Empowering Families: When Fashion and Philanthropy CollideJulie Smith
If you’re like most people, you buy a t-shirt because it looks good when worn. But did you know a simple t-shirt purchase can do so much more than that?
All over the world, there are parents making less than or no livable wage. Families unable to overcome the stress of poverty are breaking down, and children are growing up in orphanages and in foster care. Liberating workers from poverty and empowering families to care for their kids is why GOEX Apparel was created in 2010.
GOEX is the marketplace ministry of Kansas City-based nonprofit The Global Orphan Project (GO Project). The apparel company’s American-made fabric is cut, sewn, and ethically made by GOEX team members in Haiti, then screen printed by the GOEX team in Kansas City. GOEX provides fair wage jobs and dignified work for its employees and has grown to produce several garments made with sustainable fabrics.
Local businesswoman Elle Steadman learned about GOEX Apparel while attending GO Project’s annual BIG Event, a celebration of what God is doing in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children all over the world. Hearing about how a livable wage makes a tremendous difference for parents and allows them to keep their family together moved Elle to take action.
She partnered with GOEX to design and print several of the fashionable t-shirts sold at her boutique, Pink Dinosaur. Her most popular t-shirt design also became a mural outside the GOEX headquarters in downtown Kansas City, and fans of Pink Dinosaur are encouraged to visit the mural located at 3161 Wyandotte Street, snap and share a photo, and get curious about the organization that prints her shirts.
At GO Project’s 15th Annual BIG Event, Elle was honored as the 2021 Advocate of The Year. The award recognizes individuals, families, or businesses who have left a unique mark on the ministry by advocating for the world’s most vulnerable all year long and blessing the children we are called to serve.
“Elle stepped up with GEOX at just the right time,” says Beth Fox, co-founder of GO Project. “She became a strategic partner during the pandemic and helped Haitian workers be able to keep their jobs so they could put food on the table and keep their families together. She is a true difference-maker in so many lives.”
Congratulations Elle and thank you to all of our advocates who have embraced our mission and made it their own!
Use your purchasing power for good! Shop fair trade, ethically made apparel at www.goexapparel.com.