Superior Ink is a founding partner of a new company called Allmade Apparel. We are helping to change the fabric of how apparel is manufactured. Join us on the journey to #makeitbetter
Two billion t-shirts are made every year, using fibers like industrial cotton, which is often grown in regions with minimal regulations—directly exposing workers and the environment to deadly pesticides and herbicides that are outlawed in the U.S.
These materials are then transported across the globe using bunker fuel, a heavy oil residue so toxic most countries won’t let ships using it within 200 miles of shore.
They are then spun into yarn, knitted into fabric, and sewn into garments by workers, often in sweatshop conditions, for a wage that does not allow them to meet even their most basic needs. In countries like Haiti this translates to an increase in orphans, many of whom’s parents were forced to give them up because they couldn’t afford to care for them.
A better t-shirt starts with better raw materials. Our tri-blend shirts are made from organic US-grown cotton, recycled polyester, and modal – three fibers that not only produce a luxuriously soft shirt, but are better for the environment as well.
America alone disposes of 29 billion plastic water bottles per year. The plastic in these bottles has the same chemical makeup as polyester, so they can be cleaned and processed into polyester yarn, reducing waste.
The polyester in Allmade shirts is made exclusively of Repreve fibers, and every tri-blend shirt contains the equivalent of 6 plastic water bottles!
Cotton makes up 50% of the all fiber used in clothing and other textiles, and more pesticides are used on industrial cotton than any other crop worldwide. It’s also a very thirsty plant, needing 700-2000 gallons of water to produce a single t-shirt. And 98% of conventional cotton in the US has been genetically engineered.
Allmade uses organic, non-GMO, cotton and conventional cotton grown in the US, where regulations on pesticide use are more established, and we’ve reduced the cotton content of our tri-blend shirt to 25%.
Modal is the secret to the luxurious softness of our tri-blend shirt. An evolved form of rayon, the Lenzing Modal® used by Allmade is made from sustainably harvested beech trees in PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) certified European forests.
Beech trees self-multiply and require no artificial planting or irrigation, and they are extremely resistant to pests and other environmental damage. Lenzing uses a proprietary, low-impact process to break the wood pulp down into fibers. Read all about it here.
In addition to being better for the environment themselves, all our raw materials except the Modal are sourced right here in the US, shipped to Haiti to be sewn into shirts, and shipped back to the US for sale.
A typical t-shirt will travel 16,000 miles: cotton grown in one country, shipped to another to be processed into fiber, and another to be spun into yarn, and another to be knitted into fabric, and so on. Most of this shipping is done using bunker fuel, a heavy oil residue so toxic most countries won’t let ships using it within 200 miles of shore.
Haiti, on the other hand, is a half hour flight from Miami and that’s as far as our fabric and shirts have to go – a significant reduction in shipping.
In countries like Haiti, where the average worker earns a mere $3/day to support a family of 8, are at a high-risk of orphanage. The typical orphan in Haiti is not without parents, but rather without parents who can afford to care for their most basic needs—food, shelter, clothing, education,and basic healthcare.
Allmade has partnered with the Global Orphan (GO) Project to produce great quality shirts, while fighting generational poverty in Haiti. GOEX (short for Global Orphan EXchange), the Haitian facility where Allmade shirts are produced, is among a number of ventures the GO Project has developed to create dignified work that keeps families together.
They pay workers 5x the going rate for similar jobs in the area, an amount carefully calculated to meet the basic needs of a Haitian household. 100% of GOEX’s profits are dedicated to programs that support orphans.
Among these projects is the Transition Academy. The Transition Academy is designed to help children who are aging out of community-sponsored care, providing them with housing, education, life and vocational skills to help ensure a successful transition to adult independence. Seventy students are currently enrolled. The Academy offers majors in Agriculture, Diesel Mechanics, and Apparel. Those in the Apparel track learn hands-on skills at the GOEX facility where Allmade shirts are produced. Seven students are in the facility right now, with plans to grow. Eight have already graduated and are working full-time at GOEX.
Allmade is making a difference in EVERY aspect of the apparel industry, and this difference is far reaching into the makers lives.
“An Independant Women” In Haiti, when girls age out of the orphan system at the age of 18 they typically ﬁnd work for little to no wages as ‘maids’ and end up having children at a young age. With income insuﬃcient to meet basic living standards, this often continues the cycle of poverty orphans. Madeline found a diﬀerent path by continuing here education at the GO Transition Academy that prepared her for adulthood and work at LIFE, a living wage apparel company in Haiti were Allmade garments are cut and sewn. With the money she earns, she’s able to live on her own and ﬁnancially support her family and relatives. Madeline is very proud of working hard, earning a good income, and building a life as a young, independent woman in Haiti.
“Big Ambitions” Renel entered a GO Project supported orphanage at the age of 15 after both of his parents passed away. In Haiti, orphanages can only care for kids up to the age of 18.When Renel reached 18, he enrolled at the Transition Academy, a two year program that prepares kids for life outside of the protected walls of an orphanage. After graduating from the Transition Academy, Renel joined LIFE, where he cuts and sews tees for Allmade. The living wages he earns at LIFE allows him to be self-suﬃcient, rather than relying on his two uncles, which is the only family he has left. Renel is excited about his future. He aspires to start his own motorcycle rental business and open a barbershop. We believe Renel can accomplish anything he sets his mind to and we look forward to being able to support him on his way.
“Paying it forward.” Issa grew up in extreme poverty. Unable to care for her needs, her
parents made the incredibly diﬃcult decision to drop her of at an GO Project supported orphanage at a very young age, recognizing Issa would have a better chance in life there. When she turned 18, she enrolled at the Transition Academy and paid her way by working at Jumecourt, the guesthouse where the Allmade team stays when in Haiti. Issa now works at LIFE SA, the living wage apparel company where Allmade® garments are sewn. With the money she earns, she is not only able to support herself but also provides for her parents and younger siblings so they can stay together as a family and break the poverty orphan cycle. We are very proud of Isna and hope she will work with us for a long time to come.
“My uncle is an acquaintance of Lucson. I was 21 when my uncle approached me about an opportunity to learn a new profession. Duckenson wanted to be a mechanic but couldn’t get access to live on campus so he stayed with his aunt to take classes. After 6 months of school he felt like more opportunities would open if he went to industrial industries to work with machines cutting fabric. He completed a 2 year program between 2015 and 2017 and graduated August 2017. He then started with transition academy straight into life.”
The GO Project is fighting this cycle, with:
Orphan Prevention Programs
The GO Project’s Haitian facility, GOEX, where allmade shirts are produced, is among a number of businesses and ventures they’ve developed to create dignified work that keep families together. 100% of GOEX’s profits are dedicated to orphan care.
Orphan Care Programs
The GO Project provides orphan care in 20 countries around the world, including Haiti, working with local churches to ensure their most important needs are met, and they are enabled with tools for success within their own communities.
Orphan Transition Programs
The GO Project recently launched the GO Transition Academy to give orphans between 18-24 (who have aged out of the system) valuable life and vocational skills for a successful transition into adulthood. Many of the makers producing allmade shirts will be participants of this new, two-year program.
Learn More about The Global Orphan Project