To help pay for the costs of the Irregular Times website, we sell a few liberal t-shirts through the Ohio printer Skreened. The shirts we print on are made in the USA because clothing factories in the U.S. are regularly inspected and meet some basic ethical standards for the compensation and safety of workers. This cannot be said for shirts made in the developing countries of Honduras, Haiti, Bangladesh and Indonesia, or in dictatorships like China that use government power to squelch worker rights in the name of squeezing out profits for multinational conglomerates. We understand the argument made by some people that in order for circumstances to improve in developing nations, money has got to flow there, but we reject the presumption that exploitative industrial sweatshops are the only way for money to flow there — that “sweatshops are a dream.” Every time we sell one of our sweat-free shirts, we send a dollar to assist desperate people in desperate circumstances in poor countries. That’s our way of helping poor nations do better while maintaining some ethical standard in shirt production.
Our latest international donation is being sent to the Horn of Africa, where drought and famine again threaten the people living there with starvation. The Foundation Beyond Belief is mounting a secular response to the crisis, and we’re happy to chip in. If you’d like to help relieve the suffering of the people of Ethiopia and Somalia without enabling fundamentalist proselytization as part of the mix, consider a donation to the Foundation Beyond Belief Crisis Fund today.