FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is EthiCAL Apparel?
EthiCAL (/Eth-i-kal/) Apparel is a student-run organization based in UC Berkeley that sells its own line of apparel and provides apparel printing services. With our profits, we support local nonprofit organizations and small entrepreneurs. Our members gain hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, sales, social good, outreach, marketing, and design by helping us run our apparel business. If you are interested in joining, we recruit at the beginning of each semester — please keep an eye out on our social media and website!
What products and services do you provide?
For outside organizations and UC Berkeley student groups, we offer custom printing services! Examples of products that we print on include t-shirts, sweaters, tote bags, stickers, and more. You can provide us with your own design to print, but we also provide free design services for these custom orders. Please read the “Custom Orders” section of the FAQ for additional details.
For UC Berkeley students and other individuals in the Berkeley area, we sell our own line of products, which you can buy on our online shop ! Orders from our online shop can be picked up on Sproul on Thursdays. Please see the “Our Clothing Line” FAQ section for more information.
How do I place a custom order?
You can fill out an order form on our website here . After your request has been submitted, our associates will get back to you within 48 hours with details about moving forward with your order.
What’s the general process and timeline for custom orders?
After you submit an order request, you will be assigned one account sales associate and one designer who will be responsible for taking care of everything regarding your order. Completion of your design will usually take about 1 week, but this will vary depending on 1) the complexity of it and 2) the communication between our team and you. We will do our best to provide updates and respond promptly, so please be detailed in your messages and don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Once the design is finished, the screen printing and delivery process will take 2-3 weeks. If you need your custom apparel sooner, we can also rush your order for an additional fee.
Who do you make custom apparel orders for?
We have a wide range of clients, including startups, nonprofits, campus clubs, corporations and individuals who have custom apparel ideas — the possibilities are limitless. We print for just about everyone!
Disclaimer: We can only ship within the US.
How do you price your custom apparel?
Our price quotes are based on the number of colors used in a design as well as on the quantity of apparel. In addition, we offer 100% organic fair-trade shirts at premium prices. We offer bulk pricing starting at 50 pieces of apparel. Please refer to our price chart here .
Can you design a logo for our organization?
We currently only offer free design services for custom apparel orders. We’re happy to create a design that will be printed on your apparel, but for logo design work only we recommend
Innovative Design , another UC Berkeley organization.
Are there any restrictions for what designs you can print?
We require designs to be submitted as an .ai (Adobe Illustrator) file. If you do not have an .ai file, please submit a .psd (photoshop) file or the highest quality file you have. We may be able to recreate an .ai file for you.
Designs must be within 12” by 12” and cannot contain gradients.
We cannot use or alter designs from our own line for custom orders.
Our Clothing Line
When will you guys hold sales events on the UC Berkeley Campus?
How do I order and pick up from your online shop?
You can order from our online shop at any time before Wednesdays at 11:59pm in order to pick up your order by the following Thursdays. Once you place your order, you should receive an email confirmation. Orders can be picked up at our table on Sproul where we table every Thursday. Show the confirmation email to one of our associates at our table and they will retrieve your item(s) for you.
What is your return and exchange policy?
Please note that our stickers are final sale.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours before the pick-up event with both your current item and the item you would like to exchange it for.
- Items must be in original condition in order to be exchanged.
- Items can only be exchanged in the semester they were purchased.
- Items must be exchanged at our table on Sproul at one of our pickup dates.
- Exchange must be of LESS OR EQUIVALENT PRICE of original purchase.
- Can only exchange for 1 item (i.e. can’t exchange 1 item for multiple).
- Per our pickup policy, exchanges not picked up by the last pick-up date of the semester will be cancelled.
- Please email email@example.com at least 24 hours before the pick-up event with the item you would like to return.
- Items must be in original condition in order to be returned.
- Items can only be returned in the semester in which they were purchased.
- Items must be returned at our table on Sproul at one of our pickup dates.
- You must show your confirmation email to any sales associate for your return to be processed.
- The refund will be made via the same payment method that was used for your initial purchase.
Who designed the apparel in your clothing line?
We have a team of very talented designers from all different backgrounds who are able to bring their vision to life through our custom apparel line. We typically have predetermined themes for each of our design launches and the rest is left up to the creativity of the designer. The typical process is that the design team will have brainstorm sessions and afterwards, the designers will sketch out some potential ideas. Later on, everyone on the design team presents their ideas to each other and eventually mocks up their sketch on Adobe Illustrator. The team provides one last round of feedback and after the designs are finalized, they are sent for screen printing.
What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits.
How is this different than a non-profit?
The biggest difference between a social enterprise and a non-profit is that non-profits get their funding from public/private donations (“no-profit business”), while a social enterprise is a for-profit business that is completely self-sustainable independent from donations. In short, we make our own money in order to fund our efforts in social good and sustainability.
Is all of the apparel you print environmentally friendly?
We offer the option of HAE NOW shirts for custom orders, which are fair trade certified and are made from 100% organic cotton. We strongly encourage using HAE Now shirts because the production of these shirts supports equitable wages for workers as well as sustainability, though we do also offer conventional options. Though not every item in our own line is printed on HAE Now, we are in the process of transitioning to entirely sustainably produced material for shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. In general, we do try to be conscious of the material we use in our line, and try to pick the most sustainable printing companies.
How do you choose who you loan to?
In the past, EthiCAL has utilized the microloan service KIVA to lend profits to disadvantaged entrepreneurs in locations that might not have access to traditional banking services. However, we’ve begun to partner with and donate to local organizations that aim to create a beneficial impact within their community. This semester, we’re focusing on organizations relating to water conservation efforts and labor rights, two issues that are impacted by non-sustainable fashion.
How much of your profit is donated?
We tend to donate around 60% of our profits to local organizations. This percentage can vary based on operating costs for the club, but we generally average at or above 60%.
Does EthiCAL only provide monetary support to organizations?
No! EthiCAL’s social outreach takes a variety of forms. In addition to direct loans and donations, we also work with organizations we’ve partnered with to promote their social good initiatives through marketing and informational materials. Additionally, EthiCAL members volunteer at local organizations such as the Berkeley Food and Housing Project as well as through targeted initiatives such as Berkeley Project.