When you buy organic cotton clothing and other organic cotton products from Kasper Organics, you can trust that you are contributing to a healthy environment. Not just in ecological sense, but in the sense of working conditions for the people who make the organic cotton clothing industry a reality. I have been working with most of the below listed companies for 8+ yrs. and have found them to be the most caring and conscientious individuals, and that is reflected in the way they do business.
The following information was obtained by researching web sites and direct contact. My inquiry was not only about factory conditions, but I also asked what they knew about the farm workers conditions. So this profile also includes some comments in that area. Personally, this is one of my greatest concerns. I believe one of the most important contributions to the well being of our fellow humans that we can make thru the support of organic cotton and organic produce, is supporting farms where the workers do not have to be exposed to the toxic chemicals they would be on a conventional farm. And not only the people that work on the farms, but the people, including children, that live in the surrounding areas.
We are proud to work with the following companies in supporting sustainable organic farming pracitces, fair trade, respect for the natural environment and ecology and human rights. Environmental and social and economic justice are our priorities.
1. American Apparel
Organics are made from 100% USDA Certified Organic Cotton and are
pesticide-free. In addition, our low-impact dyeing process
eliminates chemical waste, providing innumerable environmental and health
benefits. We are committed to minimizing our ecological footprint throughout all
phases of our production process and are working to incorporate a higher
percentage of Organic Cotton into our main production line. Our Organics are
available in our most popular styles, now in 8 colors.
2. Solar Panels: American Apparel houses a state-of-the-art solar panel installation on the
roof of our downtown LA factory. This system generates 150 kilowatts of clean,
renewable power, contributing up to 15% of our energy needs.
3. Finished without the use of
4. Organic Line: All the products sold under
the "Sustainable Edition" label at American Apparel feature 100% organic cotton.
In 2008, we purchased over 30,000 pounds of organic cotton from the Cleaner
Cotton Initiative in California. Like all our cotton, we try to buy as much
local or domestic organic cotton as we can. We sell over 80,000 100% organic
cotton garments every year. The Sustainable Edition is a selection of our most
popular styles in 100% USDA
certified organic cotton.
We are committed to doing business with top quality farms and
factories that treat and compensate their workers fairly while
maintaining a commitment to environmental sustainability.
Our cotton is grown by small farms in Texas, Northern California and
North Carolina; our mills are located in North and South Carolina and
our dye house, which specializes in direct dye without using heavy
metals, is located in New Hampshire. The cutting and sewing of our
clothing takes place right here in the vicinity of Boston,
Massachusetts, Cottonfield’s home city.
Although we remain a small company, we are part of a worldwide
movement which supports fair wages, just living conditions and
environmentally sustainable products. Our mission is to nurture and
nourish our local and global community. Whenever possible, we set up
educational displays at local events such as the Boston Toxics Center's
Conference, the Bioneer Conference, the Northeast Organic Farming
Association's Summer Conference, and the Boston Vegetarian Society's
Our goal is to work in harmony with people here and abroad to help
restore integrity, justice, health and balance to Planet Earth.
Organic Threads, by Gail Richards, Founder an Owner:
Organic Threads was founded in September 1994. We have over the years been working to help support the environment in whatever way we can. We were working in the wind electric turbine business (alternative electric power) before supporting organic cotton. When we learned of all the chemicals that are applied to cotton during its growing time, we decided to think of something to support the organic cotton farmers. If products are not manufactured from the organic cotton that is grown, the farmers have no support for their more labor intensive farming methods that are necessary for organic crops.
Socks are a product that most everyone needs to buy at some time. A commonly worn product that could be made in the USA & support our organic cotton farmers seemed like a good business plan to us. We are happy to offer
our athletic style crew socks made in the USA from certified organic cotton grown in the USA. Now also available in Foxfibre Brown and Foxfibre Green. Made from organic cotton that is grown in colors. Do dye is required!
SOS From Texas:
The Oldham family has been growing cotton for over 100 years in Texas. Our grandfather broke out prairie grass to plant cotton in the rich soil. Grown and Processed, in Texas at a TDA certified family farm and a TDA (Texas Dept. of Agriculture) certified mill. Then the fabric is cut and sewn locally, providing jobs in the community, under the supervision of the Oldham family.
Raising cotton conventionally is one of the most harmful agricultural activities
across the world. Cotton is a natural fiber that offers comfort regardless of
the season, but when cotton is grown without the organic certification, count on
it to have used a sizable chemical load.
Our switch to organic farming
from chemical farming resulted in eliminating about 250-300 lbs of concentrated
chemicals per acre. This comes out to 4 oz per t-shirt (1/2 the weight of an
Internationally, the chemical load may be even higher,
since developing countries may have less stringent regulations for crop
Our farming practices include crop rotation and natural
fertilizers. This helps create a healthy environment that attracts and sustains
beneficial insects to keep our crop healthy, instead of toxic fertilizers and
insecticides. It also keeps our soil healthy, so it will always remain
In contrast to the image of most garment producers who use non-US labor (and many even within the US) Maggie’s has helped to develop a worker owned sewing cooperative in a highly impoverished area of Nicaragua, giving women there an alternative to the sweat shops they were previously forced to work in. These women are now producing organic camisoles and tee shirts which Maggie’s from them, providing hope for the future of the whole community.
When we began Maggie’s in 1992, we contracted directly with the farmers, purchasing their crop directly, and running it through the spinning, knitting, finishing and sewing ourselves. This was very expensive, and as we were not production experts, it was really more than we could handle.
As we grew, and as the industry grew, we spent the next few years getting our farmers in touch with our spinners (and vice-versa). This enables us to purchase finished yarn from the spinners. The apparel industry being in such stress, we lost at least three spinners (they refused to spin OC anymore, etc.), and we had to scramble just to keep a source of supply. So more and more we lost contact with the farmers.
Bená Burda for Maggie's Organics/Clean Clothes Inc.
Our business practices are based on a lifestyle committed to living lightly on the earth, following good sense rather than trends, supporting sustainability, recycling and non-chemical alternatives. We are a part of the Co-op America Business Network whose members pledge to conduct business in a way that addresses the needs of consumers, employees, our communities and the environment. We support our community by keeping the manufacturing process at home.
A fair trade to us is a holistic approach, a challenge with the aim to establish a fair cooperation between the partners of the whole production process. The farmers that grow the organic cotton are guaranteed prices that are higher than a conventional crop.
Here's a quick summary of what makes HEMPY'S a sustainable
and people-friendly business! Provided to me by a representative.
- We use hemp, organic cotton, recycled
cotton and recycled synthetics in the manufacture of our
- Most of our products are Made in the USA and sold "locally" in
the USA and CANADA.
- We work closely with small, family-owned/operated
sewing shops in our local San Diego, CA region.
- We re-use and recycle
EVERYTHING that comes through our shop. There is almost no waste!
focus on quality as our first priority--for even eco-friendly products aren't
eco-friendly if they fall apart.
Windrose Trading Company: (excerpts from their web site)
Dear Friends many thanks for your continued support of us, and our Fair Trade, Cottage Industry partners! Thanks to your support we continue to help our partners and artisans develop and bring their quality handmade goods to retailers and customers who value products that support fair trade, sustainability, health and well-being.
Our company was founded in 1977, with the sincere desire to build this type of long-term sustainable network that helps people and our environment.