All about us
Fair & Bare is an ongoing tshirt competition where designs are both submitted and chosen by our community of site visitors. We only print winning designs on t shirts made from Fairtrade certified cotton.
What are we all about?
Designing cool t shirts in a cool way. Benefiting everyone in that production chain, from cotton growers through to designers, when our tees are sold. We started fair and bare as a response to the lack of ethically produced clothing that we ourselves would wear. We could get cool designs on shirts, we could get cool materials but the two didn’t often seem to be well combined. Why couldn’t we get a well designed, ethically produced t shirt?
Where do your designs come from?
Our designs come from talented artists spread all across the world. The designs are submitted to our website and others vote on what they would like to be printed up. The artist receives a fee for each of their designs that wins currently £200 (about $320). Once designs have been chosen, we screen print them the FAB base (located in Cardiff, Wales, UK). These designs are then made available to purchase on-line. If we ever decide to reprint a design the artist will also receive another payment.
What’s this Fairtrade stuff all about then?
Saying our tees are made from Fairtrade certified cotton might not mean a lot if you’re not from particular parts of the world where it is more heavily promoted. The FAIRTRADE Mark ensures that small-scale cotton farmers in developing countries get a better deal and can improve their livelihoods. Traditionally a sensible model would be to buy shirts at an extremely low price and sell them for a low price also. Ever wondered why in certain supermarket and high street chains we can purchase clothing for such a minimal amount these days? This isn’t a model that’s great, yes you can get cool cheap tees, but ultimately are the right people getting the money they deserve when you purchase an item like this? You can read more about the FAIRTRADE Mark at the Fairtrade Foundations website (http://www.fairtrade.org.uk).
What tees are you using?
We use t shirts sourced from the Epona clothing company, all of which use Fairtrade certified cotton. They also farm according to organic production methods, although are not officially soil certified as yet (a process that takes 2 years). They are completely committed to ensuring that all those involved in the production chain, rather than just the farmers face no kind of exploitation either. The cotton is grown in Andhra Pradesh, India and is sourced from two villages. Our belief is that by working with companies such as Epona seeking to change cotton farming methods in these areas, we will have a better quality product overall. Other approaches (such as growing cotton in other countries) didn’t seem to us to be seeking to resolve the problems that the western world has created.
Why should I buy a tee from you?
Buy it just because you love the design and want to show off to your mates. That’s why we buy tees. You shouldn’t purchase only because its made from Fairtrade cotton – nobody is going to be able to tell that from the shirt anyway (aside from a discrete label on the outside of the garment). Our vision is that all those involved in the production chain should be adequately rewarded, from cotton growers to weavers to designers – but that the end product should be as well designed as any tee you would purchase on the high street.
How can I be involved?
The best way to get involved is to vote on those t shirt ideas that you like best, or submit some yourself. If you're not a member of fair and bare already you can sign up over here.