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23352 Madero Suite L
Mission Viejo, CA, 92691
United States

949-680-4004

Gallant International is a Fair Trade Certified company. We specialize in 100% organic cotton bags and accessories that are customizable to your need and budget.

Blogs

Ethical and Sustainable Purchasing

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Gallant International Goes to Universities:

Sponsors of a Fair Trade Pop Up Market

Last year, Gallant International started partnering with college campuses to spread more awareness (and our awesome totes!)  with younger consumers. We started this outreach because we are passionate for ethical businesses and believe in the power of conscious consumerism amongst all ages. We also did it because we crave real-life community experiences that create opportunities for discussion, awareness and empowerment of local businesses who are committed to high environmental and social standards.

In December, we were able to sponsor an ethical Holiday Pop Up Market at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. Hosted by the Fair Trade Club, the annual event draws up to 500 visitors and features many Fair Trade brands like Mata Traders, Bead and Reel, Divine Chocolate, Marquet Fair Trade, and Fair Trade USA.

We chose to sponsor this event because of the commitment to ethical and sustainable purchasing, stewardship of the environment and the desire to spread awareness to a large audience. The theme of the event, which is so near to our hearts, was the damaging effects of fast fashion, which can be summarized by the maxim “Fast fashion is a disaster for women and the environment.”

“Fast fashion” business models of major retailers is to mass-produce runway styles to capitalize on trendiness. But to move those clothes to market quickly, tens of millions of poor people suffer low wages and abusive labor practices, and the environment pays with toxic byproducts, and disposable clothing clogging landfills. To learn more about the effects of fast fashion, check out the documentary the True Cost on Netlfix, or read more here.

We at Gallant stand behind our commitment to sustainable, ethical and affordable clothing that is beautifully and lovingly made. We hope that in the new year, you will join us in our fight against fast fashion and will continue to support global artisans all over the world!

3 simple ways to live a sustainable life in 2018

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Welcome, 2018! There’s a new year new you attitude in the air and the world seems rife with possibilities for self-improvement, change and good intentions. With new year’s however also comes disappointment, fad diets, impossible resolutions no one can achieve and the guilt of having another year go by with the feeling that you really aren’t making a difference.

We at Gallant want to ring in the new year by encouraging you and reminding you that you CAN make a difference and that it’s the little things that really count, not the over-the-top promises or grandiose ideas that change the world. Aa Confucius himself quoted over 2500 years ago:

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

To ring in 2018, here are 3 small stones you can start to carry that won’t take much effort at all and will really make a difference for people in your local community and across the world.

1.Eat locally

A powerful way to live more sustainably is to eat locally. The convenience of supermarkets has changed how people think about food, but products shipped from across the world consume huge amounts of fossil fuel energy to get from those global locations to your corner supermarket. Get outside, meet your local farmers and get some free samples! Farmer’s markets are great ways to support your local economies, eat fresh produce that actually tastes like food and to be less wasteful on a daily basis.

2. Recycle

Recycle as much as possible! I know the colored bins can be confusing at times (which one is plastic? Composting? What’s that?) but here is a resource to help you learn more about how to properly dispose of your waste. Even though Americans pride ourselves on being the best at jsut about everything, it turns out that Europe is kicking our butts when it comes to recycling waste. 69 percent of the things Americans toss out end up in landfills. This is compared with 1 percent in countries like Belgium and Sweden! Both Germany and the Netherlands have completely eliminated their landfill usage, with 62 percent of trash being recycled or composted. The other 38 percent is turned into energy from waste.

If your neighborhood or apartment complex doesn’t offer recycling pickup, either find a drop-off location or request the curbside service. Buying products labeled post-consumer lets companies know that recycling is the way to go! Goodwill Industries International also accepts electronics for responsible recycling.

3. Purchase Fair Trade Products

When you purchase items that are imported from all over the world — particularly coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, chocolate, and fruit — look for the fair-trade certification. This designation tells you that these items were grown using sustainable methods of agriculture and that local people are receiving fair prices for the goods they produce.

Items that don’t have the fair-trade certification may have been produced unsustainably and may be the product of exploitative labor practices that don’t benefit the local people. We at Gallant pride ourselves on using the best Fair Trade labor and environmentally sustainable practices to produce every bag, tote, and product in our line, and a purchase with our company is another small stone that will help create a more sustainable 2018.

5 ways farmers and artisans benefit when you buy Fair Trade products

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5 ways farmers and artisans benefit when you buy Fair Trade products

Have you ever thought about the person that made the clothing you’re wearing? How about the communities that weave, dye and package the bags you carry, the sweater that keeps you warm or the blanket that wraps you up before you fall asleep at night?

With the holiday season coming to a close and New Year’s around the corner, we at Gallant wanted to remind you of why it is so important to purchase Fair Trade and Organic products whenever possible.

1. To Support Environmental Sustainability

When you buy fair trade, organic cotton you are supporting environmental sustainability through organic practices that reduce and/or eliminate the use of harmful toxic agrochemicals, pesticides and other chemical additives. Many fair trade cotton farmers work with sustainable production methods to help keep the natural environment thriving for generations to come.

2. Fair Prices

The people who make our clothing have families, homes, assets and communities to take care of. They work hard to ensure the products we purchase are beautiful, well made and functional. By purchasing Fair Trade products, you are ensuring that the artisan is receiving a living wage and isn’t getting undercut by the long supply chain of importers, exporters, processors, brokers and retailers before getting to you. WIth Fair Trade, you support a fair price for products that is set by the international Fair Trade Labeling Organization.  That way, you don’t undercut the little guy and you can rest assured the item you purchased is doing good for someone’s life.

3. To Empower Local Communities & Workers

When you buy fair trade, organic cotton bags and clothing, you help the workers, organizations and communities involved in the production to receive a living wage. This is a direct support against commodities practices that leave workers without the minimum salary required to have basic food, shelter, medical care and education. A choice for Fair Trade means a choice for empowered workers who can support their families.

4. To Invest in Community Building

When you buy from a fair-trade producer, you also invest a small amount of your money in that local community via a fair trade premium. Whereas many cotton producers live on conventional plantations with child labor, no basic amenities like housing or bathrooms and awful living conditions, Gallant’s fair trade cotton operatives provide artisans with fair wages and living conditions while reinvesting revenues back into local businesses and community development initiatives including housing, healthcare, education, leadership training and women’s programs.

5. Fair Trade means partnership – not exploitation

Fair Trade bypasses “middlemen” and challenges big business. It is a way of working with communities to ensure that they have a say in the products they are creating and that we as consumers aren’t taking advantage of their resources or skills. Fair Trade businesses value the knowledge inherent in local communities and leverages that to create beautiful goods that are meaningful, handcrafted and sustainably sourced. We create long-lasting partnerships and invest in our communities, instead of conventional extractive supply chains that destroy the communities and inhabitants they source from.

Five reasons to use organic cotton bags

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It’s no secret that disposable shopping bags are everywhere. From department stores to gas stations, we as consumers can count on receiving anywhere from 1-3 shopping per purchase. In most places in America, stores give away these bags for free and seemingly don’t give a second thought to where they end up after use.

Well, let’s think for a second...where do all those plastic bags go after we finish using them (and usually only 1 time)?

Are you surprised? The average American goes through six shopping bags per week. With a population of roughly 323 million, that means almost 2 billion bags are used and discarded in America every week!

As you can see, all of that trash adds up. That’s why we at Gallant have compiled 5 facts about plastic bags and conventional cotton that we think are good reasons for you to pick up a reusable organic cotton bag. We hope that in doing so, you can make the next bag you throw out your last.

5 Reasons to Use Organic Cotton Bags:

1. The Environment: A plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down...and paper bags don’t do much better. As a completely natural fiber grown in the fields, Gallant organic cotton bags are completely biodegradable, giving them an amazing advantage over many other synthetic materials. This means we do not have to worry about cotton filling up landfill. Plus, our bags are fashionable so you’ll want to keep using them for all of your purchases!

2. The Planet: Conventional cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, accounting for 25% of all pesticide use. According to the USDA, every year over 50 million pounds of pesticides are used on U.S. cotton fields. Pesticide and fertilizer use on cotton has been linked to ground and surface water contamination, and the pollution of drinking water. In California, cotton ranks third in the state for total number of pesticide-related illness. So much damage to land, animals and humans that grow it is caused by the release of dangerous toxins from nasty things that are biodegrading – organic cotton does not do that.

3. Our conscience: The cost to recycle plastic bags outweighs their value, so most recycling facilities will not take them. Instead of being recycled, they are thrown out with the rest of the trash. I know I have tried to recycle plastic bags so that I feel better about using them once and then throwing them away, but unfortunately not everything that is put in the recycling bin gets recycled. Organic cotton is completely reusable, can be recycled into things like paper, new clothing products and and even feed for mushrooms! Organic cotton bags also make great gifts and donations to thrift stores.

4. People: Today’s global fashion industry employs over 60 million people -  most of which work in unsafe factory and environmental conditions while receiving extremely poor wages. The fashion industry is the world's second-largest polluter, just behind the oil industry. At Gallant, we ensure that employment is freely chosen, working conditions are safe and hygienic,our artisans are paid living wages, and child labor is forbidden. Our Organic cotton bags are made of GOTS certified organic cotton. When you purchase one of our organic cotton bags versus a bag from somewhere else, you are investing in water conservation, cleaner air, better soil and farmer livelihoods. If you are concerned with the welfare of others, using organic fabrics has a major positive impact on your health and the health of our planet.

5. Most importantly... Style: Organic Cotton bags are versatile, durable, easy to accessorize, and a great fashion accessory! The next time you are out shopping, make sure you remember to bring a Gallant Organic Cotton bag with you so you can help the planet, its people, and your wardrobe!

What is Fair Trade | Why Fair Trade

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What is Fair Trade?

At Gallant International, we focus on three things:

  1. Creating beautiful products

  2. Purchasing the best high quality materials that don’t harm our environment

  3. Paying our workers superior wages for superior quality

The reason we are able to stick to our mission is because we are FairTrade and Organic certified. By working with certifiers, we can promise our customers that we are doing exactly what we say we are, and we don’t greenwash to make an extra dollar.

But what exactly is Fair Trade, and why do we believe in it so much? It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot and can be controversial at times, with many critics saying that it doesn’t actually benefit workers. Because the Fair Trade economic model is at the heart of our mission as a social enterprise, we wanted to give you a history of the movement, why we chose to become Fair Trade certified, and how Fair Trade actually does make a difference in the lives of millions of cotton farmers in India.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is the solution that makes a big difference in the people who grow and make things we love. Fair trade organizations help set standards to alleviate the poverty and exploitation of farmers and workers by providing better wages and reforming work conditions.

Fair Trade today is a global movement that impacts over 1 million small-scale producers and workers in 3,000+ grassroots organizations in 70 countries. Fair Trade products are sold in thousands of retail stores, supermarkets and sales outlets in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America, and feature over 10,000 different products!

Fair Trade companies and advocates work with international brands to create and sell Fair Trade certified products while also working with international policy makers and governments to improve working conditions for international workers on a global level. On top of that, Fair Trade has made mainstream business more aware of their social and environmental responsibility.

To become Fair Trade certified, we have committed to paying our workers a Fair Trade minimum price that is above market wages, allowing our workers to form a labor union to ensure that they can work together and express their needs to us as a group, and paying our workers a premium wage on top of the Fair Trade wages that goes to a savings account that they then elect to use however they choose.

Why Fair Trade?

Today’s global fashion industry employs over 60 million people -  most of which work in unsafe factory and environmental conditions while receiving extremely poor wages. Globally, annual revenues from the industry are measured in the trillions of dollars and many household-name retailers admit that they don’t know exactly how the cotton they use is farmed and processed.

To make things worse, the fashion industry is the world's second most extractive and polluting industry, second only to the oil industry. In parts of China and India, farmers can predict the color of the next fashion season by the color of their rivers due to run-off from the textile industry. And last year, the number of cotton child workers in India was half a million.

When we stopped for a moment to think about this data and when we traveled through those countries and saw those workers with our own eyes, we knew why Gallant had to be a Fair Trade and Organic enterprise. For us, it is the only way to do business in a way that can combat fast fashion and global giants who don’t know who they are impacting with their businesses or what the true cost is of the cheap goods they flood the market with. Our products are biodegradable, sustainable and free of harmful chemicals. The process we use benefits the ecosystem and its people, and we know we are doing good in the world while creating something meaningful, responsible and authentic.

Just like our company. For us, the choice was simple. We hope for you that it will be too.

Gallant and Fair Trade: Why Ethical Fashion Creates Superior Brands

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Here at Gallant, we pride ourselves in specializing in the most beautiful private label bags and accessories that are made of exceptional quality. We start with ethical production at the grassroots level and are fully committed to providing handcrafted quality products that not only benefit the environment but the people who make and use them.

Each of our products has a story, a livelihood and a purpose:

To help farmers get a fair price for their cotton and to ensure our factory workers are well-paid so that our consumers know they are getting the best products made under the best conditions.

But why do we do this? What is the point of working so hard to ensure that our workers and local environment are treated well and even receive additional wages and benefits that are higher than our competitors’?

The answer is simple: Because we care about the people who make our products, the planet that produces them, and the consumers who help make our business sustainable.

When Gallant International founder Vik Gallant traveled around India and saw the plight of the farmers and factory workers, he knew he had to do something to help them. Devastating stories about human rights violations in garment factories and cotton farms around the world like the Rana Plaza disaster and cotton farm slavery and child labor violations are on the rise, which drove Vik and his family to create a sustainable solution.

Those are the roots that helped create Gallant International and the driving motivators for all of our decisions. From choosing to purchase the best eco-friendly ingredients like 100% organic cotton from certified producers to paying our workers Fair Trade wages, benefits and premiums, we have made a commitment to ethical fashion and we stick to it. A purchase from Gallant means a sustainable solution to global poverty and a beautiful product for you that is made with love!

Join us next week for a history on what Fair Trade is and how you can make a difference with your dollar.