“Right now, we don’t have the choice to choose the virtuous t-shirt over the non-virtuous one. What would it take to do that? … so at the point of purchase we can make a compassionate choice.”
–Daniel Goleman, Ted 2007
To create premium quality apparel, while setting a positive, sweatshop-free example for business practices in the clothing industry.
Commitment to Ethical Business Practices
We like to think of ourselves as a progressive brand, conscientious on many fronts. Our clothing is designed to be appealing and stylish, but we also know that every garment we produce is an opportunity to set an example for the ethical and sustainable business practices we stand for. We take that opportunity very seriously.
This is why we are committed to a minimalist business approach that allows us to run a socially responsible and sustainable operation on a very limited budget.
A Minimalist Business Model
At Bootstrapped Apparel, we take a minimalist approach to business often referred to as bootstrapping.
- To get (oneself or something) into or out of a situation using existing resources.
- To start up (an enterprise), especially one based on the Internet, with minimal resources.
Typically, bootstrapping is a way for businesses to conserve scarce financial resources by using creative and innovative alternatives.
This approach allows us to forgo unnecessary expenses while conserving financial and human resources.
This minimalist approach is extremely important, because it allows us to stay in integrity with our values, while competing in an industry that benefits from cheap off-shore labour and environmentally irresponsible business practices.
We are proud of our minimalist business model and confident that it will prove to be a competitive advantage.
Eco-conscious Business Practices
Day to day operations
At Bootstrapped Apparel, we currently rely solely on the internet for distribution and are a remotely run business, which means we can operate from almost anywhere in the world.
Leveraging this business model lets us function with no physical office. Instead, we use online workspaces for communication and business operations. This allows us to drastically reduce overhead and energy consumption while running a virtually paperless day-to-day operation that produces near zero physical waste.
We are committed to using only eco-conscious manufacturing facilities. We are proud to say that we have partnered with American Apparel—the largest clothing manufacturer in North America and a pioneer in responsible business practices.
Our manufacturing partners are committed to fostering a culture of eco-conscious manufacturing and have been able to concentrate their operation to a few square miles. This has allowed them to reduce their carbon footprint drastically in comparison to that of their competitors.
In 2016, as a result of a commitment to recycle all of their waste—which amounts to an average of 125,000 lbs of paper, plastic and cardboard per week—our main supplier has become virtually landfill free.
Together, we are committed to producing high quality garments using an ethical and eco-conscious approach.
Our apparel is created with the most current garment printing technology. The inks used are water-based and eco-friendly. This makes them feel much softer than traditional screen printed garments, while remaining durable.
In addition, we use CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) compliant inks, which are required when printing on children’s wear 12 and below.
We are proud to say that when you purchase from Bootstrapped Apparel, you can be confident that each garment was made in a sweatshop-free environment using ethical, humane, and lawful practices.
Our garments are manufactured exclusively in North America. The workers employed to make them can earn in excess of $30,000 annually while also receiving healthcare and benefits. This amounts to more than 50 times that of the underpaid off-shore workers employed by other manufacturing facilities.
Setting A Positive Example For The Future
Although maintaining responsible business practices has historically required significantly more overhead, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The clothing industry’s reliance on cheap off-shore labour and environmentally irresponsible manufacturing cannot be sustained over time.
We are confident that by leveraging technology, innovation, passion and the support of our customers, we can set a positive example for the future. Let’s make ethical business a standard in the garment industry, and other industries alike.
How Can You Help?
Working against the status quo comes with many challenges. As a result, there are many parts of our business that are far from perfect. After all, we are run by people! We still rely heavily on fossil fuels for shipping and delivery, we still use plastic in some of our packaging and we often skip meals and sleep to get things done.
Nevertheless, we still believe that by embracing innovation and partnering with companies who reflect our values, we can continue to improve. We ask that you are patient with our shortcomings while we do our best to set an example for a better future.
Vote with your dollars, your pesos and your rupees
At the moment, ethical business practices require significantly more overhead than less ethical alternatives. As a result, profit margins suffer and many ethical businesses find it hard to compete and are forced to close.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Every time you purchase from an ethical business, your money can be used to invest in eco-friendly infrastructure and the development of humane business models. As these models are streamlined, they become cheaper to execute. This will allow ethical businesses to maintain a competitive advantage and continue to operate.
The outcome? Ethical, responsible, and financially viable business models that deliver an affordable product to the consumer without sacrificing our planet and our humanity.
We ask that you vote with your dollars, pesos, or rupees. Give your money to businesses that are socially and environmentally conscious.
Spread the word
If our values and business practices align with yours, then help us spread the word by telling your friends. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and share our content. Let’s share, tweet, pin, and post our way to a sustainable and ethical clothing industry.