Cam Young was frustrated by the lack of ethical clothing in the Australian market and shocked by the working conditions of many factory employees. So he decided to take the matter into more socially conscious hands. Fare Well Co, a socially conscious menswear label was launched in October last year. It is committed to an ethical supply chain and donates 100 per cent of its profits to Room to Read and the Save the Tasmanian Devil appeal.
Things clicked for the young entrepreneur after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. The disaster killed more than 1000 factory workers. Young partnered with ethical Indian and Australian suppliers, admiring their transparency. “They have an open-door policy; you can go and check out the factory any time and meet the workers,” says Young.
Fare Well Co’s red, hiker-style socks and organic cotton sweatshirt from the recently launched winter line are designed and manufactured under ethical labour wages, using 100 per cent recyclable materials.
Attributing his success to the privilege of education, the ability to give back to those in need is Young’s way of sacrificing a little to give a lot. Room to Read was pioneered by ex-Microsoft employee John Wood. It partners with communities in the developing world to educate children. The charity appealed to Young because he sees it as a long-term solution that just makes sense. “It’s empowering people to help themselves,” he says.
Fare Well Co’s tag line epitomises its approach: “Be good to people, don’t let the bastards get you down.”