GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD (GOTS)
In December 2014, Maggie’s received certification to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibers. The aim of the standard is to ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling.
• In 2012 the U.S. Department of State funded a study entitled: Apparel Industry Trends: From Farm to Factory
• This study rated 300 apparel brands on their efforts to address child and forced labor in their supply chains, workers’ rights, monitoring and traceability
• Maggie’s achieved #1 ranking of all 300 brands included in the study.
Fair Trade Federation
In 2014, Maggie’s Organics was invited to apply for membership in the Fair Trade Federation. The Fair Trade Federation envisions a just and sustainable global economic system in which purchasing and production choices are made with the concern for the well-being of people and the environment, creating a world where all people have viable economic options to meet their own needs. The Federation is part of the global fair trade movement building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty. To become a member, applicants go through a rigorous screening process detailing each stage of production for every product made. A screening committee made up of peers and other stake-holders vets each applicant relative to working conditions, fair wages, safety, environmental sensitivity, financial transparency and more. Completion of this review process provides an important mark of distinction for members and for shoppers interested in supporting an entire business for its fair trade practices rather than simply purchasing a fair trade product.
“Maggie’s Organics submitted an extremely thorough application to the screening committee, which speaks really well to their deep commitment to fair trade,” says Renee Bowers, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation. “We commend the way Maggie’s Organics evaluates and reevaluates their fair trade practices as an important part of their business. We’re so thrilled to have them in the FTF community!”
The main principle behind fair trade is to give farmers and producers all over the world the opportunity to earn a living by selling their products in North America and beyond. Relationships between consumer, traders, and producers are formed honoring the 9 Fair Trade principles which focus on fair wages, worker safety, transparency, and more. Read all 9 principles at fairtradefederation.org/principles.
Maggie's withdraws from the Organic Trade Association
December 21st, 2016
After much thought and careful consideration, Clean Clothes Inc. (dba: Maggie’s Organics) has chosen to withdraw its membership in the Organic Trade Association effective January 2017.
While Maggie's has been a strong supporter of the OTA since our inception, we are confused and concerned by OTA's stance and support of the Stabenow-Roberts Senate Bill S.764 (aka: the Dark Act). Although purported to be a bill to require mandatory labeling on all products containing GMO ingredients, we feel this bill would actually cause serious harm to the integrity of the organic industry.
As OTA has correctly stated, S.764 is a compromise bill. However, its ambiguity, lack of penalty authority, and failure to require on-package transparent labeling makes it a compromise we simply cannot make. Our largest concern is that this federal bill supersedes and therefore nullifies all individual state efforts, which have been rigorous and refreshing. Given that one of the sponsors of S. 764 is our home senator from Michigan, and someone we have always regarded as a friend to the true spirit of organic agriculture, we feel it is mandatory that we take a strong position.
We urge OTA’s Board of Directors to reconsider its position on this historic piece of legislation, and we look forward to renewing our membership should it change.
Please bear with us while we remove all references to OTA from our websites and marketing materials.
All Maggie’s Organics products will continue to be labeled according to Global Organic Textile Standard, and we will continue all certifications.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY NOT FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED?
In the past few years, various standard setters have drafted and tested fair trade certification standards for apparel. Maggie’s was immediately proactive in signing up for the audits, first through SCS’s Fair Labor Certification, and later through the apparel pilot offered by FairTrade USA. Having our fair trade efforts validated through auditing and certification brought us all a sense of pride that we were doing the right thing.
However, after 2 years of audits – over 20 total audits for this chain alone – we decided that this third party monitoring process may not be the answer for us. The farmers and workers in our supply chains have spent extensive time and resources filling out forms and restructuring their cooperatives for these programs, and they feel that this red tape has been financially cumbersome and operationally inefficient. Since Maggie’s already pays them more than the fair trade price for our cotton, our producers have repeatedly questioned the benefits of this validation process. This has led us to question: If the very people who are the central beneficiaries of fair trade do not find these third party verifications to be justifiable, then is certification truly our best option?
In light of these experiences, we did not renew our certifications. We do still have a few items in stock with Fair Trade CertifiedTM and Fair Labor CertifiedTM labels, however, these logos will be phased out of our labels as we shift away from third party auditing programs and seek alternative methods for sharing and verifying our trade practices.
We strongly believe that being a fair trade company goes far beyond the presence of a certification hangtag, and we hope that our integrity and transparency clearly show that Maggie’s products embody the welfare and satisfaction of every worker in our chain.