When a T-Shirt Means So Much …

Wearing my Fair Food Program T-Shirt

Wearing my Fair Food Program T-Shirt, outside my local Whole Foods Market

Everybody should be concerned with where our food comes from and who picks it,” Eva Longoria, Executive Producer, Food Chains

My senses were awakened and I was called-to-action after seeing a documentary film called Food Chains. Before seeing this film I didn’t think much about where I shopped for food (except to find the highest quality at the best prices) and I didn’t think much about who was picking my fresh fruits and vegetables. Nor did I realize that those harvesting the very food I ate could not afford to feed themselves. That is, until I saw the film …

… which focuses on a group of tomato pickers from Immokalee, Southern Florida. This determined group, who has been consistently robbed of fair working wages and has suffered from verbal and physical abuse and sometimes sexual harassment, takes a courageous stand to change things when they stand up to the supermarkets and fast food chains to form the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, or CIW. Says the producers of the film: “Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed – to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain.”

There is a history of farm labor abuses that dates back to slavery. Take a look – as I did – and awaken to the realities of where and how our food is harvested. You can support fair food wages by shopping at stores which support the Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking model for social responsibility based on a unique partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and participating buyers. Participants include: Aramark, Bon Appetit Management Company, Burger King, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Compass Group, McDonald’s, Sodexo, Subway, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Whole Foods Market, and Yum Brands.

And because I believe in the power of clothes and that a simple t-shirt can carry meaning I purchased my tee – “Fair Food, Consumer Powered, Worker Certified“* – at the brand new Fair Food Program store. You can find more news on the CIW here and watch the documentary Food Chains on iTunes and on other online applications.

*Pinkwater & Putman designed the label and did the branding campaign for the movement. The goal of the CIW/FFP in bringing in Pinkwater & Putman was to create an identifying label so that consumers will recognize the partners and the produce when they see it. Says Pinkwater & Putman: “It was really an honor to be asked to do it. And now, happily, the label appears on t-shirts and soon maybe mugs and other good stuff so supporters can wear it and be part of the movement.”

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

 Note: Turning Fashion Inside Out and Melissa Kaplan Guarino were not compensated for this endorsement. All opinions are my own.


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2 thoughts on “When a T-Shirt Means So Much …

  1. Where can this t shirt be purchased? I work in a low income high school and would like to share story and consciousness this year.

    Mary Ellen Gavin

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