IT ALL STARTS HERE

The cotton used in our t-shirts is grown by small holder farmers in Uganda, each managing about 1-3ha of land. Our farmers are part of the Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA) network, an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation, which aims to improve social conditions in developing countries by helping people help themselves through industry.

When you buy an Empower Collection shirt:

• You're supporting the 5,400 CmiA cotton farmers registered in Uganda, and helping them to earn a fair wage (on average 30% more than conventional cotton farmers). 

• You’re empowering women: 20% of all CmiA farmers are women. CmiA adheres to the principal of equal remuneration for men and women. They also support women’s economic independence by giving women in cotton growing regions equal access to education, training and financial assistance.  Click here to find out more

• You’re saving water. CmiA farmers practice rainfed agriculture, which relies exclusively on  rainfall instead of artificial irrigation methods. This saves an incredible 2000L of water for  every kilogram of cotton fiber made, with 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to find out more

• You know that your shirt hasn’t contributed to the deforestation of primary forests. Forest-based fabrics currently make up 5% of the global apparel industry, and that number is set to double in the next 20 years. Our farmers practice sustainable agricultural methods and are actively committed to environmental stewardship.

• You can be assured that the cotton in your shirt does not use any hazardous pesticides or herbicides during the cultivation process. CmiA also prohibits the use of genetically modified seed stock, making your cotton t-shirt 100% natural.

COTTON TO FABRIC

After the cotton has been harvested, it is shipped to a cotton gin in Kasese in western Uganda, where the cotton fibers are separated from their seeds. The pure fibers are then sent to a modern textile mill in Kampala, where the cotton is transformed into a 100% premium combed cotton fabric.

Both our gin and mill are CmiA accredited, meaning companies must demonstrate that their employment conditions meet International Labour Standards (as set out by the ILO). This ensures workers have:

  • written employment contracts
  • regular working hours (including access to overtime)
  • fair wages
  • equal pay for equal work
  • a safe working environment
  • the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association

Organisations are also prohibited from using child or forced labour and are independently audited to ensure their continued compliance.

 

FAIR TRADE TEES

Once the cotton has been processed, bales of fabric are sent to our Fair Trade verified t-shirt manufacturer, Kiboko, in Kenya. Kiboko is a company with people at its heart: over the last two decades, it has grown from a small team of 20 to an export quality manufacturer, employing over 70 staff.

Kiboko is the ONLY garment manufacturer in Kenya guaranteed by the World Fair Trade Organisation, demonstrating that the people involved in making your t-shirt not only work in a fair, safe, and equitable work environment, but are supported by a company that proactively invests in their skills.

 

PRINTED &
PACKAGED

The finished, unprinted tees are shipped to Empower Collection head office in Brisbane, Australia, where each shirt is individually quality checked before delivery.

Decoration, if required, is undertaken by Screenprint Dynamics, a Brisbane-based family-owned printing company employing a local team of graphic artists and digital technologists. Screenprint Dynamics has invested in the latest digital decoration processes, which it employs alongside traditional screenprint offerings. This means that whatever your design, from words, to artworks, to photorealistic images, the Screenprint team can bring your vision to life. 

The finished shirt is sustainably packaged using 100% recycled materials, before being shipped out to you to wear. 

For each shirt sold, a donation is made to support Stop the Traffic’s work in ending human trafficking and slavery in the global garment industry.  Stopthetraffik.com.au 

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