I have avoided writing this message for a long time, because it’s sometimes hard to face the fact that things come to an end. But it’s time…
In the last week of December “Stichting Not a Factory” will cease to exist. The money which is left in the bank – which was intended to be used on future projects – will be donated to two organisations that work in the exact same field as Not a Factory: creating job opportunities for refugees in Greece.
How did we get here?
This end is not necessarily a sad story, because along the way some wonderful things happened. Thanks to your support Not A Factory was able to employ 6 refugees to produce T-shirts, bags and work in a flexible and supportive work environment. I really hope Not a Factory has contributed to some positive change in people’s lives.
So why stop?
Running a financially and ecologically sustainable clothing production company is quite a challenge. Do you know how many T-shirts you have to sell to employ one person? A freaking lot!!
I realised that I love supporting people, but that I’m not necessarily the right person to run a business selling T-shirts to people. I actually believe our overconsumption is destructive to ourselves and our planet, so being part of that business is quite counter-intuitive. But besides these ethical concerns which you can debate about, maybe the main reason has been something else: I got really tired.
Even though this project has only been possible because of the support of so many wonderful people who have helped in different ways. In the end, a lot of it has been a one-man show. If I didn’t keep going, it wasn’t going anywhere. And I got to admit, getting this project from idea to reality within quite challenging conditions, has had a toll on me. So much so that at some point it became hard to stay motivated… Apparently I am not superman?
There is sadness in me writing this, because my initial wish of creating long term employment for refugees, hasn’t manifested the way I dreamed of. But hopefully indirectly and directly, we’ve helped to create conditions for people to take steps in that direction.
So now what?
Together with the board of Not a Factory we decided to stop. The funds which are left we are donating to two organisations that share the same values as Not a Factory.: Naomi Thessaloniki and Because We Carry.
The Not a Factory T-shirts and bags have been produced in collaboration with Naomi Thessaloniki. Since then they have continued producing T-shirts, trousers and many other items for various organisations. We have transferred 60% (approx 6.000 euro) of our fund to support their amazing work.
Because we Carry began in 2015 with offering emergency aid to mothers and children, and are now starting a workshop to produce clothes together with refugees in Athens. We would love to see them succeed and will transfer 40% (approx 4.000 euro) of our funds to them.
Do you still have T-shirts?
Now that you are asking… Yes! Do you want to own (another) one of these special T-shirts? The one and only?! This is your last chance!! Until the 1st of December you get 60% discount and all profits will be donated to the above organisations.
This is not a T-shirt
The last T-shirts, made from 100% organic cotton by refugees in Greece.
Thank you and everybody for making this possible. For your support, you listening ear, your muscle, your ideas, thoughts and understanding. I hope we will meet again…
Maarten (& the team)