It’s #FashionRevolution Week! Two Brands You Need To Know That Are Open & Transparent About Their Supply Chain


Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? When you think of the fashion industry, do you still think of concrete factories with high tech machines that magically make beautiful clothes that we can easily buy with just a click or a tap online?

Well, that’s what I thought for the longest time, before I became aware about Fashion Revolution and realized that our clothes, shoes, and accessories are made by actual people and not just machines.

The fashion industry is one of the most labour intensive industries in the world and nearly all fashion products are handmade. That prompts me to ask another set of questions. 

Who are these people who make our clothes? What are their lives like? How much are they paid?

These are simple questions but surprisingly do not have simple answers because today in the fashion industry with a culture of fast fashion there’s hardly a transparent supply chain for us to know what goes behind making that cheap $5 t-shirt that claims to be good for the planet. If that’s the cost of the tee then how are the people who are behind this massive supply chain - from farmers to workers involved in manufacturing, producing, and distribution - paid?

Around the world, the people who make our clothes predominantly live in poverty, lacking a living wage or the freedom to negotiate for their pay and working conditions. According to the Global Slavery Index (2018), the fashion industry is the second most predominant sector driving modern slavery. Unbelievable, right?

Here at The Good Tee we wholeheartedly believe in Fashion Revolution which is a global movement calling for a fair, safe, clean and transparent fashion industry. Supply chain transparency is at the forefront of what we believe in. What makes me happier is that we’re not alone in this and we know that people across the world are taking steps and making efforts to bring about a much needed change in the fashion industry. I had an amazing opportunity to speak to two good humans who followed their passion of giving back to communities and openly share stories about who makes their products.

John Pritchard - Founder, Pala Eyewear

pala eyewear

John is the founder of Pala, an eyewear brand built on keeping the impact on the planet low, and the impact on people high. Pala works to deliver lasting change, empowerment and opportunity through funding eyecare projects across Africa while creating sustainable sunglasses, and this is what he had to say.

1.Why is it important to you that you are transparent in your supply chain?

I believe that it is very important for B Corporations to help in educating the consumers and in that essence it is very important for us to show our supply chain behind our products. For example we work with weavers in Ghana, four female communities who make our cases for the sunglasses. We provide them with the materials they need for weaving and they don’t have to travel an hour each way on a bus and on foot to procure these materials, and be subjected to the safety issues of women being out on their own. So this is proving to be a solution and it’s very important to tell these stories for the consumers to really connect with these deeper stories behind the supply chain of products.

fashion revwhomademyclothes

2.Can you share a story of any of your makers that may have impacted your life?

There are a lot of interesting stories, really. We pay 2.5x the minimum wage and that enables our workers to empower themselves, pay for school and hospital costs. One of our weavers was at school and wasn’t allowed to compete for her school running team because she didn’t have a track suit. She was able to purchase and be a part of her school team because she had fair wages that enabled her to achieve that. One of the weavers had to do a three mile journey to get water and I mentioned this to one of our stockists in Italy, and they managed to get a bicycle for this girl and she was thrilled. It’s just the simple, everyday stories like these that make an impact and it’s important for us. We’re not just talking the talk but walking the walk to find out the deeper issues.



  1. You work closely with many communities and people in need from developing countries throughout Africa. What have you learned in this process and how has it impacted you?


When I go to Zambia, Ethiopia, or Ghana what strikes me is the simplicity of their lives, I kind of hark back to that. You see the kids playing on the street with a metal bicycle rim and a stick and they’re having great fun with that, while we have our heads in smart phones and TV screens. I regret that the western world has moved forward in such a rapid way that we’ve lost touch with some of the basics of where we came from. Living in a society where we are constantly being marketed to, to ‘buy more’ I have arguably switched in the other direction and buy only what is necessary, sticking closely to the mantra of ‘buying less but buying better’. When I look back to those trips, all the joy in people’s lives without the trappings of the modern world, that’s a good way of life there, and it’s made me reflect on my own lifestyle.palaeyewear

4.You are passionate about people and giving them opportunities, how did this strive for goodness and love for people start?

I would say that it just gradually dawned on me. It was a ‘look back’ moment, that when I would be old and retired, what would I have achieved with my ‘productive life?’ and the answer was essentially ‘nothing’ - here lies John who did nothing! So it was this dawning that I had an opportunity in my privileged position to make that choice and do something, take a risk and see if I can make a change. You fundamentally have to have that passion for wanting to have an impact and create change.



I also had the most engaging chat with Christal, the founder of sustainable footwear brand Brave Soles that makes gorgeous handmade footwear with durable soles made of waste tires. Christal believes in building lasting relationships with the communities and people she works with and she had some amazing stories to tell us about her workers and team members.

Christal Earle - Founder, Brave Soles



1.Why is it important to you that you are transparent in your supply chain?

For me it’s really personal actually because the people who work with us are small scale suppliers and they’ve been personal friends and family connections for years, all of our suppliers in Dominican Republic. I have always done business through introduction  and networking & friendships, so for me it’s more like the transparency in our supply chain has been all along, so I think people know we have those relationships.


2.Can you share a story of any of your makers that may have impacted your life?


One of my key team members is Scania, she oversees everything and is part of our supply chain. Scania is a single mom who has three kids, had to give up university to be able to provide for her kids and for many many years was living on a couple hundred dollars a month providing for these kids. When I found her and knew I wanted her to work with us, I remember sitting down with her and telling her , here's what you’re going to be paid, here's what you can expect from us, here’s what we want you to do. And then I asked her what her plans are, how would she like to grow? She didn’t understand what I was asking her. It was really hard for us to get her to think what’s her personal goal or what she would like to do. She never really had the opportunity to decide what she would like to accomplish in her career goals. So to be able to work with people and create something with them where their future could look different and to see a life change happen that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.


3.You work with many workers in the Dominican Republic. How long have you been working with them and how did you start working with your makers? 

My friend Bernard, who was one of the translators, said that there is this community of people at the landfill that we should go meet and talk and learn about what’s going on there. That's how it all started, and everything in my life has always been through relationships. So that took me on this journey and talking to these people made me research and realize what’s happening in landfills all over the world. Landfills are hiding in plain sight for every single culture, there is no culture that isn’t affected by it, there is no country that doesn’t have these communities of people who don’t revolve around these landfills. It altered how I used things, It altered how I saw end of life vs end of use for products and it also radically altered my perception of creativity and how people have managed to create and use amazing things. The resiliency of the human spirit is so profound.  Despite losing everything else people will still find a way. The will to survive and the belief that tomorrow will be better has been a very profound learning for me.


4.What does Fashion revolution mean to you?

I believe that opportunities like Fashion revolution week is about valuing other people, but it’s also about valuing ourselves. It is to value ourselves enough to care about what we are consuming, where our money is going, value ourselves enough to buy products and use products and allow those products in ours lives because of who we are, to put them in the forefront of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it whether it’s a pair of shoes or a tshirt, I feel it’s a question of value and dignity both for ourselves and other people.


After two such enriching conversations, I’m sure that like me you too are motivated to be a part of this revolution. A revolution for change, a revolution to make an impact, a revolution to transform how we make choices and consume fashion. Still wondering where to start? It’s as simple as supporting brands like Pala Eyewear and Brave Soles (don’t forget The Good Tee), who strive hard to maintain a transparent supply chain and care not just about the planet but also the people who make sustainable fashion possible.

Love Bravesoles? 


Love Pala Eyewear? 


Do you have any stories about makers? Share your stories in the comments below.



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