Friday, December 4, 2009

Maggie's Rated by

Maggie's Organics was recently rated favorably regarding our labor and worker’s rights conditions at Free2work is a joint venture between the Not For Sale Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, and Humanity United. The Not For Sale Campaign is working to equip and mobilize smart activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. The International Labor Rights Forum is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. Humanity United seeks to enable local and global solutions to end modern-day slavery and mass atrocities in our time by pursuing a creative combination of research, policy, and public pressure.

If you've been following our journey of becoming the world's first Fair Labor Practices and Community Benefits certified apparel company it may not surprise you that we received an "A" rating in each category we were rated for: Outerwear, Underwear, and Kids/Babies. An "A" Rating signifies: Workers are partners in preventing forced and child labor. The manufacturer takes appropriate steps to ensure that employees know their rights and are able to negotiate conditions of work.

Thank you Free2Work, we are grateful that you have acknowledged the way we choose to do business! We hope to see you continue to assist the consumer in making responsible purchases.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Former Maggie's Intern, Mary Lemmer, wins Entrepreneur Contest

On Friday November 20th, former Maggie's intern Mary Lemmer won the Lakeshore's Next Top Entrepreneur contest held in Holland, MI. Congratulations Mary! The contest was sponsored by the Lakeshore Advantage's Momentum program. Mary and her team were awarded $1,000 to continue work on her project to encourage homeowners to purchase energy-efficient lights and appliances - a company known as Carbon Perks. Mary has been active in the field of sustainable business for a few years and her work at Maggie's was one part of that. Since she worked at Maggie’s in the summer and fall of 2008 she has continued to build an impressive network of like-minded people and a stunning resume for work in the field of sustainability.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Maggie's Gossip about Gossip Girl

Last week, a stylist from the hit TV-show Gossip Girl called Maggie's and ordered some of our tights for one of their actresses. Supposedly, the actress has sensitive skin and is interested in eco-friendly apparel. Will they be featured on Gossip Girl? We'll let you know once we know!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maggie's Menagerie Named A Best New Organic Product of 2009

In the November/December issue of Organic Processing Magazine, the Maggie's Menagerie Co-op Animals were named one of the "Best New Organic Retail Products of 2009." From Organic Processing Magazine:

Maggie's Menagerie Co-op Animals are an example of socially and environmentally-forward innovation. Promoting fair labor models, these stuffed animals are sewn by Opportunity Threads, a 100 percent worker-owned sewing cooperative in North Carolina. In addition, each unique toy is made of re-purposed fabric and irregular socks that otherwise would have been wasted.

You can find the original article by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fashion Show Highlights!

On Sunday November 8th, 2009, Maggie’s Organics participated in a community benefit event in San Francisco, CA on behalf of the Progressive Jewish Association (PJA). We met the PJA folks at this year’s Bioneers conference. PJA is a new Jewish organization, one that serves as a vehicle connecting Jews to the critical social justice issues of the day. PJA fights for economic justice by educating Jews about an obligation to stand with the working poor, and then organizes the Jewish community to join in campaigns to improve working conditions and secure a living wage for low-wage workers.

Maggie's scarf, camisole, and leg warmers in action for a good cause.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maggie’s Tights in a New Lightweight Style!

Maggie’s is delighted to announce a new style of versatile cotton tights. Our new Lightweight Tights are thinner than our previous tights, but with an increased organic cotton content (now up to 77%). Able to stretch more than our previous tights, the Lightweight Tights provide a more generous fit – making for a sheer and elegant look in any season! They are available in sizes small through XL, in colors black, chocolate, and grey. You can find them here!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maggie's Organics Certified Labor Practices


Maggie’s Organics will be first to acquire Fair Labor Practices and Community Benefits Certification

Maggie’s Organics will become the first apparel company ever to be certified Fair Labor under a rigorous new auditing process: Fair Labor Practices and Community Benefits certification by Scientific Certification Systems. This certification validates socially responsible practices both in agricultural production and at all stages of the post-harvest production process.

Ypsilanti, MI – September 15th, 2009 – Maggie’s Organics has been making apparel items with certified organic fibers and fair labor practices since 1992. The agricultural standard and process of growing fibers organically has been in place since Maggie’s started their business. Maggie’s is proud to announce that its production chain in Central America has been evaluated by an independent third party and all of the workers involved in the process are treated fairly with safe and healthy working conditions based upon a global standard. Maggie’s Organics will be the first company in the world to hold this certification.

Bená Burda, President and Founder of Maggie’s said, “We have always taken the high road when it comes to making sure all who are involved with producing our products are treated fairly and that somehow we have helped sustain their lives in the process. It is validating to have others verify this and put a standard in place that can be measured.”

The Fair Labor Practices and Community Benefits Certification standard, developed by Scientific Certification Systems ( in conjunction with key stake holders, validates socially responsible practices in agricultural production and all stages of processing including: growing, harvesting, ginning, spinning, knitting, finishing, cutting, sewing, screen printing, and distribution. Certification to this standard covers: equitable hiring and employment, safe workplace conditions, worker and family access to health, education, and transportation services, local and regional impacts, community engagement, and demonstrated economic stability.

The Jubilee House Community (, a non-government organization located in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua was instrumental in coordinating the production chain within Nicaragua. JHC has been nurturing local communities in Nicaragua since 1994.

The first products to be offered under this new certification are Maggie’s Solid Scarves made with 100% certified organic cotton and will be available in all stores this holiday season. Whole Foods Market® has been offering Maggie’s Organics products in all of its stores for years. “We are excited to be able to offer these scarves that not only look and feel great but they also have quite a story behind them. Our customers will not have to second guess about what went on behind the scenes of the production of this product”, said Jeremiah McElwee, Senior Whole Body Coordinator for Whole Foods Market.

All of the solid color scarves: Black, Maroon, Plum, and Olive, will be ready to order on September 17th, 2009. Other items including a new t-shirt will be available Spring 2010.

About Maggie’s Organics

Maggie’s Organics is located in Ypsilanti, MI. Bená Burda is the President and Founder of the company. Ms. Burda helped launch worker-owned sewing cooperatives in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua and more recently in Morganton, North Carolina.

For more information about Maggie’s Organics and their products, please visit, or contact Doug Wilson at 800-609-8593, or


Thursday, September 3, 2009

CIA Textil in San Jose, Costa Rica

This is the 3rd installment of Bena's journey to observe the Fair Labor Practices certification of Maggie's production process in Central America

September 2nd, 2009

Today we visited with the knitter, dyer, finisher, and cut and sew facility here is San Jose. This is all done by one company, Cia Textil CentroAmericano, in business since 1953.

We have done business with Cia over three years, first as a knitter of fabric only, and gradually to cut and sew our garments also. They are not a co-op, but are a family-run business. Costa Rica is one of the most developed countries in central America, and is highly regarded for both wages and labor laws.

The company was started by a Polish immigrant here in Costa Rica, Mr. Israel Nowalski. He was a very poor farmer when he began, and started the company on a shoestring. He actually started by knitting socks (an irony for us), and as the company grew they kept taking advantage of market opportunities, adding on operations bit by bit.

Mr. Nowalski is now 91 year old, and still comes to work for 2 hours each day. He checks in on operations, tours the plant, and leaves. His original 2 partners were his brother and a lawyer friend. When they wanted to sell their shares, Israel bought them out and gave shares to each of his 4 children. Now one of his sons and one of his son-in-laws are active in the business.

It seems that Israel Nowalski has always been a very special owner, and took great care of his employees. Many have worker here for over 30 years. All employees belong to an association that represents the workers, runs a health clinic, etc.

The company pays 10-15% higher wages than the prevailing rates for textile workers in Costa Rica. The company has an in-house clinic, and a doctor is on hand each day from 7AM - 9AM, and a nurse is available all morning. Costa Rica has socialized medicine, but the employees here tend to get better treatment and service at the clinic.

Today for example a notice was posted about flu shots being available to all employees and their family members for $14. All the employees had to do was sign up, and they were presented an option of paying the $14 as a payroll deduction with no interest.

These shots will be available later this fall through national medicine. However, anyone who wants them would who is not part of a high-risk group will have to go to a private clinic and pay $50 each for the immunization.

The clinic offer free wellness seminars often, open to all, on things like handling stress, nutrition etc. Their clinic also handles dental work, optical, and can also dispense medicines.

I found out about two other community benefits today that I never knew were offered by Cia:

First, there is a gorgeous national park right across the street from the company. They have been active as a company in helping improve the park. A few years ago, Cia actually paid for the construction of an events building at the park, which is used to teach classes to kids on natural resources, host park tours, etc. The park has two swimming pools, soccer fields, many hiking trails, and a zip line (just like the tourista eco tours, only this one is free and you have to climb the trees to get to it!). Cia employees use the park at lunch and after work. Fabio (Tonio) Vargas, who is a designer and the pattern-maker for Maggie's garments, toured me around the park. He teaches swimming classes here to Cia employees' kids.

The other community benefit I was struck by involves houses and land provided to approximately 60 employees. Apparently, years ago Mr. Nowolski found out about some land for sale near the plant. Cia is in a very residential area (kind of like Maggie's). Mr Nowolski purchased the land, and then sold it to the worker association for a very low price. The association then accepted loan applications from employees, and provided low-interest loans to approximately 25 of them to buy a lot and build their own home. Interest rates are always very high in Costa Rica, and the rate the employees paid was about 1/3 of a typical bank rate. All payments are deducted from the employee's pay.

Our pattern-make Tonio and his family took advantage of the loan program 20 years ago. A few years and two kids later, they were able to secure another loan from the association, and added on a second story with 4 bedrooms to his home. His house is now paid for, his children are now able to attend a semi-private school, and his wife Karen has a room to run her own business, which is designing and sewing custom undergarments for women (very high end and beautiful pieces).

After touring their home, admiring Tonio's orchids and their many amazing plants, I asked both Tonio and Karen if they could have afforded to purchase a home like this without the benefits at Cia, and they both replied with a resounding "no way!".

Cia has since purchased more lots nearby, making a total of 60 workers who have been able to buy a lot a build a home this way.

Unfortunately, globalization and the recent economic crisis have taken their toll on this company. From a high point of 1000 workers, they are down to 155 workers today. So many of Tonio and Karen's neighbors are not currently employed by Cia. But they have all been able to keep their homes, and we hope to increase the Maggie's business in upcoming months and years to provide them the ability to bring workers back.

Bena Burda
Maggie's Organics

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More on The Road to Fair Labor Certification

As our fair labor auditors visited more farms on Monday morning, I went into Managua to visit with a potential sewing company for Maggie's garments. The workshop is small, but their products are extremely high quality, and their story is another that is so impressive: Sonia, the owner of the company, is a clothing designer and importer. She runs her own retail shop, where she sells beautiful woven dresses and tops, as well as hand-made jewelry.

Sonia and her new partner, who is someone we have worked with before here in Nicaragua, have actually begun to find, train and hire prostitutes off the Pan-American Highway. These women have fallen into their trade due to the high unemployment and poverty that is rampant here in Nicaragua. The women have come to trust Sonia, and are constantly asking her for help. Her form of help is to show them another way to support themselves and their children. They are learning traditional Central American embroidery, and are paid well for their beautiful work. The sense of accomplishment and recognition that they get from this new form of employment has already led in some instances to a change in their profession and a renewed sense of purpose.

Maggie's contracts would offer this business a way to scale up and hire many more workers. We have never partnered with this small of a group before but it does fit into our business model of sustaining local economies when possible. The challenges are different, and we all have much left to do to make our dream a reality, but our inspectors were very impressed with this group, and feel that together we can and will make our dream real.

Our inspection took place today, Tuesday September 1st. On Monday afternoon, we inspected both the new cotton gin and Genesis, the spinning co-op.

Both projects have been worked on by JHC for over four years. Since we first helped the sewing co-op (Fair Trade Zone) get going, we all realized that one of our major obstacles was creating a consistent source of good quality organic fabric to use for sewing our garments. Nicaraguan organic farmers grow great cotton, but the country is so poor there is no processing infrastructure left.

After years we have located an excellent knitting partner nearby in San Jose, Costa Rica (who we will inspect tomorrow). JHC decided to take on the huge task of building the spinning mill. I had been very skeptical of this undertaking, as spinning is a very expensive and automated task. But Mike from JHC has assured me that the tougher the task the more potential workers we could employ, so JHC has persevered.

Yesterday I met with 24 of the original worker-owners of Genesis Spinning Cooperative in their new huge building. The workers, mostly but not all women, hauled and poured cement all day to make their new floor. Like the members of the sewing co-op years ago, the founders of Genesis have worked for 24 months without pay to build their business from the ground up. In addition, they decided as owners to provide English classes to all members, which they take for 7-8PM each night. The workers are amazing. They hope to be spinning cotton by December of this year.

The cotton gin is set up and running and it will also be owned and operated by the workers. This co-op is not yet organized, as they wait for full-time work until the spinning mill is operating. However, it was impressive to see the gin built and capable of spinning yarn.

We are almost through our entire chain, as tomorrow we will visit the fabric-making operation in San Jose, Costa Rica. We had a celebratory dinner tonight - our inspectors Jorge and Michael from SCS, and our observer from ILRF, Trina Tocco. I was honored to hear each of them comment on our supply chain being special.

Bena Burda

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Road to Fair Labor Certification

Bena Burda is in Central America this week to observe the Fair Labor Practices certification process that is being applied to Maggie's Organics. Here is her latest update dated 8.31.09:

The past 2 days we have visited a total of four farmers groups, whose cotton will be used to make most of our scarves this fall, and hopefully many other products in the future.

I am thrilled to actually tour the farms, as I have been actively trying to support these farmers since 2003. We have had their cotton tested for quality by at least three spinning mills before. It always tested out to be perfect for our needs, but one thing or another prevented us from using it (the spinning mill went out business, the US government told us we would have to fumigate it, etc).

Three of the groups we have seen over the past two days are cooperatives; the other is an association that handles marketing, administration, education, etc. for all the farmers.

Farmers here are small and consist of 2 - 30 manzanas per farmer (a manzana is 1.6 acres), and the farmers are very poor. So it is common in Nicaragua for farmers to band together to form associations to help bring product to market. Coops are encouraged by the current Sandinista government - the grower’s share tractors, trade work at harvest time etc.

The first group we met with represents 150 farmers. They are certified for organic production by BioLatina, a USDA accredited certifying agency that operates all over Latin America. The second and third groups have 30 farmers, and the last one has 48.

The farmers use a three-year crop rotation, planting each crop by July and harvesting in Nov/Dec. They generally grow cotton, yucca, and then a nitrogen-fixing legume (white beans or soybeans). This year the Nicaraguan government is offering a very high price for mung beans (apparently because Venezuela wants them) so many farmers have planted mung beans instead.

Nearly all of the farmers have a few farm animals as well (cows, chickens pigs). For fertilization, they use approximately 8000 lbs of seasoned manure per manzana. The cow manure works best, as it 'seasons' within 1 year (chicken manure can take 10 years). They generally spread the manure 1 month before planting, and that is the only input they need on their fields.

Although this is rainy season (Nicaragua has two seasons - wet and dry), for many farmers this year's rains have been slow and low. So our cotton for this year is very late. They cannot plant unless ground is moist. We were told that they have until next weekend (Labor Day in the US) to finish planting. We did a few rain dances yesterday.

All of our cotton is hand-harvested, which is grueling work. Once our crop is out of the ground, the remaining "Rastrojos" (basically 'field trash' and stalks in English) is allowed to decompose for a few weeks, and then plowed under, adding nutrients for the next crop.

The second and third groups we met with are two cooperatives of women's farmers. This is very unusual in Nicaragua, and as ever, I am so inspired by the strength and attitude of the women here. Thanks to Nicaragua's tumultuous political history, land has changed hands many times. In the mid-1980s, during the Sandinista revolution, the women who grow our cotton found out that a bank had taken over a land-baron's farm for non-payment of loans. They quickly formed their co-ops, and were able to attain the land under the Agrarian Reform Act.

We met with all 30 of these growers in the office they have managed to build, which is on land owned by one of their members. It was inspiring to walk out to their fields, along a path by a cool river, under giant Guanacaste trees. Each member's land is fenced off, all part of a larger piece. These women work together to raise their children, help each other plant and harvest, and bring product to market together. All of their children are in school, which they are all very proud of. Domitila, one of the leaders of one of the groups, actually purchased a small home in a village away from her land, so that her children can attend a better school. Her 5 children live their full-time, while she stays out on the farm during the week. Each weekend she drives to her home to bring clean school uniforms to her kids and to be with her family. She is a single mom. One of her daughters is now a schoolteacher, and her son works as an exporter, and together those two take care of the younger ones during the week. They both also still work the fields. As we walked along the fields, they introduced us to a wild plant that they dry and powder, as it works as a great insecticide on the fields.

Our Fair Labor auditors have interviewed and visited 29 farms so far, with more being done today.

It is great to see how all of this happens, and as ever I am humbled by how hard these folks work. I've showed our products to them all. I also showed the hang-tag that we hope to use to identify their certified product. Most know of our work with the Fair Trade Zone, and they seem excited for the opportunity. And of course they all have worked with JHC for years, so trust that we will not let them down.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Customer Photos!

"A picture of me taking a picture of my Maggie's tie-dyeds in Bay St. Lawrence, Cape Breton, Canada - July 2009" From Mona

"Here is our vacation photo we took when we were in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada in July" From Doris, featuring Maggie's "Mantra" knee-highs.

"Socks in Action!" from Christy, featuring our Tie-Dyed Chickens.

"Dueling Socks" From George

"Comfortable Joy" From Kamala

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maggie's Founder Featured on Green America

Maggie's has been featured on Green America's "Green Pages!" An interview with our founder, Bená Burda, is currently the headlining feature of the Green America page. Answering questions from "What did you do before you started your green business?" to "What green product can you not live without?", it paints a picture both of the history of our company and of the dedication of Bená to environmental and social justice. Click here for the full interview!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Maggie’s Discusses the role of Social Media in Small Business on The Radio!

Doug Wilson, VP of Sales here at Maggie’s Organics, went on the “Tech Tuesday” Show of WLBY 1290AM to discuss the role of the new social medias, like Twitter and Facebook, in the evolution of small business.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Skip ahead to 3:18 in order to hear our company history as described by Doug, or to 8:32 to hear him describe how Maggie’s is using these new internet tools to connect with our customer base. In case you were wondering, you can find us on twitter here and on facebook here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Maggie’s Baby Products Pass Safety Inspection

In August 2008, the U.S. Congress passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) with limits on the amounts of lead, phthalates, and other chemicals in children’s products that went into effect on February 10, 2009:

As of February 10, 2009, it is illegal for ANYONE (manufacturer, importer, retailer) to sell ANY children’s product (toys, clothing, books, games, furniture, etc… intended for children 12 years old and under) with a lead content of more than 600 ppm (parts per million); that level then drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009. In addition, a regulation of phthalates (chemicals usually released from soft plastics/vinyls) also goes into effect limiting the amounts and types of phthalates in only certain children’s products (toys that can fit in a child’s mouth and products that facilitate in the care of a child, like feeding and sleeping).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in charge of enforcing these regulations, and over the past few months up to this very day, their policies of what (products), how (requirements), and when (deadlines) have been in a constant state of revision as they try to best interpret the intentions of the law as well as balance the concerns and capabilities of the various and vast children’s product industries. Although the rules of enforcement have and will continue to change, the basic laws limiting the amounts of lead (in all children’s products) and phthalates (in toys and certain children’s products) currently remains the same.

Therefore, Maggie’s Organics wants to reassure our customers that all of our children’s products as of Feb 10, 2009 (children’s socks, tights, baby bodysuits, and stuffed animals), meet these standards. We have tested a sample of each size and color of all the children’s products that we currently had in stock as of that date for lead content as well as a number of other harmful chemicals. As we expected, each product passed with lead content levels BELOW “Levels of Detection” (<>

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The First Round of Customer Images!

Amelia Marks from Ypsilanti, MI: Bike Helmet Doubles as a Penguin Bed.

Caelyn from Virginia: I don’t care if its summer, I’ll still wear the scarf.

Joe and Stu, roommates at the University of Michigan: Tie-dye for life!

Lindsay from Ann Arbor, MI: Me and my purple cow (I named him Kombucha).

Stan Dyer of Denver, CO: I love my socks made with 100% certified organic cotton.

Penny Cole: Representing Maggie’s at Burning Man!

Lindsay from Ann Arbor, MI: Fighting for Women and the Environment

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maggie’s and Bioneers

For several years, Maggie’s has been involved one way or another with a very interesting group of folks called Bioneers. They provide educational solutions that focus on sustaining the earth and our existence based upon science and other social oriented data. Typically they hold an annual conference in Marin, CA that is simulcast to other locations across the country. We have teamed up to be the official supplier of Bioneers merchandise and anyone can place an order off of our website.

From the website:
Bioneers is a nonprofit educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. Since 1990, Bioneers has acted as a hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. A celebration of the genius of nature and human creativity, Bioneers connects people with solutions and each other. Its acclaimed annual national and local conferences are complemented by extensive media outreach including an award-winning radio series, book series, and a role in media projects such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The 11th Hour.

Every year, the Bioneers Conference draws thousands of people together who are passionate about solutions. From how mushrooms can save the world, to how Google Earth is protecting the rainforests, the practical solutions that come from the Bioneers Conference address many of our most pressing environmental problems. In addition to its main conference in San Rafael, California, the Bioneers Conference is transmitted to more than 18 locations nationwide--acting as a hub of information for people who are hungry for change and working to make a real difference in their local communities.

We are proud to say that we are now the official provider of “Bioneers Gear”! We have many items that feature the Bioneers logo and will provide this merchandise on-line, at each satellite conference and of course at the main session in Marin, CA in October 2009. Check out the gear on the Partners Page of our website, and check out the Bioneers website to learn more about what they are involved with!

- Doug Wilson

Monday, July 6, 2009

Give us your Photos!

Hello Blog Readers!!

We at Maggie's Organics are big fans of our own products. We tend to wear them all the time. But outside of the office, we rarely get to see our clothing and leg ware "in action". That's where you come in. We want to invite all of you to upload pictures of yourselves wearing our products to the Maggie’s Facebook group, or if you'd prefer to just email them to us, please send them to You may even find your photo as part of our website and/or blog to offer another view of our products in action. Just think your beautiful feet with our socks could end up being a model for others to see all across the world-wide web!

We would love to see you in creative, funny or even awkward situations. Remember that time at airport security, and you took off your shoes, and you had our tie dye socks on! Take a shot of it and share with everyone!!

Please note that there are a couple of requirements for the photos you send us. Firstly, the image must be between 300x300 and 2000x2000 pixels in size. All modern digital cameras should by default fall into this range (some camera phones may have to have the settings adjusted). Preferably, each dimension would fall between 500 and 1500 pixels. We will take a look at images that are smaller than 300 x 300, but it is unlikely that we will be able to use them. Secondly, we'd like you to send a caption (just one or two sentences) describing the situation, what you were thinking at the time, etc. to go along with your photo.

Boring Legal Note: By submitting the images, you agree that they become the property of Maggie’s Organics / Clean Clothes, Inc. and you give us permission to publish them on electronic and print media at any time and without notice. You also give us permission to edit them in order to make them appropriate for inclusion (such as changing the image dimensions). You also agree that prior to submission, you held the legal rights to the image and that it is not a copyright violation for us to use them for any purpose. You also agree that you are aware that not all submissions may be used, and they are chosen at our discretion.

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you with our gear in action! We also are anxious to share them with others!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Socks made in the USA

When we began in 1992, we had purchased thousands of dollars of Certified Organic Cotton from our farmers. We knew that we wanted to tell the world what we had learned about chemicals and cotton, but really had no clue how to convert our fiber into something that people would want to wear. After many months of research, we set out to simply make a great pair of socks. We wanted to be the pair of socks that everyone looked for when they opened their drawer in the morning. Nothing fancy, just durable, comfortable, and made in a way that protected as many of the earth’s resources as possible.

We are proud of our results, and especially proud of the fact that every pair of Maggie’s socks since we began has been made in the USA. It’s been tough, we have made mistakes along the way, and we have felt the pain of several mills closing due to foreign competition. But we have persevered! Today we work with a total of eight independent family-run businesses in North Carolina, as well as two tie dyers in the U.S. and Canada, who truly are our partners in creating our products and servicing our customers. We now offer a wide variety of socks that keep feet of all ages warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and dry all year long.

We could make all of our socks off-shore for a fraction of the cost that we are paying today, but we are committed to staying put. We believe in our products, especially in the people who make them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Press Release about Barnyard Animals

" YPSILANTI, MI, June 22, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- After the success of their organic cotton Sock Monkeys and Penguins, Maggie's Organics has stepped up to the plate once again to provide eight new stuffed animals, the Barnyard Series, ranging from Tie-Dye Chickens to Denim-Blue Cows. All part of the "Maggie's Menagerie" series, these cuddly toys are made by the 100% worker-owned co-operative in North Carolina, "Opportunity Threads", and are carefully crafted from scrap materials created by Maggie's organic clothing and sock production. [...]"

You can see the rest of the press release here, or at dozens of other news sites!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maggie's has a Twitter!

Come say hi to Maggie's on Twitter!

Eventually, we hope to offer deals exclusively to our Twitter followers :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free Sock Giveaway on Facebook!

Maggie's Organics is doing a free sock giveaway right now on Facebook! Join our group in order to get yourself entered:

You can grab yourself a free pair of our tie-dye socks (shown to the right), or any other pair you'd like.

Monday, June 15, 2009

College Class Takes Trip to Maggie's Production Facility

Students from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have recently made a trip to the production facility in Costa Rica that makes much of Maggie's Organics' apparel. After Maggie's president Bena Burda gave a talk to the class earlier this year, they packed their bags and headed south to the family-owned and -operated sewing facility.

Aquinas College
is home to the first undergraduate program in Sustainable Business in the entire US, and so the students continued their education by visiting the birthplace of some great organic, fair-trade apparel.

Seen above is the class with professor Deborah Steketee.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Barnyard Animals Featured on!



NEW! Barnyard Animal Softies from Maggie’s Functional Organics

by Jasmin Malik Chua

Maggie's Functional Organics Barnyard Animals, farm animal toys, organic cotton stuffed animals, organic cotton toys, Maggie's Organics, Maggie's Functional Organics, sock animals, recycled toys

Maggie’s Functional Organics’ menagerie of reclaimed soft animals just got a whole lot bigger, with a new limited-edition collection of lovable barnyard critters ready to join your home on the range. These sweet farm friends are hand-stitched by a worker-owned cooperative in Morganton, North Carolina. Made with certified-organic cotton fabric leftovers and sock rejects, each machine-washable cow, pig, sheep, and funky tie-dyed chicken is stuffed with reclaimed polyester mill scrap to make it extra cuddly.

+ Barnyard Animals $15

+ Maggie’s Functional Organics

Original Article:

Baby Rib Tee Dress featured on TreeHugger!



Maggie's Functional Organics Baby Rib Tee Dress

by Jasmin Malik Chua, Jersey City, USA on 06. 4.09

Maggie's Organics baby rib tee dress photo
Photo credit: Maggie's Functional Organics

Proving that it never hurts to ask, Maggie's Functional Organics' new Baby Rib Tee Dress was coaxed into existence after a customer asked the company if it could create a basic, affordable dress for a day at the beach or a night on the town.

At $28, the 100 percent organic cotton short-sleeve, body-skimming number certainly fits the bill, offering a blank canvas for accessorizing with brilliantly patterned scarves or dramatic pieces of jewelry, so you can make it wholly your own. Available in black, light blue, and lilac.


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