Fair trade underwear & swimwear

If you work for low wages in a garment factory in Thailand and your union president is unjustly fired, what do you do? After years of struggle, a group of unjustly fired garment factory workers in Thailand formed their own cooperative, Try Arm, offering no exploitation, sweatshop-free, fair trade fashion.

I had the good fortune to hear Jitra Cotchadet, the former union president at Triumph, a German-owned factory employing 3,000 workers. She spoke at the first Asia Pacific Feminist Forum, Dec. 12-13, 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

From the Try Arm website:
"The TRY ARM brand originated in the protest camp occupied by Triumph International Thailand Labor Union workers engaged in a months-long struggle against their unlawful dismissal by their employer. After more than 20 years of laboring under exploitative garment factory conditions while serving as a beacon for social movements throughout Thailand, TITLU workers have responded to their employer’s final act of union busting by applying their longstanding commitment to democracy and economic justice to the production process itself.

"Combining extensive manufacturing experience with an unwavering social conscience, Triumph’s former union employees have now begun to produce TRY ARM undergarments and swimwear according to principles of sweat-free labor and workers’ self-management. We hope that you enjoy these high quality products in which each TRY ARM cooperative member has an equal, vital stake."

Learn more about Try Arm at http://tryarm-eng.blogspot.com/.

Modelling Try-Arm underwear at the Feminist Fashion Show, Asia Pacific Feminist Forum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Dec. 12-14, 2011