This spring, Green America's People and Planet Award is celebrating businesses that help you engage your creativity as an artist, craftsperson, writer, or artisan. The five businesses below represent the best of the best of our nominees; two winners will receive a $5,000 prize to support their business's green mission. In addition to helping Green Americans express themselves artistically, each finalist must also represent strong social and environmental leadership in order to win.
Please vote for your TWO favorite businesses, and help us grow the green economy by awarding them with a prize.
Fiberactive Organics, LLC is now supplying the world with an array of organic cotton threads. This spring Fiberactive launched a new line of heavy-duty organic cotton thread called Sewpure™ enabling manufacturers and home crafters to find organic thread for everything they sew.
The foundation of every sewing project is thread. Fiberactive Organics empowers organic textile manufacturers and eco-friendly sewing enthusiasts to really go green…or red, or blue or any of 50 different colors of organic cotton thread. Fiberactive has thread for sergers, straight stitch, embroidery, quilting and anything a crafter can dream up. And all of their products are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which means that the highest level of organic practices have been carried out from the farm where the cotton is grown, to the gin, to the spinning mill, all the way to Fiberactive’s warehouse. It also means that all employees anywhere in the production of the thread are paid fairly, treated respectfully and work in a safe environment.
Fiberactive’s mission is to supply organic thread so that every organic textile product made anywhere will be sewn with organic cotton. To that end, their prices are kept in line with conventional thread so that consumers don’t have to pay more to go organic. Their new thread, Sewpure™ is already being supplied to retailers and manufacturers around the world for use in everything from bed linens to baby shoes.
Julie Moore, Founder & CEO says, “It’s time to bring organic cotton into the mainstream of our fashion and home textiles industries. Now is the time to stop poisoning our world with the heavy chemical load that’s used on conventional cotton. Now is the time to sew organic and wear organic, and bring all of the cotton industry into the organic world.”
Fiberactive is a paperless, zero waste company that supports organic cotton farming around the globe and promotes the organic textile industry through Julie Moore’s work on the Organic Trade Associations Fiber Council. Follow Fiberactive as they add more colors to the Sewpure™ line and bring to market new organic sewing products to broaden their reach into the sewing industry replacing conventional with organic every way they can..
On a trip back to his native India after years living in the United States, Manish Gupta was struck anew by the extreme material poverty of his homeland. With deep respect for the rich culture and potential of rural artisan communities, he began asking questions. After hundreds of conversations and even more glasses of tea, Manish realized that he had a role to play — that he could bridge two, seemingly disparate, worlds.
Founding Matr Boomie in 2006, he started partnering with grassroots organizations to transform unskilled women and men into master artisans. He personally ensured that the materials were safe for people and kind to the land. With the help of his mother and sister, Manish established a team in India to guarantee clear, efficient communications and high-quality production. He gathered a team in Austin, Texas, to design collections that entice U.S. consumers while honoring the culture, craft, and capacity of Indian artisans. And along the way, he married a beautiful, inspiring Indian designer, Ruchi, who quickly became his partner in life, love, and business.
Their dream was to create positive change through ethical, sustainable trade. Fair Trade is simply one part of this dream. Fair Trade aims to educate and empower disadvantaged artisans and connect them to global markets, alleviating poverty and promoting sustainability. Fair Trade is a socially-conscious business model that encompasses principles such as anti-slave, anti-child labor; environmentally-friendly processes; fair, living wages; healthy work environment; gender equality; and transparency. As part of Matr Boomie’s mission to create a world that’s more compassionate, kind and connected, we go beyond fair wages. We also invest in development projects, healthcare, education, skills training, loan programs, and scholarships for women, minorities, and people with special needs.
Nearly a decade later, the little company run out of Manish and Ruchi’s Austin apartment has grown into a leading fair trade wholesaler and innovator in ethical, sustainable business. We hope to continue to inspire the larger trade industry, and show that fair trade, ethical businesses can be impactful and sustainable.
Vision: Natural Earth Paint was founded by mom, professional artist and environmentalist, Leah Fanning, to create truly non-toxic, natural and very high quality art supplies for children and fine artists.
Method: Using pure, natural earth pigments and organic ingredients, Leah utilizes ancient recipes and modern innovation to handcraft completely safe, sustainable, and beautiful art supplies. By leaving out the preservatives, heavy metal toxins, solvents, synthetic dyes, toxic additives, petrochemicals and fillers, NEP’s products are of the highest quality - pure, radiant, safe and the most archival paints out there.
Passion: Natural Earth Paint is Gold Certified by Green America and strives to be a truly eco-conscious business that doesn’t simply use the Earth’s precious resources but also gives back and replenishes her. NEP uses 100% post consumer recycled, biodegradable and locally made packaging on all of their products. Any plastic used is compostable and biodegradable. Their pigments and organic ingredients come from small, family owned businesses that harvest sustainably. NEP uses Arcadia Power for their warehouse, offices and production facility - which is 100% pollution free energy. And they make monthly donations to Rogue River Keeper and Tree Sisters. They regularly donate art supplies to social and environmental causes around the world and also create challenges for the business like 2013’s “Plant a Tree Campaign” – one native tree seedling planted for every order that was placed that year
Products: NEP has developed a full line of fine art supplies including The Complete Eco-friendly Oil Paint Kit, Eco-solve, Eco Gesso, organic canvas, natural pigments, bamboo palette knives, and organic walnut oil. Their children’s line includes Children’s Earth Paint, The Earth Flags Craft Kit, Natural Egg Dye, Natural Face Paints, Wooden Eggs Craft Kit, bamboo paint brushes and more. They have also developed the world’s first non-toxic and natural varnish and are awaiting funding to begin production. Receiving this award will provide the funds needed to create this product which is in high demand and would help eliminate highly toxic varnishes from entering our water supply, our Earth and our bodies. Many more exciting non-toxic products (which don’t yet exist in the world) have been developed or are in development and will be released starting in 2019. The ultimate goal of Natural Earth Paint is to create a natural, non-toxic and professional quality alternative for every single toxic art supply counterpart that’s in use today.
We here at Organic Cotton Plus take pride in our environment and work really hard to produce 100% organic products sustainably and ethically, catering to small business entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals.
Our founding dates back to a 5th generation family cotton farm in Northwest Texas, which became one of the first farms in the country to be certified organic. Organic Cotton Plus became a sister company of the farm, used to set aside organic cotton bales to create 100% certified fabrics for individuals and small businesses. We shipped these bales to be contract-spun into yarn, then woven into fabric, and finished with just a natural scour wash. We ended up with beautiful 100% organic fabric ready to ship to all the small businesses and individuals that needed it.
Today, through production both in the US and overseas, we have increased our line of fabrics to include knits, eco-dyed fabrics, notions, and much more. In addition, we became the first fabric retailer in the U.S. to be fully GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) in production right through to packing in our warehouse. Not only that, but our fabrics and yarns are dyed with low-impact dyes, meaning they are free from heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.
With each purchase, no matter what it is, you will be able to create clothes, household items, blankets, and more without the worry of the fabric or yarn containing any harmful chemicals. After all, what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them.
Our mission is to supply the very best materials that are produced in environmentally conscious environments, free from harmful pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals and in turn offer them at a competitive price.
We want our customers to have the best so that they in turn can make creations they can feel good about. It makes us and our customers happy knowing that with each purchase we are making the world a cleaner and healthier place.