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And Now, A Shirt Featuring Link, On The Millenium Falcon, Chained To A Sewing Machine
Threadless! Teefury! Geeky t-shirts! I'm a fan! Except. Threadless stopped using American Apparel back in 2011. The good: my shirts no longer bear the stench of Dov Charney's pubes and my money isn't going to a guy that sexually harasses his employees.

The bad: The average American Apparel factory worker brings home about $2,500 a month*. To contrast: garment workers in Bangladesh can make as low as $37 a month.

Workers getting paid more means stuff's going to cost more, which means companies like Threadless are going to have to shell out more in order to buy those non-sweatshop-made t-shirts, and probably charge more as well to recoup that cost and still profit, since there currently exist no non-profits devoted to the cause that is Comfy Fun Geek T-Shirts.

But Threadless must not have wanted to shell out more, or didn't want its customers to shell out more, or both, so they've decided to switch from American Apparel to Anvil. Anvil uses an organization called Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) to monitor the factories that make their clothing. However Clean Clothes and the Maquila Solidarity Network (anti-sweatshop groups) both criticized WRAP, essentially saying their monitoring is weaksauce and doesn't do what it sets out to do.

As for Teefury: their site won't even say who makes their shirts. So I emailed them! I'll update when or if I hear back.

I don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the somewhat-less-shitty, but in this case, where we're talking about designer t-shirts... if you're not impoverished, if you're not living paycheck to paycheck, if you've got the dough, then before you grab that Farting Sperm Whale or Dr. Who-Super Mario-Firefly mash-up shirt you've got your eye on, take a minute out to email Threadless (or, if applicable, Teefury) and tell them that you'd be willing to cough up the extra five bucks per shirt if they'd go back to American Apparel, or even better, one of the other few sweatshop-free, sexual-harassment-free** wholesalers that haven't shuttered since it's hard to be a person who can keep a profit-making enterprise going if you're not a douche. See: Dov Charney. There's a list below. Tell them you're willing to spend a little more if it ensures your shirt wasn't made by a slave.

Until then, have your cake and eat it, too, by buying it used on eBay. Higher prices for the Teefury stuff, unfortunately, but, hey, you haven't required anything new to be created, so I guess that's something?

*Unless you work at American Apparel’s factory in China.

**At least, I hope.

Threadless Contact Info
Contact Page - requires registration
Twitter: @Threadless, @ThreadHelp

Sweat-Free Clothing Wholesalers

Alta Gracia Apparel - According to EthixMerch, the only company in its entire database that pays a living wage. A "living wage" in the Dominican Republic is $2.83 an hour. Alta Gracia actually pays less than that -- $2.27 an hour. This is the motherfucking world we're living in, people. Good times.
Esperanza Threads
EthixMerch - Fantastic, helpful site.
No Sweat Apparel
SOS From Texas
TS Designs

More on WRAP and Similar Auditing Services
Looking For A Quick Fix: How Weak Social Auditing Is Keeping Workers In Sweatshops, by the Clean Clothes Campaign

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