Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maggie’s featured in University of Michigan Sustainable Fashion Show!

Recently, some of Maggie’s new Fair Labor Certified Apparel was shown at the student-run Sustainable Fashion Show at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The show was produced by UM’s Environmental Issues Commission (EIC), a group of students that promotes environmental awareness throughout the University.

This is Maggie’s second year participating in the fashion show. This time, we chose to premiere some of our new Fair Labor Apparel, including our Fair Labor Certified Pants and Hoodies – see them on the runway in the image to the left! Many thanks to Jessica Galin, the model pictured, for helping to make our clothes look stylish on the runway.

“At first the idea for a sustainable fashion show was a discussion during meetings between a few members of the group,” says EIC member Jill Schmutter, “We continued and elaborated on our passion to make students and the Ann Arbor community more aware of where their clothes came from and how they can support fair trade and environmentally friendly products.” The EIC collaborated with groups such as SOLE (Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality), the Peace and Justice Council, Lead Magazine, and (of course) Maggie’s Organics in creating the 2010 fashion show, entitled “JUST GREEN.”

The group was intent not only on promoting environmental awareness, but also to host the fashion show during Women’s History Month – “to promote the mind and body of the female spirit”, explains Ms. Schmutter. This is certainly an idea Maggie’s can stand behind; with the help of the Jubilee House, Maggie’s works with several women-owned and –operated businesses. We founded a 100% worker-owned women’s sewing co-operative in Nicaragua, in an area where women previously found themselves forced to work in sweatshops (if they found employment at all). Today, this co-operative (known as the Fair Trade Zone), is the world’s first and only 100% worker-owned free trade zone. You can read more about the Free Trade Zone our partners’ page.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hanging out at the Maggie's Headquarters in Ypsilanti

Inspired by customer requests, Taylor spent some time this week taking pictures around the office. You've all seen our pictures from the Fair Labor Certification process in Central America, but what is life like at the Maggie's office in Michigan? Well, let's take a look:

Here is the front of our office building. Before Maggie's moved into this building in 2002, it was a school and a bookstore. We're really happy with it because it has an attached warehouse, so we can handle all of our shipping in-house. Let's take a look inside.

Here’s Tom, our warehouse manager (and resident comedian), pulling an order for some Socks. Tom has worked with Maggie’s since 1998. He handles everything from labeling to shipping and receiving – which he refers to as “the old one-two.”

Here’s a box of our printed scarves back from VGKids, our local screen printer that we’ve been partners with for a long time.

Also in our warehouse is the table where Stephanie, one of our sales persons, has been assembling the new gift baskets. The sock monkeys look pretty content with their pails.

On top of Tom’s computer is the only tie-dye sock shark in existence – one of a few co-op animals that never made it to production. It was made from one of our organic cotton tie-dye crew socks and stuffed with polyester mill scrap.

Here’s Doug, our VP of Sales, hanging out in his office. Lately, Doug and Stephanie have been brainstorming ideas for the most efficient and eco-friendly way to go about making catalogs for our retailers.

In the conference room, Amber and a couple friends are inspecting a new shipment of our Fair Labor Certified Apparel. Amber is one of Maggie’s newest employees, and is doing a great job helping out with the apparel and communicating with stores.

Well that’s all for now – we hope you enjoyed a glance around our headquarters. If you want to see all of the pictures taken by Taylor, you can find them on our Flickr page here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Maggie's supports OnEarthPeace

Maggie's Functional Organics is proud to support OnEarthPeace, a social justice initiative of the Church of the Brethren. We recently donated 500 pairs of our Mantra knee Hi socks, carrying the “OnEarthPeace" mantra – to be distributed to volunteers in OnEarthPeace programs. These programs include:

  • The Youth Peace Travel Team, which visits congregations and summer camps to conduct peace education workshops;
  • The Welcome Home project, offering support and healing for U.S. service men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq;
  • The Decade to Overcome Violence, an global initiative of the World Council of Churches.

We're hopeful that Maggie's soft, stretchy dress socks, made with organic fibers, will add a little comfort to the lives of hard-working volunteers for peace and conflict resolution.

Tom's got his hands full as Fair Labor Apparel scores a hit at Maggie's

We've got a hit on our hands – and Tom's got his hands full.

Tom, who runs our Ypsilanti warehouse, is busier than ever filling orders for our new Fair Labor Apparel clothing line, which launched earlier this spring. Faster than we expected, retail customers and distributors are buying Maggie's Fair Labor products, made with 100% organic cotton fibers: camisoles, tanks, wrap tops, hoodies, wide leg pants, knit dresses, unisex tees and scarves.

At prices ranging from $12.75 to $25.50, our Fair Labor clothes are attractive and affordable – and available with a guarantee that workers who made them are treated fairly and paid a living wage.

Don't take our word for it. Maggie's Functional Organics is the first-ever clothing line to win a rigorous Fair Labor Practices and Community Benefits certification from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

Before issuing this certification, SCS examined every stage of Maggie's organic clothing supply chain: the growers, cotton gin, spinner, knitter, dyer, cutter, sewer, screen-printer in Central America, as well as our office and warehouses here in the U.S.

You can read the fair whole labor story here. As always, Tom and the rest of the team at Maggie's are doing our best to make organic clothes that are good for people and good for our planet.

PS: Tom
likes being busy, so please keep your orders coming. And if you've already made an order, let us know what you think!