SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar 07, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- PACT, an ethical and organic apparel brand, announced today that it is launching a line of organic cotton apparel manufactured in a Fair Trade Certified(TM) facility. The line will include 19 product styles featuring 78 different items. A preview of the line featuring custom designed women's t-shirts for Spring retailing at $14.99 launches March 7, 2014 exclusively at select Whole Foods Markets.
On July 1, 2014, the Fair Trade Certified line will be expanded to include its famous underwear, leggings, camisoles, men's t-shirts, long johns and baby products. The expanded line will be available at retailers across the US and on www.wearPACT.com  . This is the first Fair Trade Certified line for PACT whose mission is to design and produce clothes that make the world a better place.
From seed-to-shelf, PACT follows every step of the manufacturing process in a supply chain that is fully GOTS and Fair Trade Certified by third party auditors. All of the cotton for PACT's Fair Trade Certified line is sourced from Chetna Organic -- a cooperative of 15,000 organic cotton farmers in India who practice non-GMO organic agriculture. Chetna works to improve livelihood options of smallholder farmers by making their farm systems more sustainable and profitable, and by creating access to ethical markets in cotton.
"Having visited the cotton farms in India myself, I've witnessed the authenticity of the supply chain and the remarkable impact that Chetna has on community development," says Joe Dickson, Senior Global Quality Standards Coordinator for Whole Foods Market . "We are excited to be the exclusive launch partner of PACT's new line which also represents the first time Whole Foods Market has sold Fair Trade Certified apparel."
The Fair Trade Certified line is produced in a certified factory in India that has led the movement for the ethical and sustainable production of garments. Factory workers are permanent employees as opposed to migrant laborers, their families are covered by factory-provided health insurance, and the children of workers receive free education through high school.
"By focusing on the people who make our products, from the farmers who grow the organic cotton to the workers who stitch the garments, PACT is fulfilling its mission to use apparel production as a means of making the world a better place," says Jeff Denby, Founder of PACT. "We really can create beautiful high quality apparel at a great price while investing in sustainability -- economic, environmental, and social -- within our supply chain."
PACT's Fair Trade Certified line is certified by Fair Trade USA, in partnership with local and independent auditing organizations. The line also meets the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), certified by Control Union, and PACT is in the process of GOTS certification at the brand level.
ABOUT PACT: Started in 2009 by two social entrepreneurs, PACT is obsessed with a BIG idea: clothes that make the world a better place. Socks with soul, altruistic underwear, and other everyday essentials made with fabrics that feel good and go easy on the environment.
The best part: with every purchase, you help PACT make a positive change in our world. You change your underwear. Together, we change the world.
About Whole Foods Market(R): Founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market , is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America's first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health magazine. The company's motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(TM) captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company's more than 80,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 17th consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of approximately $13 billion and currently has more than 370 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
About Fair Trade USA: Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between companies and their international suppliers to help ensure that farmers and workers are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and improve their communities. Fair Trade USA also educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farming communities with the tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit FairTradeCertified.org for more information.
About Chetna Organic: The Chetna Organic Cotton Project was launched in 2004 to improve the livelihoods of small, marginalized Indian farmers through the integration of organic and Fair Trade principles. Farmers produce 100 percent organic and Fair Trade Certified(TM) cotton without child labor, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, or GMOs. Farmers have a direct role in decision-making throughout the production and selling processes. They are represented in two cooperatives: the Chetna Organic Farmers' Association and the Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company which ensure project goals are met and benefits reach workers directly.
ABOUT GOTS: The Global Organic Textile Standard International Working Group is comprised of four reputed member organisations, namely OTA (USA), IVN (Germany), Soil Association (UK) and JOCA (Japan), which contribute to the GOTS, together with further international stakeholder organizations and experts, their respective expertise in organic farming and environmentally and socially responsible textile processing.