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Do Good Project

An open letter from founder Oliver McDonald

A lot has changed since Oli started in 2012. I was 17 years old, printing t-shirts from my bedroom and had no clue about business. Over the years the brand has grown and, as a person, so have I. You ask more questions and weigh up what is important. For me and us at Oli this includes the environment, the people and trying to spark change for the better. We spend so much time at Oli working on and growing the brand and the culture. It is our responsibility to not only do the right things but to also set good examples. We’re still small but we plan on being around for a long time, so we want to build practices and ethics which pave the way for good.
Introducing the Do Good Project. It’s through this initiative we can talk openly about not only the good things we’re doing, but also the things that we want to get better at. It’s through doing this that we can avoid greenwashing and start important conversations, whilst providing you with the information you need to make informed choices. We are a community based brand who believes in the power of our people, so if you have any ideas we want you to be involved, sing out.

 GOOD THINGS

Processes
  • Removed single use bags from our Northbridge Store (2016).
  • Eliminated the use of plastics throughout our packing process. All online orders are packed in mailers made from certified corn starch and vegetable based material which is fully compostable even in landfill (2019).
  • Introduced plantable swing tags made in Australia from recycled paper, with hemp string and zero plastic (2021).
  • Work closely with an environmental specialist based in Perth to make sure we are always considering the environment and our impact on the climate. This is also a part of making a plan around sustainability and how we manage growth whilst having reassurance that decisions are in the best interest of the business and the environment (ongoing).
  • Ensure that all recyclable materials are recycled correctly (ongoing).
 Products
  • Introduced more sustainable fabrics into our collections, including hemp, linen and organic cotton. (2021)
  • Replaced all blank t-shirts with our very own cut and sew blanks (2021). These shirts are milled and made from scratch using all material so there’s no wastage. All scrap material which isn’t big enough to be used as a panel on t-shirt is sent to us with production and we use it during the screen cleaning and test printing stage of production meaning we use 100% of the fabric we make instead of it going to landfill.
  • All products we make are limited. We do this is to avoid mass production and fast fashion. We would rather make less and ensure the thing we do make are of high quality, designed and made for longevity.
  • We only work with four manufacturer which specialise in the production of specific garments. One for blank t’s and blank jumpers, one for cut & sew technical items, one for headwear and one for socks. By doing so we maintain good relationships, pay fair prices and can produce consistent products.
  • Use Australian manufacturers for supply of stickers, printed media such as information cards and return slips (which is also printed on recycled paper) and swing tags.
 People
  • Raised $36k for the Lord Mayors Relief Fund to help people effected by the Perth bush fires (2020).
  • Collaborated with Teach Learn Grown (TLG) and raised almost $10k donated straight to the TLG program, helping rural and disadvantaged kids receive a better education (2021).
  • Partnered with Volunteering Western Australia (VWA) and collaborated on a non-profit Oli x VWA t-shirt to help engage thousands of young people into their volunteering program (2021).
  • Work closely with schools to talk about career pathways and engaging with and pursuing things you enjoy as a line of “work” (ongoing).
  • Partnered with Kiara College to develop an indigenous work experience program. Starting in 2022, throughout the year, 10 students will complete a 4 week program giving participants the opportunity to gain skills and experiences that will assist their future employability.
  • Always strive for diversity in our team (ongoing).
  • Implemented fluid hours for all warehouse staff, allowing flexibility and fostering independence (2019).

GETTING BETTER AT

  • Remove single garment plastic bags from production. We have currently done this with all products aside from socks (2022).
  • Remove use of all plastics from manufacturing (ETA 2022).
  • Offset 100% of our electricity at our Warehouse (ETA 2022).
  • Work towards only using organic cottons for cotton based products (ETA 2024).
  • Introduce a lifetime program where “worn to death” Oli garments are mended rather than then being discarded (Ongoing). 
  • Discontinue importing product using air freight.

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