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Promotional Merchandise for Stand Out Brands

Promotional Merchandise? Pro-ethical Merchandise.

It is evident that there is no slowing down of companies, in particular those with a CSR policy in place, wanting to use products which have been ethically produced.

The Challenge

Following recent claims in the media surrounding the production of pro-feminist t-shirts by an equality campaigning group, and ones of which were worn by some of the UK's leading politicians, it comes as no surprise that ethical standards are as prevalent within the promotional merchandise industry as any other. It is evident that there is no slowing down of companies, in particular those with a CSR policy in place, wanting to use products which have been ethically produced.

So what exactly is it to be classed as 'ethical'? Contrary to common misconceptions that this classification relates to recyclability and the like; the sourcing, producing and buying of ethical goods encompasses a number of factors such as working conditions, whether the product is harmful to the environment and society, if the product has been produced via slave or child labour, workplace safety and pay and hours, to name but a few. Not only is there an issue with sourcing and buying ethically produced products from a supplier, but this also continues through to distributor level as to who exactly can continue this supply chain to the end user.

With that kind of challenge facing them, Kofax came to award winning supplier of promotional products, Outstanding Branding for inspiration.


The Solution

We are proud to claim that we work alongside fair trade business Freest Ltd, to provide garments which are not only ethically manufactured, but also who’s business goal is to end the awful sex trade in Kolkata, India.

Located in Sonagacchi, the largest, most infamous sex district in Kolkata, India, Freeset Ltd provides employment and education to women within the district who have often been trafficked from Bangladesh, Nepal and rural India with no other option than to sell their bodies. The organisation invests heavily with a number of the women in the community to teach them the skills that they would need to be employed to produce high quality products that would later go onto be sold to the promotional merchandising industry and even retail. The women employed are paid around twice the going rate for an equivalent job elsewhere and as part of their employment package have health insurance and a pension plan. A woman is also employed full-time to ensure that staff are able to access their health insurance entitlements.

Freeset Ltd t/as Global Seesaw and are a certified social enterprise with a Social Enterprise Mark. This means that Global Seesaw has proved it is genuine against independently-assessed criteria for social enterprise. The Mark provides assurance that profits are used to improve the lives of women exploited through human trafficking, acting as a guarantee that Global Seesaw is trading for people and planet. This ensures that more vulnerable women get the help they need and the amount of exploitation is reduced.


The Results

Impressively, our ethically sourced garments and bags are made with just two environmentally friendly and raw materials: jute and cotton. Jute is a rain-fed crop that doesn't need much in the way of fertilizer or pesticides. Production is concentrated around the Ganges delta region of India and Bangladesh where the warm, wet climate during the monsoon season provides ideal growing conditions. The cotton is grown by avoiding the use of chemicals, hormones and preservatives wh ich damage the Earth and are harmful to society. The cotton is also dyed using a 100% organic dying process, and moreover, water-based inks are used for screen printing avoiding harmful petro-chemica ls and compounds.

Thorne commented:"We've spent years building great relationships with suppliers all over the world to ensure that we can continually offer the best selection of products, whilst also adhering to ethical standards. We have a set of values and beliefs which we strive to see in our supply chain where we can, so that we can meet our clients ethical standards as much as possible."

Have an enquiry? Send us a message and we'll get back to you!


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