A Note from Allmade Founding Partner, Ryan Moor
If you read my previous post, you might already have a visual of Joe Knittig, the CEO of the Global Orphan (GO) Project. You can imagine that it take a special kind of guy to leave a high-powered job at a law firm behind and move to the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere to lead a revolution in orphan care. Joe rocks a mean pair of cowboy boots, but beyond that, he’s smart, driven, courageous, and…CONVINCING.
It was Joe that drove me to turn inspiration into action—defining a business model that would capitalize on the experience of some of Ryonet’s strategic screen printing business partners in order to drive meaningful change in the industry with Allmade. Sitting on a rooftop in Haiti after a long day touring the GOEX/LIFE production facility and visiting some of the orphan communities GO supports, we pieced together the framework of what an Allmade founding partner would look like. They would have to be socially-conscious or aware. “Woke,” as it were. They’d have to have a spirit of risk-taking, be willing to push boundaries and “bring the fire,” as we’ve since taken to saying. They’d have to already have a commitment to using high-quality apparel within their screen printing business. And, they’d have to have a unique niche and a loyal following that would understand the importance of what we were trying to do.
Talking with Joe, I realized the almost-surreal intersection coming to life. A non-profit partner, committed to “investing in a man’s fishing business, so that he can feed others” with dignified work that keeps families together, breaking the cycle of poverty and orphanhood. A production facility started by two Haitian apparel veterans, who knew the ins-and-outs of the country and the local industry. And a collective of screen printers who could take the story of a blank t-shirt and bring it to life like a visual canvas, changing the pattern of exploitative manufacturing from within by tackling the commodities market.
When I came back to the States, I could hear Joe’s voice ringing in my ears as I pitched the idea to ten screen printing partners—retail brands, big printers, boutiques, male-owned, female owned, from different corners of the country, serving different markets, and with different perspectives. They, like me, recognized the opportunity to build a conscious brand offering quality apparel, made ethically, to create living wage jobs for people in need, keeping families together. Soon after, I was back on a plane to Haiti, with this diverse group of screen printers after one common goal—changing the world, one t-shirt at a time.
You can read about each of Allmade’s founding partners on our website. We believe there is a better way to make a t-shirt. And we’re committed to showing the world how.
Are you? We need your support to drive demand for shirts that are made in a socially and environmentally-kind way.