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Re: producing, distributing, storing Debian t-shirts

Gunnar Wolf - 01.05.17, 23:44:
> Martin Steigerwald dijo [Mon, May 01, 2017 at 10:13:58PM +0200]:
> > > Make it fair-trade and printed by people with disabilities, like
> > > we did for DC15, and it was somewhere around $8. I'd still buy
> > > a shirt for $15 or so every now and then if it was a witty new
> > > design and a cut of the proceeds were donated to Debian.
> > 
> > I would not have any issue with paying an extra fee for fair-trade,
> > organic T- Shirt. That most are not at FLOSS events is a reason why I
> > sometimes do not opt for a T-Shirt at all.
> > 
> > The very cheap approach of T-Shirt doesn´t go along well with any kind of
> > idealism. Its very nice to hear in retrospect that the DC15 T-Shirts have
> > been fair trade – I didn´t know that.
> Note that "fair trade" is a quite squishy notion. Speaking as a friend
> of the producer, I can assure you that the printing process of our
> usual Mexican dirt-cheap shirts are as fair-trade as they can be; I
> cannot assure the details for the fibers to be organic, and I won't
> claim the shirt maker themselves are overly idealistic, but the
> printing process itself is not a "sweat shop", but a small family
> business that struggles to survive _and_ help our movement, in which
> they believe.

Well, there is a Fair Trade label, that requires a standard to be followed¹. 
But as for organic… well the cheapest supply of certified organic *and* 
fairtrade shirts I know of in Germany is Memo (probably reselling shirts sold 
by Living Crafts). And they charge 6,95 Euro per shirt² ³. Okay, scratch that, 
at another webpage of them I found that depending on amount ordered price can 
be as low as 4,99 per shirt for 500 shirts or more[4].

Printing would be on top of that and I think when done through them be 
dependend of amount of shirts ordered, getting cheaper per shirt with larger 
amount. However I like the way of printing organizers of DC15, Martin, you?, 
found very much. But for the sake of completeness on [4] I also found the 
printing costs which would be 0,65 Euro per shirt in monochrome print and 0,87 
Euro per shirt in multicolor print for 500 or more shirts. I am not sure who 
is their printing partner, I would not be surprised if its some organisation 
with people with disabilites or another socially engaged organisation as well. 
However I think someone would need to ask them – I won´t do at the moment 
cause what DC 15 team would seems to be just fine to me.

[1] I believe this standard applies:

[2] For men:

[3] For women:

[4] Special memo shop for advertising articles: 

> Of course, it helps that our country's economy is way cheaper than
> Europe. I make a quite decent living and earn surely quite a bit over
> average (several stddevs in fact), but I am still quite close to the
> USA minimum wage. So, yes, a $3 shirt provides good value to their
> printers in our reality.

I doubt that anyone would offer a certified fairtrade and organic shirt for $3. 
One point of fairtrade *and* organic is to pay more to the producers, so there 
is a limit as to how cheap they can become. Above is the cheapest source in 
Germany I am aware of. And for my personal feeling thats already quite 
ridiculously cheap given that they are certified organic and fairtrade, but 
here might be indeed at play that working costs in other economies are lower 
than the extremely high costs in Germany I partly which sometimes almost drive 
tears into my eyes when looking at a paycheck. As far as I have seen in [2] 
the production for these shirts is in Asia.

Of course 7 Euro per shirt or 5 euro per shirt for 500 or more might be 
considered to expensive to Debian events. Personally, I am more than willing 
to pay a higher price than that. Even for shopping privately the prices for 
those shirts are low enough for me to never ever even consider to buy anything 
less than this quality for cotton based shirts. I want pesticide free and at 
least somewhat fairly dealt clothing.


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