}

Must Have Those Fair Trade, Union made, Sweat Shop Free, Palestinian Produced, Organic Cotton T-Shirts!

Peace Through Superior T-ShirtsHelen Jupiter over at Jewcy is positively gushing about Jewish owned No Sweat Apparel‘s made in Palestine line of t-shirts, and what can I say? Her enthusiasm is positively infectious!

Adam Neiman, the CEO of No Sweat Apparel began his venture 2 years ago. According to Jewcy, the company’s intent was “to make a big difference in the Middle East.” Jupiter urges Jewcy readers to vote for No Sweat in a contest that can award the company $10,000 which it will use “to purchase another container of t-shirts from Bethlehem so our burgeoning network of high school distributors have a competitively priced product to sell to camps this summer & schools in the fall.” In a second post, Jupiter declared that these made in Bethlehem, Palestine t-shirts are “must have” items. I am particularly enamored of the Vision in Action shirt, available in both women’s and unisex styles and featuring a Hamsa or Eye of Fatima design:

There’s only one symbol in the holy land that’s embraced by Jews, Christians & Muslims & this is it, the eye of Fatima (or Miriam), encircled by a Japanese proverb that fits the moment to a T. Fatima was Mohammed’s daughter, Miriam, Moses’ sister. It is said that the symbol actually represents the hidden female aspect of the deity and is used as a talisman to ward off the evil eye. For us the placement of the eye in the hand implies vision in action – what we strive to provide every day.

There are a number of other designs available with some of the proceeds going to various charitable projects. I know I’ll feel awesome wearing these hip t-shirts knowing that they are Jewcy approved and that I am supporting peace and helping the Palestinian economy by providing employment to seamstresses in Bethlehem who get paid about $1 an hour.

Working hard!

These are the happy, hardworking, peace loving seamstresses at the Arja Textile Factory in Bethlehem, Palestine – the beneficiaries of a union they uhm… didn’t elect, as well as Adam Neiman’s vision of a peaceful, economically stable Palestine and Helen Jupiter’s admiration. Maybe one of them will use the bulk of her weekly income to send Adam and Helen a No Sweat t-shirt in gratitude (It’s ok. At $18-$20 a pop, with her $48 weekly salary she’ll have enough money left over for a coke and a felafel, maybe even a knafeh!). Here’s one Israeli who is wishing them, and all of us, the very best of luck in a new, prosperous, stable and peaceful Middle East. You have got to love that, making friends in Palestine, one $1 an hour job at a time.

Photo source Joe Freedom.

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1 Comment

  1. joe

    5/1/2008 at 11:41 am

    Harsh..

    I took Adam Neiman to the Arja factory. To defend the Arja family, the situation in Bethlehem is bad, unemployment is high and work at their factory is considerably better than no job at all. Also you have to consider how much people are getting paid in textile factories worldscale – and bear in mind that one of the problems Palestinian factories have is that they are too expensive because the wages are a lot higher than in many other countries. Today even Palestinians buy Chinese products because they’re cheaper than their own factories can produce.

    … but it is fair to say that things could be considerably better. Arja is one of the more successful factories in Bethlehem – you want to try visiting some of the others!

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