Give us the details! Tell us a bit about you and the story behind The Good Tee?
I started off my career as a fashion entrepreneur and founded my first clothing company, Shortstak Childrenswear Inc, in 2003. 2009 I founded Source My Garment Consulting, working closely with offshore factories and partnering with and building businesses within the fashion industry. I am also the author of Source My Garment – The Insider’s Guide to Responsible Offshore Manufacturing which was released in 2019
In 2020, I started the brand The Good Tee after confronting the heartbreaking truth of the high suicide rates among cotton farmers while on one of my sourcing trips to India. I’m proud to say that The Good Tee has grown so much from where it began and has received so much support. We are a Certified B Corporation and use only certified fairtrade cotton to ensure that our consumers get ethically-made and sustainable products from our company. This year we also got WBE (Women in Business Enterprise) certified.
Your sustainability story and what it means to you.
I have over 18 years experience working with offshore manufacturers and grateful for all of the good humans i’ve met in the supply chain. I’ve had the opportunity to see, first hand, the entire process and how things are made and deeply value how much love and hard work goes into every garment that is made. My mission is truly to be a voice for the makers. To share what they do and have people here really “see” that clothing is made by people, not machines.
Our mission is to be a positive example of responsibly made modern fashion basics and to humanize the fashion industry. We provide 100% transparency to our consumers on how and where their products are made. We openly share information about our supply chain to counter the disconnection issue between fashion brands and our consumers.
Our products are manufactured ethically without neglecting the basic rights and needs of our partnered factory workers and farmers. Our partnered factory, Assisi Garments also supports its community by supporting multiple social projects including an old age home and and orphanage in South India.
We openly share all supplier information from seed to shelf, so you feel empowered making better decisions when you buy our clothing.
In terms of our sustainable efforts, our clothes are made with fair trade certified organic cotton to ensure that our products are not only soft but durable for the wearer. Despite its indestructible nature, our clothes and accessories are made with 100% Fairtrade self-fabric so that it is easily biodegradable. In addition, our clothes are sustainably designed with classic designs and colors that will be in style for years to come.
Given your experiences as a business owner, what advice would you give to your younger self 5-10 years ago?
“Never underestimate the good that you can do for the world and for all those in it. Be a part of driving this industry in the right direction. Learn from the pioneers and be one too!” - Adila Cokar
Fast forward five years—what is next for The Good Tee?
In five years, I’d love to be able to grow the company so much so that i can be able to focus more on giving back to the offshore manufactures and the makers. The only part of the supply chain I have never first hand met, are the farmers and my dreams is to go visit a cotton field. Being a small company, I ofter wear many hats. It would be nice to wear one big hat and be able to better support the needs of the makers.
If The Good Tee were a person, how would you describe them?
If Good Tee were a person, it’s personality and goals would be very similar to Dr. Vandana Shiva, an inspiring lady that I came across before I began my journey into responsible manufacturing. She is an indian scholar, environmental activist, eco-feminist and anti-globalization author. She was extremely passionate about teaching people about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and GMO seeds that are resistant to herbicides and is opposed by multinational corporations invested in continuing their toxic agricultural practices. She also mentioned about how the farmers and their families suffer health problems from the ineffective pesticides used on GMO cotton plants and how little profit they are able to earn because of the short lifespan of the plants.
The Good Tee as a company holds the same values of being more responsible for the environment, having the courage to spread awareness about poor business practices and the compassion to protect the environment and the labourers that fashion industries rely on.
What is your biggest accomplishment as a brand so far?
The Good Tee is currently Certified B-corp, Certified FairTrade, along with a WBE certification. We were also featured in Elle Magazine as One of the 8 Sustainable Brands to Shop in early April of this year.