With years of experience working for not-for-profits, NGOs, unions, and socially-minded corporations, we were frustrated by the lack of ethically and sustainably made merchandise that could be customised for conferences and employee gifts. For events, so much on offer were disposable plastic products made in factories without worker protections. And when trying to source ethically made and environmentally friendly gifts for employees, it was time consuming and difficult. In the end we decided to make a change and created ETHEQ to set the standard in ethical, equitable and sustainable merchandise.
We joined a movement to improve peoples working lives by partnering with worker cooperatives to make our garments. Cooperatives are democratic and inclusive organisations where workers have a direct say in decision making. Our partner cooperative in Bangkok is made up of mostly women ex-employees of a multi-national company, who were made redundant without being paid just compensation. Their factory is now free from oppression, exploitation and threats. ETHEQ is also a cooperative and practices cooperative principles.
25% of the world’s pesticides and 10% of the world’s synthetic fertilisers are used to grow non-organic cotton, which only covers under 3% of the world’s farmland. This is damaging to the health of farmers, factory workers and the environment. Organically grown cotton replenishes and maintains soil fertility, promotes farmland biodiversity and uses less water than conventional cotton. All the cotton we source is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.
PRINTING WITH A PURPOSE
We teamed with the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Pact (AIPP) to make our folders, notebooks and to print our labels. This grass roots non-profit promotes and defends indigenous peoples’ human rights throughout Asia and runs an eco-friendly printing press that supports Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network. Using recycled paper and soy ink, the printing press minimises the impact of paper-making processes on the environment, particularly forests, where many indigenous peoples make their home.
Our coffee comes from organic plantations in the hills of northern Thailand. The producer is a small family owned social enterprise supporting coffee growers from Musa hill tribes. These farmers use organic and sustainable growing practices that focus on promoting soil diversity and sequestering carbon in the ground.
Our tea is grown wild in the forests of northern Thailand, making the tea organic and fully sustainable. The tea plants grow in their native habitat surrounded by the diversity of the forest environment giving a richer taste to the brewed tea. Our tea partner produces varietals of Green, Oolong and Black tea.
Our organic chocolate is produced in small batches by a local artisan and no artificial ingredients are used. They ethically source their cacao beans from a producer's cooperative where farmers are paid above market prices.
FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE