Monday, 31 December 2007

Fairliebt in Nairobi

Fairliebt is a fine, young ethical T-shirt label from Hamburg in Germany. They use fair trade shirts from organic cotton and sustainable screen print techniques. The shirts are recognizable by their clear, playful designs.

Their T-shirts are made by Lamu Lamu in a factory in Nairobi, and certified fair trade. During my visit in Kanya I coincidently visited the factory. My photo's of this visit are lost, but here a short impression: it was rather stuffed in the factory. They started with only about twenty workers, now every corner of the working place is used. In one corner sewers were busy for a local Kenyan clothing brand, full of colors and patterns. On the other side I found the shirts of Lamu Lamu. As they also produce non organic basic T-shirts for the local market, I could compare the quality. Indeed, the organic cotton felt much, much nicer and softer!

As I wrote already in another article, it is hard to see the fair trade aspects in a factory if you are not trained for it. The area is really industrial, dirty and rough. For someone with a lot of beautiful ideas about sustainable production this can be rather disappointing, but the reality is off course that we also have to create better working conditions inside the dirty industrial areas. And respect for those sweating to realize this on every day base!

The cotton from the Fairliebt shirts comes from Phenix in Uganda, please read the articles below if you want to know more about this organic, fair trade cotton from Uganda.
Fairliebt are selling their shirts online to keep prices low. A succesful concept for them, and a good example for others. Thanks to Fairliebt for your positive spirit!

*** I wrote this article shortly before the unfortunate happenings in Kenya of the past weeks. Let's hope that peace will return to this lovely country. Frans

See one of the Fairliebt clips on MySpace:

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