Maggie’s Organics

Real Fair Trade, From Farm To Finish

Who They Are

Butterflies fluttering, soft, springy soil, fresh air and a rush of energy. This is the feeling Bená Burda had the first time she stepped onto an organic farm. Deciding between attending business school and joining the work-force, Bená visited a small kidney bean farm to meet the workers, hear their stories, and connect with nature. After just one day onsite, Bená was so inspired that she immediately started work at an organic food company and never looked back. From kidney beans to corn chips, Bená has been a leader in the organic food space before national organic law or certification was even a concept.

On a particular trip to a supplier farm, Bená was listening to a farmer explain how growing organic cotton in a field nearby could help improve the quality of blue corn crops they were using in their food products. Thinking it was merely a solution to a supply chain issue, Bená agreed to try it out and the farmer began growing the organic cotton. That year, the farmer was able to harvest a yield from the crop and asked Bená if she could sell it. She got to researching the current alternative, conventional cotton, and was astonished at what she learned; not only is conventional cotton is the 2nd most pesticide-laden crop in the world but if you look at the total cultivated land in the world, cotton is grown on 3-5% but uses 10% of the earth’s pesticides and 25% of the earth’s insecticides each year! At this point, organic cotton had never been explored before in the apparel industry and Bená decided to take on the challenge. In 1992, Maggie’s Organics was born and their mission to convert as many acres of cotton from conventional to organic began.

From making socks for natural food co-ops to working with Ben & Jerry’s and the band Phish to make concert shirts, Bená grew the Maggie’s brand and the popularity of organic cotton apparel. As she dug deeper into production in the apparel supply chain, Bená also learned that ‘there is no such thing as environmental sustainability without social responsibility.’ The workers downstream need to have a personal investment and sense of fulfillment from their jobs and so, Maggie’s helped to form a number of 100% worker-owned cooperatives in Nicaragua and the US. In May 2002, Bená was recognized by the Organic Trade Association with the prestigious "Special Pioneer Award", and in 2004, she was voted one of the "25 People who Most Influenced the Organics Industry".

Over the years, Maggie’s Organics' product assortment has expanded into socks, leggings, and other apparel items. But with over 25 years in business, their mission has remained the same; to increase organic farming, support textile workers, and create radical transparency in their supply chain, all in the name of providing Real Fair Trade, from Farm to Finish. Buying Maggie’s Organic products are a no-brainer way to support and invest in people and the planet. And by the way, their apparel is really freaking comfortable.

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Why We Like Them

Where do we even begin! We love Maggie’s for so many reasons, so let’s start from the top. Maggie’s Organics lives and breathes transparency. Their website offers detailed information regarding production, labor practices, philosophies, methodologies, and much more – all sorted by product type. Transparency is a rare quality for most apparel companies, but Maggie’s Organics is proud of what goes on under the hood. For example, their legging’s begins with organic cotton grown in the Chincha region of coastal Peru. The farmers enter a direct contract with Maggie’s, which ensures a pre-set price for the cotton produced to help share the risks associated with climate change and the volatility of growing seasons that pose threats to farmers. The fiber is processed with a cotton gin in Peru which is then sent to a family owned spinning mill that uses a slower and less impactful method to create the threads used for the leggings. After that, a family-owned knitter in Lima takes the threads and turns them into usable textiles which are finally cut and sewn by a brother-sister run sew shop. Every. single. production. facility. is GOTS certified (!), and the workers are paid above fair-trade wages. The end result is a high-quality pair of leggings, lovingly and respectfully crafted with the interests of the employees in mind.

In addition to the immense amount of care that goes into creating each and every product they sell, they have the accolades to show it as well. In 2012 the U.S. Department of State conducted a study which rated 300 clothing brands on their efforts to address child and forced labor in their supply chains, worker’s rights, monitoring, and traceability. Maggie’s ranked #1 out of all 300 apparel brands. Maggie’s is also a member of the Fair Trade Federation and is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organization. We wish we had unlimited space to write about this brand, but you really have to see it to believe it. Check out their amazing products below…we won’t blame you if you get carried away with your shopping cart.

  • Merino Wool

  • Organic Content
  • Sustainably Harvested
    Sustainably Harvested
  • Safe & Fair Labor
    Safe and Fair Labor
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
    Sustainable Manufacturing
  • GOTS Certified
    GOTS Certified
  • Made in the USA
    Made in the USA
  • Organic Cotton
    Organic Cotton

Wool is a natural and renewable resource that can be harvested annually from sheep. Sheep are relatively low impact animals, but can overgraze land if not raised properly. Wool production can also be insecticide and water intensive, but the finished yarn is absorbent and requires little dye during processing and untreated wool is biodegradable. Merino wool is particularly soft and lightweight, due to the thinner wool fibers found on sheep from Australia and New Zealand.

Organic materials and ingredients are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, farm workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Choosing organic materials eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

Some or all of the ingredients or materials used to produce this item have been sustainably harvested. Sustainable practices involve managing land in ways that prevent overharvesting, preserve the natural ecosystems and animal habitats, and ensure a sustainable harvest for the future.

We support safe and fair labor practices when producing sustainable products. This company cares for their workers by fostering a safe work environment and providing their employees with fair wage.

Some or all of the energy used to make this product is produced via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower.

The Global Organic Textile Standard is an international processing standard for organic fibers that covers everything from processing, packaging, and distributing organic fibers. GOTS certified products are labeled organic if they contain 95% or more certified organic fibers, and are labeled as “made with organic” if they contain at least 70% organic fibers. GOTS assures that textiles are produced with socially responsible labor and environmentally conscious manufacturing. Certified textiles must follow guidelines on chemical use, energy and water consumption, safety and living standards for employees, waste produced throughout the manufacture process, and more.

This product was made in the United States. Buying locally made items helps to reduce harmful emissions that result from transportation during and after the production process. Purchasing products made in the United States also ensures that the items are produced in ways that meet strict safety and labor standards.

Organic cotton production uses zero chemical pesticides and fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Plus, farming methods for organic cotton have been shown to use up to 20% less water than nonorganic production methods. Choosing organic cotton eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

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