Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to work....

Well, rapture is all well and good, but in the immortal malaprop of our soon to be ex-president, it doesn't "put food on my family". One friend's comment on this end of the world was "but we're still here!" I said, "That's precisely the point. We're still here but the world is different." As the rabbis said, "When the moshiach comes everything will change but almost imperceptibly." Most Jewish notions about the messiah are very different from most Christian theology, btw. For us this is not a divine figure w/ superhuman powers. Just (JUST!) a rightful and righteous ruler who redeems the nation. Within the realm of the possible but still quite remarkable. But if we really want the 21st century to be a bridge to a millennium of peace and justice we’ll all have to be moshiach for 15 minutes!

A world has ended & with it an ocean of blood money has disappeared. That ugly, accrued American reality that stood in direct contradiction to our ideals. The land stolen from the Indians is now facing foreclosure. The fortunes made from slaves, whale oil, beaver pelts, opium, sweatshops, mines, oil- gone gone gone. Or at least marked down 50%. The miracle is that the reality is going & the ideal remains, stronger and brighter than ever before. Very good for the soul but not so hot for business.

Time to get back to work & try to save my company from this shit storm. Sure is a hard rain that's falling. So are sales. I'm running out of time & money & bright ideas. What would Obama do? Take stock of the situation for starters. What hasn't changed is the enormous mess to clean up, which includes sweatshops, so there's still a good reason for my company to exist.

What has changed is many people's awareness of the consequences of centuries of abusive labor practices and unsustainable consumerism. There's a new generation that feels its power to change the status quo & how easy that can be. No sweat. They don't want their parents' brands- not the Clintons or the McCains. Why should they want the GAP or Nike either? No, they want to be the change they want to see in the world. they want to feel it & breath it & taste it & wear it. Most of all, they want to make it happen.

A big part of Obama's appeal was the way he empowered a generation to make him possible. All the really successful brands of the 21st century - Google, MySpace, Youtube, Facebook- share this quality- they were created by their own consumers. It was what my company tried to do from the start via word of mouse. Necessity was the mother of this invention- we had no budget to advertise & wouldn’t- not if we wanted to pay a living wage & sell a competitively priced product. Before we launched in 2001 we ran a survey asking people if they would forward info about the company to their friends & family. We sent the survey to 1000 email addresses. 12,000 people sent us emails back saying YES we can & will. Then came spam & our marketing medium was shot to hell. New media & social networks- logs, MySpace & Facebook – cropped up in part to shelter their members from spam, at least somewhat. So that’s our medium. The $64,000 question? How to reach out to them w/out spamming them.

Step one. Ask our blogger, MySpace & Facebook friends & affiliates for advice and assistance. Step two? Follow their advice. Comments, anyone?

18 comments:

Ashley said...

First... Video media is HUGE. YouTube videos can be embedded onto any old website, including personal pages on social networking sites. A good video that makes people think will get passed on and will create a buzz.

Second... partnerships with the hundreds (thousands?) of well-intentioned t-shirt designers. T-shirt design is trendy, let's brainstorm ways of getting these designs onto No Sweat t-shirts in as many places as possible.

Ashley said...

Another idea... encouraging supporters of No Sweat to email/message/write to their favorite bands to encourage a switch to sweatshop free merch. I don't know how many times I've gone to a show and been disappointed to see that one of my favorite brands prints onto Fruit of the Loom t-shirts.

Paleo Pat said...

I'm a Libertarian Conservative, But my Daddy is a Union man, Local 22 in Detroit. I carry your banner, and I'm on the referral program. Blogads is an excellent way to advertise. I will give you all ad space. My rates are reasonable.

BlogAds is an excellent program.

Adsense is great too.

My Blog is at:

http://www.politicalbyline.com

Abood said...

I realized that NoSweat isn't very visible on Facebook. Is there a NoSweat application/official group there? I guess that's a good place to start.

Keith said...

Although still in the infantcy,one idea I am working on is donating $2dollars from every T Shirt to local food banks,Salvation Army or whatever is available in your area....one theme is, Help To Heal HomeLessNess, as I have a logo of a Homeless person pushing a shopping cart for one design,with other designs as well.But I don't think you can ever have too many designs for T Shirts even a different shade of a color might make the difference.
More so now than ever before people will have try to help others somehow.I agree with Ashley on brainstorming with different t shirt designers cause you can never have too many designs.

Keith
Help To Heal T Shirts

QuakerDave said...

I have my affiliates banner on my blog already. The YouTube you emailed me will be posted soon, along with a link.

Best of luck.

Keith said...

We can start a Help To Heal Planet Earth campaign.I have a few ideas for T Shirts for that theme.
Its always good to have some type of celeb to promote your product but I don't even think most read the emails do they?
But one trend we do have now, that will be a trend forever is Healing Mother Earth.
If we happen to Brainstorm a good idea celebs will follow.
Keep on Brainstormin!

Ashley said...

Yeah, as far as favorite bands, I was thinking on a bit smaller of a scale.

If people who are already plugged into local music scenes all over the place were pushing for it, maybe it'd work from the bottom up.

Although I see no reason why so many band that have made it big and who say they want to use their celebrity to do good should not consider the switch. I think they'd notice if their fans were noticing, but that would likely have to be on a fairly large scale.

Keith said...

Yes, but everything must have a starting point and that means usually on a smaller scale. There have been some amazing people who have accomplished some amazing things from was just some silly idea.
I seen on CNN today a man was on the street begging for money with his two young sons,it was pretty sad. He just lost his job a couple of weeks ago and he kept his sons out of school to help because most people relate Homeless people to drugs and alcohol, which might be true through the most part.
How many homeless are in your areas? If things keep going the way they are nobody will be able to afford a T Shirt.
Just goes to show that alot of hard working people are only one paycheck away from living on the street.

Keith said...

Watch CNN Heroes on thursday night.
This has to be the way of the future.
The starting point.

Keep on Brainstormin!

Ashley said...

I'm actually an American living up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and am a bit blind to the economic turmoil, as it hasn't hit us quite as hard yet in Alberta.

I like the discussion on homelessness, though. I've been working with the homeless population as a volunteer here in Calgary. I mean, can you imagine being homeless in a place where the winter temperature drops into the -40s F? Anyways, I think t-shirts are a great way of getting the word out on helping the homeless locally, of getting people thinking about not just homelessness, but a wide range of social issues. And then to screen onto sweatshop free shirts brings the idea of social justice full circle, I think.

Like the brainstorming in here... good stuff.

Keith said...

Gee Ash not sure where everyone else went hope we didn't scare them away. Anyways, I already know a few people that went to Alberta to work,not so much Calgary but Fort McMurray..oil fields I guess.
Might be a bit cooler up there also.
Very hard to imagine living on the sreets with those kinds of temperatures. Not sure but I don't think there is a No Sweat Shop in Calgary.....have to check on that though. But we can keep Brainstormin ideas for shirts. I think it is safe to say the T Shirt is probably the biggest selling piece of clothing on the planet, and has always been a good way to get the word out.
So if you like send me an email and I can send you ideas to go over.

Keep on Brainstormin!

True Blue and Red All Over said...

Ugh, trying to sell ethical products in an economically stagnant time- I do not envy you, Adam. I was actually discussing this with friends, earlier this week who all said they’d like to shop ethically for clothes, but feel lost on how to do so. One friend said he feels risky trying to buy something he’s never tried on, and has only started buying American Apparel since it became available at a local boutique:
(http://www.myspace.com/cactusfloweronkirkwood)
People aren’t necessarily coming into a random store looking for ethically-made clothes, but as soon as they figure out it is ethically made, it seals the deal. Maybe you could get some grass-roots promoters going out to local boutiques (especially in college towns) and trying to get them to carry some of the T’s? The only overhead would be paper for fliers and handbills. If the T’s had their own little display area or where in a window-front, people could look at the fliers while browsing. Hearing something is ethically-made is pretty intriguing to most shoppers in my town.
Band promotion is another big one. A lot of bands I know use ethical garments to screen print on. Almost every band I’ve seen recently has some sort of ethically-made T-shirt to sell, and they generally advertise as such. When everyone is already there, and expecting to buy a T-shirt anyway, why not pay an extra two bucks to support a union or co-op?
There seems to be a lot of great suggestions already up, and I’m sure I’ll come up with some more as time goes on. In the mean time, keep the faith.

True Blue and Red All Over said...

I also think Ashley's idea of starting a letter-writing campaign to bands is fantastic.

Adam Neiman & Natalia Muina said...

thanks so much for all these ideas. PLEASE keep them coming. but we have a desperate very short term need. how to sell about 10,000 T-shirts in the next 3 weeks. We don't have much time to save ourselves. & we won't be around to save the world for the long haul if we fail in the short term. will you join our Facebook group "No Sweaters" and ask your friends to join & help? I'll invite you in a minute. we only need to find 10K people prepared to buy ONE t-shirt, ONE pair of sox, ONE beanie & we live. If we do get by, it will be with a little help from our friends.

Ashley said...

Just noticed there is no link back to the No Sweat site from this blog. Might be handy for those who get here by means other than the No Sweat site.

Keith said...

Well seems to be a bit of a slow down in here. Hope you all had a chance to watch CNN heroes last night.Some amazing people doing some amazing things with their simple ideas.Things like that must be continous not just a fad.
And yes it all cost money, even the non profit organizations need the funds from somewhere to survive, whether from sponsers or just donations from hard working people that believe in your cause.
So keep the thinkin caps on.
How about a poppy on a TShirt with $2 going to the War Vets.
Why does the poppy only have to come out for about one month a year?

Keith said...

Hmmm, things seemed to have come to a halt. Remember ideas can grow from opinions on the pros and cons so you can move forward. One thing for sure is that quiting is not a way to move forward.