.

We service thousands of organizations who understand the true cost and value of ethical merchandise.  However, every week we are asked, especially by non-profits, for donations of free T-shirts and other products.

At Ethix Merch, we appreciate that our customers seek out promotional merchandise that is in line with their own missions, especially non-profit organizations. After all, buying promotional merchandise that’s made from unethical suppliers using impoverished, exploited workers is often in direct contradiction to an NGO’s mission.

We’re not sure how this expectation ever got set that it was possible to give valuable promotional merchandise away. We cannot offer organizations free merchandise whose missions we, at Ethix Merch, wholeheartedly support. The problem is this: we understand the true human cost and actual economic factors involved in producing T-shirts. That’s why we already work at a lower than industry average profit margin to help you afford to do the right thing. Just as “freedom isn’t free,” there’s a real cost to cutting ethical corners in order to produce cheap promotional items.

You will find someone to “donate” shirts if you ask enough people.  Someone who sells sweatshop made product will eventually say yes to your request.  Please think long and hard about that trade off before you agree.  You are getting product without having to pay for it. Sounds really great for your bottom line, right?  What you are actually paying with is the good will and the authenticity that your organization has created.  The only reason the person/company is “donating the product is so they can tell others that they support good causes.  That same person/company who will “donate” is directly complicit in the many abusive worker systems found around the globe.  If you take those shirts then you and your organization are too. “Free” sounds great, and it is true, the best things in life are free. But it’s also true that the best things in life aren’t things.

Many promotional products companies out there are sourcing their T-shirts abroad from companies paying unlivable wages, not to mention in factories with sweatshop conditions. The recent (April 2013) Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh is just one of many preventable international tragedies highlighting deplorable working conditions in many a garment factory.

We make less profit than your run-of-the-mill promotional products company- precisely because we support the higher input costs involved in producing T-shirts responsibly: with union labor, made in the USA, supporting living wages and the environment. Our company passes that savings on to hundreds of unions, non-profit organizations, schools, universities, and the list goes on…

At the end of the day there are very few non-profit organizations we can think of that would actually accept free T-shirts if they truly understood the economic and human costs really associated with them.

If you would like to get in touch directly with our Sales team, please contact us or call 877-709-3845.