All Things Co-op: Union Co-ops - An Interview with Worx Printing

[S7 E01] New

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Welcome to Season 7 of All Things Co-op! In this special episode in honor of National Co-op Month, Kevin speaks with Kevin O’Brien, co-founder of the union co-op Worx Printing. You may have seen Worx Printing at the Democracy at Work online shop at https://democracy-at-work-shop.myshopify.com/. In this interview, O’Brien discusses his path to starting Worx, globalization and the apparel industry, the benefits and importance of the union-coop model, best practices for running and sustaining a business, and more. You can find more about Worx and support their work at https://worxprinting.coop/

All Things Co-op is a Democracy At Work production. We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work. Learn about all the ways to support our work on our Donate page. Every donation counts! A special thank you to our devoted monthly donors (via both our website and Patreon) whose recurring contributions enable us to plan for the future.

About our guest: Kevin O'Brien is the co-founder and Managing Member at WorX Printing Cooperative, in Worcester, Massachusetts. For the past 20 years he has focused his career on understanding and working within supply chains. He has worked with Merchandising, Design, Manufacturing, Imprinting, Fulfillment, Distribution as well as Finance and Ecommerce. The foundation of Kevin's experience comes out of the New York City and Los Angeles Garment Centers and from manufacturing facilities throughout the country. His experiences have brought him in contact with the creative and technical genius, as well as the shortcomings, of ethical manufacturing practices. Kevin worked with Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s on Worx’s predecessor, sweatX, trying to right the wrongs of the predatory cut-and-sew arm of the merchandise industry. SweatX shuttered in 2004 after two years of production due to exploitative pressures. In 2014, carrying hard-learned lessons from the closure of sweatX, Kevin co-founded Worx, a union co-op printing shop, to ensure that cutting-edge print technology was coupled with the highest bars of manufacturing and fair trade standards.


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