Why 34.000 euro? How will the money be spent?
The goal of 34.000 euro will allow “Not a Factory” to operate for it’s first 3 months of production. It will enable us to purchase the necessary equipment (sewing machines, fabric, furnishings etc), to rent the space, pay the salary of our creators, and cover the costs of shipping and all that extra jazz. During the these 3 months we will produce the first 1.000 t-shirts we have crowdfunded (thanks to you!) which will leave a small amount of profit. That profit will be reinvested into the company to produce new t-shirt designs, expand production so that “Not a Factory” can continue to operate self sufficiently, and develop empowering side projects. In the happy case we make more than our goal, then this too will be reinvested in the company to allow us to grow and hire more refugees.

Why aren’t there more videos and photos of refugees on the website?
We wish we could share photos of our beautiful friends from Syria, but there are no photos of them/ or other refugees on the website, as sharing their image could potentially have dangerous repercussions for their families still in Syria.

What happens with the funds if you don’t reach your goal?
The goal of 34.000 euro is the amount needed to realise the vision of “Not a Factory” and produce the first 1.000 t-shirts. If we do not reach our goal of 34.000, then we will need to consider whether it will still be possible to operate in a smaller scale production. In that case, we would fulfil the orders we received and thereby attempt to grow “Not a Factory” into the original vision. If we decide that the amount raised is not enough to operate and begin producing the t-shirts of “Not a Factory,” then everyone’s donation/ order payments will be reimbursed by the original payment method used

When will my T-shirts arrive?
We thank you for your patience and understanding in receiving your beautiful tshirt (which is not a tshirt) in a flexible time frame. Given that this is a brand new startup we need some time to get our space fully operational (purchase the necessary equipment etc). Our goal is to have your order shipped to you by August, but we hope you will understand if it takes us a little longer.

What are the challenges you see to make this project successful?
Given that Greece is still in a severe economic crisis, there are many challenges in getting “Not a Factory” established there. Greece is honestly a bit of a bureaucratic maze of taxes, and laws, which are constantly changing. This is why many companies do not want to operate in Greece, but we still feel it is possible to create a sustainable business there by relying primarily on online sales to other parts of the world, and we are finding resources to help us navigate the bureaucracy. The uncertain, and unpredictable nature of the lives of the refugees we are hiring could potentially be a challenge too, as it’s possible they will need to change location, or country at any time. This is the reality of the lives of refugees. We also understand that past the crowdfunding phase, “Not a Factory” will need to become a self sufficient business. This will need to happen by the 4th month of production as our crowdfunding goal will only take us through the first 3 months. This is indeed a challenge, but we believe this is possible if we continue to grow our network of online, and in-store sales, and we thank you for your support in sharing and connecting this project.

What is the situation like for refugees in Greece?
Unfortunately the situation for refugees in Greece continues to be extremely difficult, and without a longterm solution. Many people do not know that there are an estimated 60.000 refugees still in Greece – many of whom still live in camps. These camps are extremely isolated, often far from any major city, or work. And while living in camp is far from ideal, it does provide some short term security as refugees are given living space, food, and 120 euro per month. However, this is not permanent. Refugees in camp must eventually file for permanent residency, and once that paperwork has been established they have a maximum of 6 months to live in camp before they must leave and the economic support stops. Then refugees are in the same situation as so many unemployed Greeks in a country with a 20% unemployment rate. And, unlike other Northern European countries, there is no state welfare, job assistance etc. to turn to for assistance – and refugees have the further disadvantage of the language barrier. This is why it is crucial to find innovative ways to provide employment to refugees in Greece.

How can I help?
By buying one of our tshirts you are enabling us to hire refugees and provide a salary in a country where this is extremely difficult. We also appreciate any creative ways of sharing this project, new ideas, or connections that will enable us to get “Not a Factory’s” name and message out there. If you are interested in working with us, or helping out in any way, please get in touch with us. We’d also encourage you to stay informed in your own country as there are many refugees in need of assistance in so many parts of the world. And there are still many opportunities to volunteer with many different organisations in Greece. As the refugee crisis has been less and less in the news, the number of volunteers has also fallen, but there is still great need for willing hands to help.