Who won the Democratic Debate–Edwards, Obama, or Hillary?

I’m still looking at the transcripts for the January 21, 2008 Democratic debates on CNN. Who won–John Edwards, Barack Obama, or Hilary Clinton?

Here are the links to the transcripts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3.

And here are the T-shirts:

a T-shirt for Hillary for President,

a T-shirt for Edwards for president,

and a T-shirt for Obama for president.

obama-tee-blue-stars.jpgedwards-tee-with-stars-image.jpghillary-shirt-blustars-image.jpg

Obama Tee Edwards Tee Hillary Tee

It will be interesting to see which shirt is the most popular.  Right now the Edwards bumper sticker is ahead of everything else.

Posted in Election 2008, Merchandise, Obama, Products, T-shirts. Comments Off on Who won the Democratic Debate–Edwards, Obama, or Hillary?

Care Bears in Sudan–“Punish with Bullets”

A friend of mine once nearly triggered an international incident when he put children named Saddam and Mohammed in a wastebasket to demonstrate the preposition “in”. The administrator stuck up for him–after all, he was wearing traditional robes in the classroom–and it all blew over.

Sudan is not quite so unemotional. Knife-brandishing crowds, demonstrating, when else–on Friday–demanded a British teacher whose students named a teddy bear “Mohammed” be executed by shooting. Uh, don’t you shoot people with guns?

Posted in Arab culture, Education, Free speech, Products. Comments Off on Care Bears in Sudan–“Punish with Bullets”

What is happening to Goodstorm?

A little over a year ago the internet fulfillment company Goodstorm announced it would start selling black t-shirts that were ethically produced in the United States. I was excited by the thought of offering tees that weren’t produced in sweatshops with child labor, so I started a little shop with some Arabic language tees.

Now Goodstorm has stopped paying out shopkeeper royalties. One blogger even reports he has never received a payment and can no longer access his shop in order to close it. He has discontinued working with Goodstorm and no longer recommends it. In fact, he even posts a link to the Better Business Bureau in case someone wants to file an official complaint.

I can still access my shop, but I have closed all the links to it. I have been promised more information about when I might receive a check within a few days. When a company has already received payment for items purchased, but can’t pay the royalty, that does not look good.

Still, people keep asking me for the products, especially the black “lan nesmit” (We will not be silenced) black t-shirt in Arabic.

I will try to work with Goodstorm a little longer.

In the meantime, I will be looking for another source for union or ethically produced black tees.

Posted in Arabic, Fair Trade, Merchandise, Products, T-shirts. Comments Off on What is happening to Goodstorm?

Academic Freedom–the shirt

I’m not one of those people who arrives at a meeting with a Chomsky quotation up my sleeve. But I was impressed with the strong turnout for academic freedom at University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel Friday–an event where Noam Chomsky was scheduled to speak along with Israel Lobby co-author John Mearsheimer and others.

So here are two Chomsky Freedom T-shirts with academic freedom themes. One says,

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

The other says,

For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is coming up. Might be just the thing.

Tees are sweatshop-free and ethically produced, either in the U.S by union labor or by American Apparel whose fair labor practices have been well documented. Chomsky Freedom Tees are available in organic, fitted, hoodie, raglan, tank top and dog.

chomsky-freedom-hoodie.jpgchomsky-dog-freedom-tee.jpgchomsky-freedom-tank-top.jpgchomsky-freedom-jr-raglan.jpgchomskyfreedomtee.jpgchomsky-says-tee.jpg

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Related posts:

Chomsky Ditches Rockefeller Chapel, Politics is Still Local

Noam Chomsky and Israel Lobby Co-author Mearsheimer to Speak at Rockefeller Chapel in October 2007

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Posted in Free speech, peace, Products, T-shirts. Comments Off on Academic Freedom–the shirt

Impeach Bush sign taken down? Try a t-shirt instead.

Is it illegal to post an “Impeach Bush” sign on public property? We’re about to find out.

Ohio teacher Kevin Egler and his friends have been posting anti-war signs all over Ohio and surrounding states. They say the war in Iraq is illegal and immoral. Now Egler has been issued a ticket for posting an Impeach Bush sign in Kent in Portage County. The Kent police said he was “unlawfully advertising in a public place”.

Egler said that when he was stopped in Kent, he asked the police officer how his sign differed from Realtors posting signs on public property saying “This way to the house for sale.” He said the officer asked, “You don’t know the difference?” but never explained what it might be.

Egler’s lawyer says he knows the difference. A real estate sign is a commercial message. Egler’s sign is a political message. Political messages have more legal protections, says the attorney, Bob Fitrakis, who specializes in first amendment law. Fitakis is also editor and publisher of The Free Press website, which so far has not commented on the arrest.

For some time I have been quietly offering a few sweatshop-free “impeach” t-shirts through the Columbus, Ohio-based company Skreened. I haven’t written about them though, because I’m not at all sure impeachment is the best approach. But if someone does believe impeachment is the right approach, they should be able to say so. That part is a no-brainer. So for anyone who wants to exercise their freedom to say Impeach!, here is your shirt.

Shirts are available in a several styles and colors. The slogans are shown on a variety of different tees so you can get an idea of what’s available. Sizes run small–they are “fashionably snug”–so for a looser fit, order up a size. Oh, yes, there is one slightly naughty slogan. If you were offended by the detail of the Monika Lewinsky discussion, you will be offended by this–it’s definately NSFW and not child-friendly. It’s the light green one in the upper right with the navy blue slogan, but too hard to read in thumbnail size. So if you’re offended by that sort of thing, don’t click on it.

To order a shirt, click on the picture.

impeach-bush-grn.pngimpeach-bush-blk.pngimpeach-bush-for-bl-navy-nsfw.pngimpeach-blk-stencil.pngimpeach-grn-buttons.pngimpeach-pelosi-blk.pngimpeach.pngimpeach-in-peach.pngimpeach-cheney-first-green.pngimpeach-cheney-blk.pngwwjt-pink.pngwwjt-gray.png

I heart Miami tees for Florida lovers

Kathryn wants to know if I can make her a tee shirt that says “I love Miami”. Why not? Here it is in the Arabic language. Available in fitted (shown), tank (shown), raglan, hoodie, and even dog. iheartmiami-fitted-tee.jpgiheartmiami-tank.jpg

If you’re in the mood for summer colors, check here.

I hope that’s something like what you were looking for, Kathryn.

Posted in Merchandise, Products, T-shirts. Comments Off on I heart Miami tees for Florida lovers

Cafepress changes to non-fair trade product, jr. baby doll tees removed

Tomorrow CafePress is scheduled to replace the American Apparel manufactured “Jr. Baby Doll T-shirt” with something called the “Jr. Jersey T-Shirt” of unknown origin. American Apparel is a company whose fair labor practices are well documented. CafePress has revealed nothing at all about the sourcing of the replacement product.  Since all tees offered here are ethically produced and can be documented to have been produced without sweatshop or child labor,  the “Jr. Baby Doll Tee” has been deleted.

CafePress still offers organic, fitted, hoodie, raglan, tank top and dog t-shirts from American Apparel that are ethically produced.  Those items have not been deleted.

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Related posts:

Make a difference on World Fair Trade Day–contact CafePress
Is CafePress.com hiding sweatshops?
CafePress responds to Fair Trade concerns with form letter, maintains holding pattern
Skreened.com offers Fair Trade tee shirt alternatives

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Posted in Fair Trade, Products, T-shirts. Comments Off on Cafepress changes to non-fair trade product, jr. baby doll tees removed

Skreened.com offers Fair Trade tee shirt alternatives

Shopkeepers who don’t want to sell t-shirts produced in sweatshops or with child labor are still waiting to find out how the marketing department at Cafepress.com is going to supply information about the origins of their products. Fortunately Cafepress offers shopkeepers the option of choosing which products to offer for a given design, so I will continue to offer their products identified as either union made or made by American Apparel, whose fair labor practices are well documented.

In the meantime, I will start offering tee shirts through Skreened.com. Skreened uses only shirts made by American Apparel and donates 10% of its sales to a not-for-profit called Asia’s Hope. So when you wear one of their shirts, you know it was not made with inhuman labor practices or child labor.

Here are the same Arabic language tees I have been offering now in summer colors from Skreened:
skreened-lime-wwnbs.pngskreened-white-ihrtny.pngskreened-wwjt-lemon.png

The green shirt is based on the “T-shirt of mass destruction” that got Raed Jarrer thrown off of Jet Blue airlines. It says “We will not be silent”, in Arabic pronounced “lahn nesmitt”, and has the English translation underneath. The one pictured has dark blue letters, you can also get black letters.

The white shirt says “I heart New York”, also in Arabic. So far, you can also heart Chicago, Jordan, Amman, and Baghdad. If you want to heart something or someone I don’t have listed, post a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

The slogan on the yellow tee is from a sign I saw at an impromptu street demonstration while Christmas caroling at Daley Plaza. It says “Who would Jesus torture”. If you are fond of the Geneva Convention, there are several designs with this slogan.

You can check out the designs here.

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Related posts:

Make a difference on World Fair Trade Day–contact CafePress
Is CafePress.com hiding sweatshops?
CafePress responds to Fair Trade concerns with form letter, maintains holding pattern

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CafePress responds to Fair Trade concerns with form letter, maintains holding pattern

Last week I wrote about CafePress and their plan to discontinue a tee shirt made by American Apparel, a manufacturer known for its fair labor practices–and substitute a T-shirt made by an unknown source.

In a letter I wrote to them, I pointed out that I offer only sweatshop-free T-shirts. If I can’t determine the source of a shirt, I can’t offer it for sale. I also pointed out that the market for free trade coffee has grown by 75% in the last year. There is no reason the fair trade t-shirt market can’t grow as well.

Monday I received a reply from Director of Merchandise Cindy Clarke. Ms. Clarke writes:

 


I understand your concerns.  CafePress shopkeepers require a broad
spectrum of product choices to build their product assortments.  Since
our objective is to cover as many of those shopkeeper requirements as
possible, some of the items that we source are domestic and some are
sourced internationally.  Likewise, our product assortment covers both
branded and CafePress Exclusive Label items to meet the broad demand.
We leave it up to Shopkeepers to determine which products are
appropriate for their shops.  CafePress services as many Shopkeepers as
possible both legally and ethically.  

We have had several requests like yours for specific and detailed
information about our vendors and we are currently investigating how
and
when we can provide specific information about individual vendors.
Once
more detailed information is available we will communicate out to the
CafePress community. 

Best wishes,

Cindy Clarke
Director of Merchandise
cclarke@cafepress.com

Well, that’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that CafePress can have something manufactured on the cheap in a sweatshop and hide it behind their “exclusive store label.” The good news is that they are “investigating how and when“, not if, they can provide information about vendors. That would give some real alternatives to those of us who don’t want to sell or wear a t-shirt, however cheap, made possible by inhumane working conditions and child labor.CafePress needs to hear from more people who buy or sell t-shirts. If you have not yet written to CafePress, can you take a couple minutes to drop them an email? If you have a blog, you might consider blogging about it as well.

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Related posts:
Make a difference on World Fair Trade Day–contact CafePress
Is CafePress.com hiding sweatshops?

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Make a difference on World Fair Trade Day–contact CafePress

So what have you done today to promote Fair Trade?

Here’s something you can do without leaving your keyboard. Contact CafePress.com and ask them to provide product information so that people who want to buy t-shirts that aren’t made in sweat shops can figure out what to buy.

Why is this important? Last year the National Labor Committee reported that companies like Walmart and Hanes use child labor to manufacture their oh so cheap products. Some CafePress products come from Hanes. Here is what work conditions were like for those children:

The children report being routinely slapped and beaten, sometimes falling down from exhaustion, forced to work 12 to 14 hours a day, even some all-night, 19- to 20-hour shifts, often seven days a week, for wages as low as 6 and a half cents an hour. The wages are so wretchedly low that many of the child workers get up at 5 a.m. each morning to brush their teeth using just their finger and ashes from the fire, since they cannot afford a toothbrush or toothpaste.

The workers say that if they could earn just 36 cents an hour, they could climb out of misery and into poverty, where they could live with a modicum of decency.

In the month of September, the children had just one day off, and before clothing shipments had to leave for the U.S., the workers were often kept at the factory 95 to 110 hours a week. After being forced to work a grueling all-night 19- to 20-hour shift, from 8 a.m. to 3 or 4 a.m. the following day, the children sleep on the factory floor for two or three hours before being woken to start their next shift at 8 a.m. that same morning.

The child workers are beaten for falling behind in their production goal, making mistakes or taking too long in the bathroom (which is filthy, lacking even toilet paper, soap or towels).

Thursday, Jim over at Irregular Times wrote a piece about CafePress replacing one of its ethically produced shirts manufactured by American Apparel, which is well-known for ethical labor practices, with a shirt of unknown source. He suggested people Email CafePress with their concerns, sending the email either to:

a) Cindy Clarke, Director of Merchandise for CafePress, at cclarke@cafepress.com.
b) smart07@cafepress.com — the special e-mail account which CafePress has specifically created to take further questions about new merchandise

Today Jim reports that he has received a communication from Ms. Clarke saying she has received “several requests like yours for specific and detailed information about our vendors”. Cafepress needs to hear from more people.

Whether you are a seller or a buyer, please take a few minutes to send a note to CafePress asking them to provide sourcing information about their vendors.

Here is my letter:

Ms. Clarke:

I am concerned about your recent announcement to substitute an unspecified brand of “junior jersey tee” for the “baby doll” tee manufactured by American Apparel, a company well known for ethical labor practices.

I advertise all the T-shirts I offer as ethically produced or sweatshop free. If I can’t identify the sourcing of the item, that means I can’t offer it for sale.

That also means I can’t use CafePress for my most popular item, a black tee, since CafePress does not offer a union or fair trade version of the black tee.

There seems to be no place on the CafePress website that gives product information, particularly about t-shirts. The information I have about your product sources comes from other websites and blogs–hopefully they are portraying CafePress goods and services accurately.

Last year the fair trade coffee industry grew by 75%. There is no reason the fair trade T-shirt market can’t grow as well.

I hope Cafepress can make it easier to identify your product sources for those of us who wish to offer union and fair trade products for our buyers.

Nijma
The Camel’s Nose
https://camelsnose.wordpress.com/

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Related posts:
Is CafePress.com hiding sweatshops?
CafePress responds to Fair Trade concerns with form letter, maintains holding pattern
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