We will easily double that amount at a minimum, based on the $10+ average Tshirt donation at the screening station. We can suggest significantly more than that for hoodies. (Please see the suggested donation info card on our working group page.)
STAGE TWO BUDGET: $6000, to be dispensed at the discretion of the Finance wg – we make the money, we spend it to make more money.
Exactly which garments we use will depend on your feedback about garment sourcing (see below)
BACKGROUND: The Screen Guild has been silk-screening textiles and Tshirts on site for almost three weeks, for FREE, with donated OWS designs, screens, ink, etc. on donated shirts. We’ve generated upwards of $10,000 for the movement, through donations at the screen station. (We have a secure $ process worked out with Finance and Security.)
We screen on donated shirts and what people are wearing but we can do a lot more than that if we have blank shirts available. The first weekend we bought some shirts at Modell’s to get the ball rolling, but we’re not happy buying Hanes or Fruit of the Loom because of the rotten unsustainable labor practices that go into producing those garments. Although we aren’t buying those shirts anymore, people who want shirts are buying them and bringing them to us to screen. Also, some shady entrepreneurial activity has sprung up in the occupation next to silk-screening, selling blank shirts for bogus “donations” before people get to the screening station – this undermines both the mission and the fundraising abilities of the Screen Guild. If we have our own Tshirts, that won’t be a problem anymore.
For an account of our first weekend, read: http://www.justseeds.org/blog/2011/10/occuprint_everything_1.html
GOALS: The Screen Guild provides both an outreach tool and an income stream for OWS. We want to expand both, and do it with materials we can be proud of.
We consulted with the National Labor Committee about ethical choices in garment selection – if you’ve ever seen a story about sweatshop labor, they were probably the source of the investigation. When you start looking at how to make a positive impact (and try not to make a negative one) there’s many different social and environmental levels to balance.
FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER WITH GARMENT SOURCING:
1. LABOR – who sews the Tshirt? Who makes the fabric? Who harvests the raw materials? Union made? USA made? Fair wages? Subcontracted?
2. MATERIALS – cotton? organic? This figures into labor in a big way — are the workers of that cotton soaked in pesticides? Is petroleum making the polyester in that shirt? Has all this been shipped around the world several times in manufacturing?
3. RECYCLING – post-consumer recyclables, both rags and soda bottles are being made into new garments. Usually they’re blends – RPET polyester (Recycled PET plastic water/soda bottles) with cotton.
4. FASHION – cut, color, fit, softness. We want to print quality shirts that people will wear, not shirts that will sit at the bottom of the pile until they get donated.
There are NO USA-MADE UNION-MADE ORGANIC or recycled materials Tshirts available for sale in the USA. Shocking, isn’t it?
A. USA Union-made, non-organic cotton or blends $4/shirt via EthixMerch
B. USA made ORGANIC $6/shirt via EthixMerch
C. USA made RECYCLED POST-CONSUMER WASTE, $8/shirt via EthixMerch
D. Recycled bottles shirts (65% bottles into polyester, 35% cotton) $5/shirt Made in Guatemala above min-wage, not subcontracted via Playback
E. Recycled clothing scraps $4/shirt via Playback
F. Whatever is on sale at American Apparel. (“Sweatshop Free. Made in USA.” But people are creeped out by their sexist profile as a business)
Our sweatshop-labor-free suppliers:
STYLES — Tshirts, raglan sleeve concert shirts, long-sleeved, hoodies
WHAT DOES IT COST?
1000 Union Made USA shirts $4000 + $250 shipping = $4250
1000 ORGANIC COTTON $6000 = $250 shipping = $6250
1000 RECYCLED BOTTLE SHIRTS – $5000 + $250 shipping = $5250
1000 post-consumer cotton – $4000 + $250 shipping = $4250
NOTE: SHIPPING $250/1000 Tshirts
Hoodies are a little expensive, but we’d like to do a 100 lightweight ones to start and could do more in the future. Hoodies and other merch could be used as rewards in Kickstarter campaigns.
Hoodies — $50 to ship 100 (.50/each or $250/per 500)
EthixMerch prices based on 500 units:
PULLOVERS: $12 Playback, $22 Ethix UNION MADE, $27 ORGANIC USAmade
12×500=6000 // 22×500=11,000 // 27×500=13,500
ZIP UP $16/$17 Playback, $24 UNION, $28 ORGANIC USA made
16×500=8000 // 17×500=8500 //24×500=12,000 // 28×500=14,000
Playback 60% UPCYCLED material HOODIES: 100 x $12 = $1200 + $50 shipping
We have brought this to the relevant working groups (FINANCE and SIS) and invite others to comment here. Although we’re ready to buy 5000 shirts and make a ton of cash for OWS, in a spirit of cooperation and a respect for the competing needs of cash flow (like BAIL MONEY), we’re starting small in this Tshirt buy. 100 long-sleeve pullover hoodies and 100 Tshirts, both made of recycled materials.
We estimate that we could easily go through 5000 garments in two weeks, at a rate of 500/day when we have 4 screens working on site (some days we don’t print, mostly because of weather), right now while the weather is still good. But we’re happy to take this in smaller steps…