Our shop has always been ran by staff that care about matters of social and environmental justice. For many Eugene locals that have already heard about Threadbare, it’s likely they’re aware of both our efforts in sustainability and our involvement in activism against discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, beliefs, abilities, or any other levels of an individual’s identity.
Put bluntly, this widespread awareness of our passion for social/environmental justice is based on our habit of giving a shit! When we see a group or organization that’s working hard for a good cause, we feel the need to lend a hand. This involvement includes, so far, hosting free, live printing for Eugene’s Women’s March of 2017-19; volunteering our time to print masks for the Black Student Union of North Eugene High School; and hosting online merch stores to help fundraise for projects like Marrow of the Mountain, Asians Arise, ShelterCare, and many others.
The involvement doesn’t stop at the level of our shop. The owner of Threadbare, Amy Baker, has visited Haiti to tour Allmade’s facilities and learn about the company’s positive social and environmental impact. As she recently joined Gildan’s Board of Directors to learn more about sustainability in garment production, Amy’s planning another outing to tour Gildan’s facilities in Honduras. Additionally, Amy worked with Oregon Supported Living Program via their Community Inclusion and Employment Program and is now on the board of directors at OSLP.
It feels a little icky to admit it, but being involved in fundraisers for non-profits, local activism, and sustainably-minded efforts has inevitably opened the doors to business we may not have landed. In all honesty, it has provided us with word-of-mouth advertising at a larger scale than anyone could have imagined. To this day, we still have customers that decide to do business with us because of our sustainable mindedness, involvement in activism, and strong ties with the local community! While this was never the original goal, we don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.