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The Fine Print: Let's talk about tees!

Working with Ethically and Socially Responsible Suppliers in the Decorated Apparel Industry

Global Supply Chain

The decorated apparel industry is undergoing a transformation. As we understand the scope of our impact on the environment, communities, and economies across the globe, we realize we must be conscientious. Responsible stewardship is not a task that’s easily taken on alone. That’s why we choose to work with manufacturers and suppliers that champion corporate responsibility in these matters.

SanMar Corporation is one of these businesses and we’re proud to say, one of the chief suppliers of our blank apparel products. What makes an apparel manufacturer a responsible global citizen? Corporate responsibility of course starts at home where facilities exist. If a company doesn’t care about their neighbors locally, they can’t be expected to care about their impact on the world at large.

That means giving back to the community in ways like investment in employee career goals and being cognizant of a healthy work to life balance. It would be difficult to retain a quality workforce without offering a chance for individual fulfillment and realization of potential. A business that treats its employee’s right enables those employees to product high quality goods. End users like DesignAShirt.com, as screen printers, can in-turn create products that our customers will love.

Custom T-Shirt Printing

Whether it’s t-shirts for fundraisers, school spirit jerseys, uniforms for employees, or t-shirts for an event, our relationship with SanMar enables us to receive high quality imprintable goods from a company we trust has diligently and ethically sourced their goods. Furthermore, whom we know continuously self-audits for environmental impact in its supply chain.

Responsible sourcing starts with people, the welfare, health, and prosperity of employees. In the apparel manufacturing industry, much of the production is done offshore. But this doesn’t mean the same high standards of human welfare that would be employed on American soil aren’t enforced offshore with manufacturers we choose to do business with. Providing safe and rewarding economic opportunities that strictly adhere to labor laws is a must.

Textile Worker

SanMar Corporation is an Accredited Participating Company of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a Quality Certification Alliance Accredited Company, and a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. As a consumer, you should be concerned that your products are ethically sourced no matter what it might be, whether food, electronics, or apparel. The FLA is a voluntary and collaborative association with its goals aligned to addressing abusive labor practices by giving companies the tools and resources needed to combat it. The association also encourages a culture of transparency and accountability for companies around the world that participate in the supply chain. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition similarly focuses on how manufacturers in the textile industry can identify and rehabilitate environmental impact as well as social impact on communities where they do business.

Environmental Impact

Longevity in the business also ensures that relationships are meaningful. When you work with a supplier that is in the game for the long term, corners are not cut and operations are designed to flourish for the benefit of everyone involved. To build any long term relationship of value, the right partners must be selected from the onset and rigorously held to high standards.

We feel very positive about working closely with SanMar Corporation for our imprintable apparel needs because of the family values they operate under. These include actively recruiting and hiring military Veterans as one of their initiatives. They’ve also been a pioneering force allowing telecommuting for applicable positions keeping hundreds of cars off the road in an effort to maximize work to life balance and reduce environmental impact that results from commuting.

Social Responsibility

Charitable works are expected from companies that label themselves as socially responsible. In Honduras, SanMar works with an orphanage and a medical facility that organizes twice annually medical brigades to provide surgery and therapy to citizens with hand issues. Furthermore, the corporation works with a supplier in the community whose goal is to improve the lives of garment industry workers with the development of a sustainable community consisting of 50,000 homes to improve the living standards of employees and their family members.

To encourage staff to give back to the community through participation in charitable events, SanMar matches any employee’s charitable contribution up to $250 per year. In times of disaster, the company increases this contribution so that the employee’s donation is stretched even further.

Working with suppliers, SanMar has been able to effectively increase sustainability by increasing the quality and life cycle of their garments. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact that non-sustainable products have on the environment and are demanding more transparency concerning the products they buy. To that end, they have been accredited by the Quality Certification Alliance or QCA.

Textile Manufacture

The QCA improves a business’s credibility by establishing them as a leader that proactively seeks improvements in the industry to reduce environmental impact, increase social responsibility, and certifies the supply chain is compliant with safety rules and standards.

Product safety for the end consumer is of utmost importance and the company has adopted the Restricted Substance List originally developed by American Apparel. None of the substances on the list are allowed to be used in the manufacture of goods. Additionally children’s products strictly adhere to the guidelines put forth by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

It’s our pleasure to have a connection with such an exemplary business that has become a leader in ethics, corporate transparency, and social responsibility on a truly global scale.

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