Sustainable and Fair Trade Products to Tell Your Brand’s Story
Have you ever wanted to start your own sustainable brand? If the answer is yes, you’ll definitely want to read today’s featured interview. We’re sitting down with the founder of Gallant International a premium supplier of fair trade and organic cotton bags and accessories.
Whether you’ve always wanted to start your own brand or already have a brand and are looking for more sustainable options, Gallant has a range of products from cosmetic cases, tote bags, to even aprons or wine bottle carriers!
The company was founded in 2009 by Vik Giri who is based in Mission Viejo, CA. Vik was born and raised in Nepal but spent a fair amount of time in India where his father and brothers lived.
Upon moving to the United States, Vik wanted to start a business that would help small artisans. He began importing bags and accessories from Nepal and India and would sell them wholesale. This soon led him to attend trade shows to gain more exposure. It was then that he would learn more about the importance and impact of fair trade. He felt very drawn to the movement and wanted to get involved in such a positive movement and that’s how Gallant officially began...
Tell us more about Gallant International...
Currently, Gallant International partners with a factory in India to make private label bags and accessories, including cosmetic bags, muslin bags, and tote bags. We are now fortunate to work with a wide variety of like-minded companies. We also strive to provide other brands with sustainable and ethical packaging solutions.
Our products are completely transparent and traceable throughout the entire supply chain from start to finish. We also partner with UPS through its Carbon Offset program to offset all of the emissions created in our shipping processes. Through UPS, we are able to contribute to preserving waterways, forests, and ecosystems around the globe
Did you have a major “ah-ha” moment when starting the business?
My major “ah-ha” moment when starting Gallant was meeting people from Fair Trade USA and learning how the Fair Trade premium positively impacted workers. This resonated with me, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
What’s been your greatest struggle thus far in your entrepreneurial journey?
My greatest struggle thus far has been finding brands who believe and are willing to put their all into ethical and sustainable production.
What’s been your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment has been being able to send life-changing money to workers through Fair Trade and the Fair Trade premium. The Fair Trade premium is money that Fair Trade workers receive directly to their bank accounts. Workers are free to use this money however they would like, and many use their money for family or community development.
Additionally, I am proud to say that we are now pre-financing farmers to buy non-GMO cotton seeds. Pre-financing farmers allow the farmers to be debt-free and have the supplies they need to have a successful crop.
If you could do it all over or give one piece of advice about starting an ethical/sustainable company what would it be?
If I could give one piece of advice about starting an ethical and sustainable company, it would be to believe in yourself. Ethical and sustainable business isn’t only good for the company, it’s good for people, the planet and workers. It’s good karma. Providing traceability and transparency is a great way to get yourself a part and be a leader in the movement towards a more ethical and sustainable world.
We love that you work with farmers and manufacturers to improve their lives along with helping the environment. How did these relationships come about?
Like I mentioned previously, I found Fair Trade through trade shows and eventually met with them at their office in Oakland. This relationship grew quickly, and I am proud of our work with Fair Trade today.
Sustainability came to me as I became better versed in that realm. When I learned about the impact of conventional versus organic cotton and the positive impact of Fair Trade factories, I knew I wanted to make changes.
Would you consider your brand more ethical or sustainable or both? Why?
I consider Gallant both ethical and sustainable. We put equal effort into making sure our products are safe and eco-friendly as well as making sure our products are ethical and produced fairly. All of our products are Fair Trade and made from 100% GOTS Certified Organic cotton. Through Fair Trade, we guarantee that our factory has no child labor, that our workers have a democratic workplace and are paid living/legal wages. Through Organic cotton and GOTS, we are held to high standards regarding sustainability, factory waste and dyes/chemicals used in manufacturing.
Does your company have a specific mission or life motto?
Gallant’s catchphrase is: Organically Grown. Ethically Made. Globally Served.
Gallant’s mission is to take action and spread the message of how ethical and sustainable production can make a difference in the lives of many. We keep our supply chain transparent and traceable, so we are held accountable for making sure our products are exactly what we say they are.
GALLANT INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:
✨ Members of Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade America, and the Organic Trade Association of America, which guarantees ethical production of quality products that are manufactured using strict guidelines that include living/legal wages, gender equality, no child labor, and Fair Trade premiums.
✨ All products are eco-friendly as they use the finest GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton, dyes, and water-based inks.
✨ Gallant pledged to provide 100,000 meals to underprivileged children and families through Feeding America in 2019. Gallant is very proud to give back and aims to make an even bigger impact with every passing year.
Please contact Gallant International Inc,. for custom muslin bags wholesale, custom makeup bags wholesale, custom organic tote bags,custom organic cotton t-shirts, and other organic packaging solutions.
*This post is sponsored by Gallant International.
We only work with brands whose mission/ethics are in line with our company’s ethos.