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Read our interviews with the innovative green entrepreneurs behind our green business network — business leaders who put people and the planet before profits, and whose sustainable companies help you live a greener life.
Maple Landmark Woodcraft; Middlebury, VT
As a US maker of wooden toys for more than thirty years, Michael Rainville has seen the domestic manufacturing landscape change dramatically, as companies have shifted work overseas. During all that time, Michael's business Maple Landmark has remained committed to local sourcing and manufacturing, and has seen public opinion gradually shift back toward a preference for their way of doing business.
"The recalls of Chinese toys in 2007, due to lead paint and other problems, turned the tables slightly back toward our favor," says Michael. "We were no longer that crazy, quaint company in Vermont. We were now the company that was doing it 'right.' "
Atayne; Brunswick, ME
As a finalist in the "ethical apparel" category of Green America's People & Planet Award, activewear retailer Atayne impressed voters with a strong commitment to responsible sourcing, recycled fabrics, and made-in-the-USA manufacturing.
"Atayne is a certified B Corporation, a rigorous third-party certification awarded only to companies that meet the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility," says owner Jeremy Litchfield. "Recently, Atayne was recognized as one of the 'Best for the World' businesses by scoring in the top 10 percent of all B Corps for overall social and environmental impact. Additionally, Atayne was recognized as Best for the World in the Environmental Category, scoring second overall."
Natural Investments; Keauhou, HI
We asked Michael Kramer of Natural Investments to appear as our October interview to give some of his perspective on the fossil-fuel-divestment movement, given his firm's launch of a fossil-free portfolio in February of 2013. Little did we know that our conversation would also uncover a Green-America-inspired love story.
"Natural Investments has cultivated many clients from the Green Pages and your Green Festivals," says Michael, "But most important, our partner Christopher met his wife at a Green Festival!" We asked Michael to tell us more about responsible investing in 2013, the "heart rating," and Natural Investments' next green step.