Maggie’s Organics began in 1992, when an organic blue-corn farmer inadvertently taught us the ‘true cost’ of conventional cotton growing. Once we learned that cotton is the second most pesticide-laden crop on Earth, responsible for 10 percent of the world’s pesticide consumption, and nearly 25 percent of the earth’s insecticides, we knew we had to find a different path.
Having no business models to follow, we took our newly harvested organic cotton to various US mills, and quickly realized that the pesticides were only the tip of a confusing, convoluted and chemical-laden supply chain that included heavy metal dyestuffs, formaldehyde, and disenfranchised piece-paid workers.
We set our sights on changing the apparel industry by creating basic, comfortable, durable and affordable clothing while treating both the earth and all human resources with dignity and respect.
Twenty-one years and many successes, failures, awards, and tears later, today our line of socks, tights, leggings, scarves, hairware and apparel are made from organic wool and organic cotton grown by close to 3000 family farmers, and are produced by three supply chains that include worker-owned cooperatives, family-owned and -operated U.S. sock mills, and long-term relationships (more below).
We are thrilled to be nominated for this award, as Green America's members and staff have played such a key role in our growth and success. Green America has always been there: connecting us to like-minded creative business leaders, serving as our sounding board when we could see only failure, challenging us to keep going when obstacles seemed insurmountable, inspiring us to connect with consumers who really do care.
If chosen for this award, we will dedicate the funds to bringing more of our cooperative producers to meet and interact with our customers, through seminars and educational events. It is our belief that this connection can truly change the world.