You may have noticed that within our collection of USA-made, graphic tees, one tee is actually produced in India: our ‘Fair Trade’ tee — and you’ll see that through its impact on its workers and the environment, it certainly lives up to its name!

Our workers are treated respectfully: Our ‘Fair Trade’ tee is produced in conjunction with Hae Now, an organic, animal-friendly and Fair Trade manufacturer in southern India. In an industry that typically exploits its workers with meager wages and sweatshop-like conditions, Hae Now’s workers receive independently assessed fair living wages, safe working conditions, as well as medical, paid leave, retirement benefits, job training, and free education for their dependents. Additionally, our workers are paid pre-harvest with fair prices, which means reliable and steady income.

Organic cotton means no harmful chemicals: The cotton used to produce our ‘Fair Trade’ tee is farmed from a farmer-owned collective in central India. Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of pesticides — the pesticides used in cotton were originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II! Therefore you can imagine how harmful they can be to farmers and the environment: poisoning farm workers, drifting into neighboring communities, contaminating ground and surface water, and kill beneficial insects. The cotton we use in our Fair Trade tee is entirely organic: no pesticides means no ill-effects on workers, farmers, and the environment.

Sustainable farming is practiced throughout: Sustainable techniques like hand-farming, botanical pest control, and crop-rotation are practiced at our farms in India. Besides being better for the environment, crop-rotation gets rid of many costs associated with disease and pest control. Oftentimes Indian farmers rely heavily on expensive pesticides, which easily drags them into spiraling debt. Practices like crop-rotation uses no pesticides and keeps soil enriched and healthy. Because organic, sustainable farming is more labor-intensive, it’s become a powerful vehicle in worker empowerment by creating job opportunities at all levels.

Proceeds support our local community: For every ‘Fair Trade’ tee sold, $5 goes to Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Boston to help them continue to promote Fair Trade and grow the movement!

And an additional fun fact: the design on our ‘Fair Trade’ tee came from a t-shirt design contest we held last year! High schooler Cathi Schwemin from Hanover, Massachusetts produced this design after learning about the common exploitation of workers and discovering Fair Trade.

**In celebration of World Fair Trade Day, we’re excited to share that our ‘Fair Trade’ tee is 50% off! It’s on sale at www.autonomieproject.com. Know that with this tee, you’re not just looking good, but you’re also supporting so a very important movement of ethical, safe, and fair treatment.

People all over the world will be celebrating World Fair Trade Day on Saturday May 14th, and the team at Autonomie Project will proudly be among them.  To kick off the celebrations, we are hosting a World Fair Trade DayT-Shirt Design Contest in partnership with the Fair Trade Resource Network!

We are looking for a fresh new design to print on a new adult tee promoting Fair Trade. We will be accepting submissions starting today, April 1st, through May 1st.


All designs will be posted on our facebook page and our flickr account and YOU will have a chance to vote for your favorites! The winning artwork, which best displays the values of fair trade and that the voting public chooses, will be announced on Saturday May 14th, World Fair Trade Day!

The lucky designer will see their shirt go into production and be launched as part of Autonomie’s summer collection. They will of course receive a free tee for themselves, as well as a free gift card for more of AP’s hip Eco-friendly and fair trade products.

And, to take it one step further, 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the tee you designed will be donated to the Fair Trade Resource Network, an informational fair trade hub who focus on education and awareness.

Submissions and any questions should be directed to contest@autonomieproject.com. Start brainstorming now; your design could be our next top seller!

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