No Sweat, which campaigns for better conditions for garment workers worldwide, is to produce a T-shirt to support activists in Myanmar.
The T-shirt, especially designed by Visceral Manifestations, is available to pre-order now, with 100% of proceeds going to the group’s Garment Workers Solidarity Fund which will go to people in Myanmar.
Priced at £20 and sold online, it will be printed with “Don’t Mourn, Organise” which is a phrase attributed to Industrial Workers of the World activist and songwriter Joe Hill who was executed in 1915. It was chosen to honour the bravery of people fighting oppression in Myanmar.
No Sweat’s fund-raising campaign will support garment workers and their trade unions who are on the front lines fighting for democracy and workers’ rights in the face a military dictatorship that seized power in February 2021.
The T-shirts will be printed and despatched in October, with No Sweat hoping to keep costs down and contributions high by receiving as many orders as possible.
Two of the largest trade unions in Myanmar, the All Burma Federation of Trade Unions (ABFTU) and the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM), have called on garment decorators and fashion retailers such as H&M, Adidas and Primark to stop sourcing their products from Myanmar suppliers.
Announcing its latest fund-raiser, No Sweat said: “While this is acknowledged to be a drastic step, the people of Myanmar have nothing more to lose faced with brutal repression and violations of workers’ rights and human rights. When unions call for a boycott it is our responsibility to support them.
“With the situation in Myanmar escalating and unions calling on brands to halt production, the situation for garment workers is going to get increasingly difficult.
“Garment workers have been on the front line of the struggle for democracy since the beginning, going on strike and taking part in the mass protests that took place following the coup.
“Since then workers have been harassed by factory owners and employers, who have allegedly been working in collaboration with the military to break the trade unions and have union leaders arrested.”
No Sweat was set up 11 years ago to end sweatshops and now raises funds both by selling printed T-shirts and supplying ethically sourced blank garments through wholesale.
Visceral Manifestations is a specialist in graphic design and prints for activist networks and underground culture.