Fair Trade Manufacturing Right Here!
A fair wage is a living wage.
Factory sewers in Southern Ontario start around minimum wage and could make up to $19/hour if they're very good - this is legal, but it is a poverty wage. Following all applicable labour laws, whether here or abroad, is not sufficient to merit the term "ethical" - a legal wage which is not sufficient to live on is not ethical. When you buy HCC, you are helping someone earn a living wage.
In order to call myself "ethical" I believe complete transparency is essential, that's why I list my suppliers and specify the hourly wage I "pay myself". I love talking about how the industry works and invite you in to the process as much as possible with my videos and social media posts.
The HCC is a one-woman brand. I am designer, patternmaker, samplemaker, cutter, screen printer and production sewer. Plus: web designer, bookkeeper, marketing manager and customer service representative. My mini-factory is in the basement of our home, 7km south of Haliburton village, Ontario. Every HCC item is 100% made by me, so you can feel good knowing your clothes were made with love.
The choice to do it all myself comes with a trade-off: I can't do everything. The human cost of this is the HCC's limited size range, XS-1X. This is not inclusive, which I acknowledge.
Production sewing is physically demanding and mentally draining. I exercise regularly (and get periodic tune-ups at my RMT) to keep my chronic repetitive stress injuries in check, and while sewing I'm always listening to something to keep my brain stimulated, like the CBC, a BBC mystery series or a fabulous soundtrack. (This was critical when sewing masks for six months straight in 2020 😆.)
It's hard work, and I find it immensely satisfying. When you buy HCC, you are supporting a very grateful local gal! ❤️
Supporting Good Causes
"Charity-washing" marketing is as common as "green-washing" these days - the "buy this shirt and $5 goes to X" trick (wouldn't you rather get the tax break from your money?). No thanks. As noted above, the "good cause" you're supporting when you buy HCC is a regular person earning a modest living.
My Mennonite heritage raised me to always give back (thanks mom!), and whether or not you buy HCC, my husband and I give regularly as part of our monthly budget. If you want to know where some of your money is indirectly going, or if you're looking for a great cause to add to your own budget, here are ours: