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When Actions Speak Louder Than Words !

Our BLOG this month is simply dedicated to images of ACTION rather than WORDS. Show casing the Individuals and Organisations who are now activity supporting Social Justice through their everyday purchasing. Whether it be on the sporting fields across Australia via RREPP's Fairtrade Sports Balls, or through our Corporate branded Tee's that cross the Kokoda track with On Track Expeditions on a weekly basis. Or in our School playgrounds and classrooms thanks to a select group of P&C committee members who have said enough is enough in regards to exploitation in the garment industry. Committees who now have their kids wearing RREPP's socially and environmentally conscious Organic & Fairtrade School Uniform Polo's to school everyday. We feel privileged to be working with such a motivated and inspiring client base, that continues to grow by the day. ACTION is what counts !

Scott Goddard
Founding Director RREPP

m. 0422 004 954
e. scott@rrepp.com.au  

Posted in breaking the poverty cycle on Saturday 5th August 2017

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How Purchasing Ethically Can Change The World

We've all heard the saying 'Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.'  Yet what if the Fisherman wanted to start upscaling his business. Should we start looking at the Environmental and Social side of things as well from a bigger picture perspective. Surely we would like to see his fishing done sustainably, combined with the fisherman being paid a fair price for all his hard work so he can then support his family, send his kids to school, and perhaps even enjoy some small personal luxuries with his family and friends. Yet unfortunately in the real world, the latter is where things frequently fall down, with the cost often being a heavy one both environmentally and socially.

Take the garment and sports ball industries for example. Why is it that these larger retailers and wholesalers here in Australia and across the globe, can generate so much profit for themsleves, yet are unable to support their overseas workers properly who manufacture their products. The facts are that many of these main stream business models are deeply flawed, and simply centre on buying as cheaply as possible from struggling third world producers, in order to make as much profit as possible for themselves and their bottom line. Now there is nothing wrong with making a profit. Yet when the business model is centred solely on this at all costs, then human rights, the environment and workers rights, get completely forgotten. We all want cheap and we all want a good deal whether it be based around price or special kick backs. Yet there is a fine line here in regards to what is fair and sustainable, and western business models that simply feed and support third world poverty.

Purchasing ethically is a real solution to all of this and it doesn't have to create a burden on the hip pocket either. Many ethically produced products only cost a few dollars more and are generally made of better quality so are longer lasting. Some ethically made products are even cheaper as major brands frequently cash in on huge margins because they know people are brand obsessed and believe the slogans that are so strongly promoted. How often do you see Banks advertisng how caring they are and how they genuinely have our interests at heart, and Telecommunication companies promoting their wonderfully reliable networks and exceptional customer service ! Words are one thing, yet whether they align with reality is a completely different matter. Such is the power of advertising !

So the next time you are making a purchase, take a step back and have a think about what's real. Ask the business you are buying from about their supply chain and about the people who have actually made the product you are buying. Does your School or Business or Sporting Club have purchasing policies aligned to buying ethically if an ethical alternative exists. Or are they simply centred around price, kick backs and fund raising opportunities that come from buying cheap. Thinking locally is always understandable as we try to focus on things that affect us more directly within our own communities. And it is easy to think that bigger picture issues in regards to world poverty are simply too great for any of us individually to ever be able to make a difference. Yet purchasing ethically is something that can and will make a difference because the businesses you are purchasing from are actually looking after the people who work tirelessly to produce the product you are buying. So teaching a man to fish is one thing, yet paying him fairly and not exploiting him for the fish he has caught is how the world will slowly start clawing its way back into balance.      

* RREPP is a growing Sydney Northern Beaches based Social Enterprise producing quality Ethically made Fairtrade Certified Match & International Match sports balls, and Organic & Fairtrade certified School Uniform Polo's, Corporate Polo's and Tees. 

Scott Goddard
Founding Director rrepp
m. 0422 004 954
e. scott@rrepp.com.au
www.rrepp.com.au

rrepp on YouTube
rrepp Testimonials

Posted in breaking the poverty cycle on Wednesday 1st March 2017

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School Uniform Polo's Made From The Heart

Unethical School Uniform Polo suppliers have branded themselves on mass into the education system throughout Australia for many years now. Cheap poorly made products that unfortunately also have serious negative environmental and social impact that very few of us ever really think about.

There is a documentary worth viewing called 'The True Cost' that was relased in 2015, that reveals exactly what is going on behind the scenes in the fashion industry. So take a look at this short 2 minute 30 second trailer HERE if you haven't already, to get a glimpse of an industry that has clearly lost its way. It's gut wrenching viewing yet it is real ! Our obsession with cheap clothing unfortunately has an unacceptable high cost on our planet and on the many workers, families and communities who produce our products. Yet School Leadership Teams and Uniform Shop Committees do have the power to take ACTION and create positive CHANGE in this space. And what a great practical way for our kids to start learning about important social issues, than by wearing a School Uniform Polo or Sports Polo to school everyday, that not only creates social awareness, yet also has the ability to create empowering social change. We know parents and students are overwhelmingly supportive of their schools adding an ethical choice into their School Uniform shops, and we know that the vast majority of parents do not mind paying a few dollars more to have their children wearing a superior quality product that doesn't take the shirt off someone else's back !

We have around 10,000 schools throughout Australia and nearly 4 million students, and most have a Uniform Polo or Sports Polo option for their students to wear as part of their school uniform policies. Yet everyone of these Polo's also comes individually wrapped in a PVC plastic polybag that is immediately discarded into the environment after the Polo is purchased. We will let you do the numbers on the negative impact this has on our planet on a daily basis, and this is just for one uniform item aligned to Schools, let alone the garment industry as a whole throughout the world where the hidden cost of plastic packaging is simply astronomical.

So the big question at the end of the day is, is your School ready to move on to something better. Are you ready to say goodbye to the Polo label you've always loved and supported, probably due to price or convenience more than anything else, and consider making the change to an alternative that puts social justice and the environment at the forefront of your purchasing decisions. Here is a general overview of what you are likely purchasing now, compared to what RREPP has created and developed throughout 2016, and is now ready to offer Schools in 2017 and beyond:

CONVENTIONAL SCHOOL UNIFORM POLOS
                                                                           
* Made in China
* Made from pesticide grown cotton often mixed with plastic polyesters
* Poor quality
* Use of cheap questionable labour practices
* Toxic dye usage
* Use of nontransparent supply chains
* Packaged in PVC polybags that take 100's of years to breakdown
* Sold to parent's / students for between $20.00 - $35.00

RREPP'S SCHOOL UNIFORM POLOS

* Made in India
* Made from healthy 100% GOT's Certified environmentally conscious Organic Cotton
* Exceptional Quality
* Independently Fairtrade Certified (no child labour)
* Use of only GOT's certified Eco dyes
* Transparent supply chain 100% third party audited by Fairtrade & GOT's
* Packaged in biodegradeable polybags
* Can be sold to parents / students for less than $30.00 (* based on our junior polo pricing)

So out of 10,000 Schools throughout Australia educating 4 million students, how many do you think are offering an ethically made Organic and Fairtrade Polo option ? 10% ? 5% ? 1% ? The actual number at the moment is only 3 schools Nationally or 0.03%, with RREPP securing two of these Schools in late 2016 when we first launched our product to market. RREPP is one of only a handful of suppliers worldwide manufacturing a product like this in such a socially and environmentally responsible way, whilst also offering a personal professional service that is second to none. Something that is completely unique in an industry focussed on mass production and lack of supply chain transparency.

And thanks to our two pioneering schools who have already come on board with us and will have their students wearing our Organic and Fairtrade Polo's in 2017. These Schools are not just part of a wonderful localised social justice initiative that includes students, teachers, parents and their local communities, they have also become part of a far greater social statement by recognising and speaking up for those who are rarely given a voice. So what do you think - is your School ready to make the ethical swap to RREPP ?

Scott Goddard
Founding Director rrepp
m. 0422 004 954
e. scott@rrepp.com.au
www.rrepp.com.au

rrepp on YouTube

Posted in breaking the poverty cycle on Thursday 5th January 2017

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EDUCATING THE HEART

'Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all' - ARISTOTLE

I've personally been asked to speak at a number of School Social Justice Forums in 2016, and this has become one of the most rewarding aspects of running the RREPP business. A business that has now established itself as one of Australia's most transparent and ethically focussed Social Enterprises as ranked by Baptist World Aid Australia in their 2016 Fashion Report. So when I speak at forums in front of students who have been encouraged by teacher leadership teams to not just think with their minds yet also with their hearts, then you just know that our world is going to be in better hands in the future.

At the forums I have spoken at, I have naturally been asked about RREPP, what we do, and why we do it. It is amazing how a 45 minute talk can simply fly past when inquisitive minds think deeper about life's injustices, and start peeling back the hidden layers on how our world really operates, especially when it comes to big business. What is uncovered is often quite confronting, yet the thing about awareness is that it can also be a catalyst towards important change. Social Justice certainly has a place in our school curriculum. 

Take a look at the following 3 short videos. They basically sum up RREPP and the industries we are trying to change for the better through our ethically produced Fairtrade Sports Balls and our newly released 100% Organic and Fairtrade cotton School Uniform Polo's. Our kids have been wearing chemically laced unethically produced conventional School Uniform Polos without thought for far too long now, yet RREPP is now offering an Environmentally and Socially conscious alternative. So please contact us if you would like to know more. We have extra Uniform Polo samples arriving in a weeks time so we would be more than happy to send your School a sample to look at on request.

Enough words - take a break, grab a coffee, and have a look at the following brief videos as they really do encapsulate what RREPP is all about, and just as importantly, why we do what we do. We all as consumers have the ability to make the world a better place through our lifestyle choices and our purchasing habits, yet whether we have the true WILL to put our words into meaningful action, is a completely different matter. One thing is for certain though - our Global Communities deserve so much better !

RREPP in 45 seconds: https://youtu.be/8eeGlQiY6QA

THE TRUE COST of the garment industry in 2 minutes 30 seconds (confronting): https://youtu.be/OaGp5_Sfbss

The Story of Fairtrade Footballs in 8 minutes - RREPP is one of only a small handful of businesses worldwide producing Fairtrade Certified Sports Balls: https://vimeo.com/169701686

Scott Goddard
Founding Director rrepp
m. 0422004954
e. scott@rrepp.com.au
www.rrepp.com.au

Posted in breaking the poverty cycle on Wednesday 15th June 2016

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Meet The People Who Make RREPP'S Clothes #whomadeyourclothes ?

If we could ever ask you to watch just one video from our awareness campaigns, it would be this one. Please take a look at this Trailer HERE from the groundbreaking documentary film called 'THE TRUE COST' - it will only take 2 minutes and 30 seconds of your time. It's confronting, and heartbreaking, yet is the reality of a fashion industry that over the years has completely lost touch of it's moral compass, and all for the sake of making a profit. 'The True Cost' pulls back the curtain on an untold story and asks us all to consider, WHO REALLY PAYS the price for our CHEAP clothing?

This week is the start of Fashion Revolution Week (18th - 24th April) and it will be HASHTAGGED worldwide through social media asking the question #whomademyclothes. The week recognises the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh when on the 24th April 2013, the lives of over 1100 garment workers were lost - now recorded as the second worst industrial accident of all time. Some of Australia's major clothing retailers and brands were purchasing their clothes cheaply from this factory, and from other similar factories that still exist today. A myriad of atrocious working conditions, adult exploitation and child labour. Cheap clothing is nothing to be celebrated. It is a simplistic business model used by many of our major clothing brands, and it harbours nothing but suffering within their hidden supply chains. Out of sight out of mind. And it applies right through from high end fashion, to something as simple as the millions of conventionally made School Uniform Polos that our children wear to school everyday.   

So for FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK, why not ask some questions to your local retailer about where they are getting their clothes made from. Speak to your School or your Companies preferred clothing supplier, and ask them who is making their Corporate Polo's, Team T-shirts or School Uniform Polo's. Ask them if they have a full and transparent understanding of their supply chains. In order to make the fashion industry more accountable and sustainable, we first need to make it transparent - from both an environmental perspective through certifications such as GOTS, and a human perspective via ethical governing bodies that independently third party audit like Fairtrade. 

In 2015 rrepp was awarded an 'A' grade ranking by Baptist World Aid Australia in their Australian Fashion Report - one of the highest rankings amongst over 100 retailers Nationally. In 2016 we have again been grouped within the 'A' grade categories, and over the coming years we are committing to an even higher ethical standard through our support of Fairtrade International's newly launched textile standard, which will focus on improving the Living Wages and conditions of our workers even further.

So if your local School or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Teams are ready to take action and start becoming part of some very important change, then we are just a phone call away to help you make it happen. We launched our ground breaking 100% Organic and Fairtrade Certified Cotton School Uniform Polos and Corporate Polos and Tees just over a month ago, and already the response has been extremely positive.

While we are all fighting for the best deals, our global neighbours are fighting for their lives. We can ALL do better than this - in fact WE MUST DO BETTER THAN THIS !

WE KNOW THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR CLOTHES - and across our 100% environmentally and socially conscious supply chains, our workers are very pleased to meet you. The Time For Change Is Now !

#whomademyclothes ?

Scott Goddard
Founding Director rrepp
m. 0422004954
e. scott@rrepp.com.au
www.rrepp.com.au

rrepp - coz the planet's watching

Posted in breaking the poverty cycle on Sunday 10th April 2016

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