Bamboozled: PACT Organic

9 months ago I started this blog because I wanted an excuse to buy stupid shit on the internet. I didn’t really have a goal in mind, I just wanted to buy a cool belt and I wanted a new thing to write about, so here we are.

It’s become something more. I have, literally, tens of readers chomping at the bit for me to buy random stuff, and then drone on about something unrelated for a few paragraphs until I finally describe the thing I bought. My only real rule is that I stick to the theme: I buy things that are advertised on social media. I expect these companies to be mostly Online Only, and mostly standalone sites: I don’t really review things I buy on Amazon, for instance. And I’m generally not clicking on a Macy’s ad, because that’s not interesting to me, or you.

So when I come across a company I’ve never heard of, and they’re selling T-shirts, which I always want to find the best of, I generally pull the trigger. I want to tell you that I’ve found the perfect shirt. I need to get that information to the fans.


I found PACT Organic on a Facebook ad. Their shtick is that all the cotton used in their clothing is from Fair Trade, Organic farmers. Neither of those things are super important to me, but it’s hard to be against any of that. I searched around their site, and I found the one T-shirt they sell, a crew neck. I ordered quickly: It was only $15.99! That’s not even on sale! This is the cheapest item I’ve ever purchased for this site. My bank account thanks you, PACT.

On order, it asked if I’d like to donate a dollar to the Organic farmer movement (the charity had a name, I don’t remember what it is). Since this shirt was so cheap, I went for it. If organic farms mean I get T-shirts for half what I normally spend, then organic farms it is.

I ordered this one:


I realize now that this color is Heather Grey. When I bought it, I thought I was buying a light blue shirt. Looking back at the website, it even says Heather Grey, which means I’m just an idiot who can’t read and doesn’t know colors.

The shirt arrived incredibly fast: I ordered Saturday, and it was at my front door Monday. Completely unexpected: I didn’t even buy faster shipping. Opening the box threw me off a bit, though. Not just the color, but the packaging. It was in a box that was made for retail: UPC code, Hang tabs, everything. I’m not used to this. I’m used to getting a bag with a shirt folded up in it, and maybe a letter from the CEO thanking me for the purchase. Instead I got a PACT bumper sticker and a flyer for a way to get free socks. Why doesn’t this add up? What is this company?

The shirt itself was very soft, but fit oddly. The neck was far too high for my taste, the shoulders didn’t fit right, and it hung weird. It’s more of an undershirt, and not a particularly comfortable one. I don’t want to bash the shirt for everyone: my body shape just didn’t match what this shirt was throwing down. I’m sorry to say that this is the first time (on this blog, at least) that I returned an item that I bought. It was cheap, but cheap isn’t free, and this shirt was no good.

They gave me a refund, but did not return my dollar donation. I think the shirt is just a way to trick people into donating a dollar to organic farmers. That’s fine: keep fighting the good fight.

I was at Whole Foods the next day (yes I shop at Whole Foods, it is very convenient for me), and happened to walk through the weirdo section with Bath Bombs and Homeopathy water or whatever. I saw a familiar item: THE SHIRT I JUST RETURNED. I could have just picked one of these shirts up on my next quinoa trip. I was thrown for a loop. Bamboozled. I don’t believe I fell for this ad. I thought this was a cool new internet startup ready to turn the world on its head. I’m a fraud.

Turns out you can also pick up the Mushroom Coffee at Whole Foods if you want. What am I even doing here? I’m no better than the weird older cashier with the braided beard. He probably has better insights.

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