GOTS Sweater Knits
Organic Cotton Fields
The super-soft fabrics of our Leggings and Apparel originates with organic cotton grown and harvested by a collective group of family farmers in the rainfed regions of Maharashtra, Odessa, and Andhra Pradesh in India. The group of farmers work together, supporting and running a non-profit collective. The collective works to improve socio-economic conditions for the farmers, provides farmer trainings, and runs test plots where they constantly experiment with new growing techniques. The challenges presented by the changing climate are always top of mind for all small-scale family farmers.
Each year we pay a deposit to the collective which helps with up-front costs associated with the planting season. Responding to what farmers say they need, instead of purchasing what will look good in PR photos, is what we call real fair trade.
The cotton gin used for Maggie’s Leggings and Apparel processes Organic Cotton exclusively. Over 60% of a cotton harvest is lost during ginning, consisting of short unusable fibers, field trash, and seeds. In conventional cotton, this is also where most pesticide residue remains (and what ends up in cottonseed oil, dairy, meat and more).
Working with our supply chains on continuous improvement in quality, environmental improvement, and living conditions is what we call real fair trade.
Our spinner has a dedicated Organic line to spin the yarn for our Leggings and Apparel. The process to make the fiber into yarn involves opening the bales, carding the fiber (creating a thin web) to form a rope-like strand called a sliver, combing to remove short fibers and impurities, drawing the sliver out into a thinner strand, and finally spinning into the organic cotton yarn.
Knitting & Finishing
Our sweater knitter is located in Noida, an area just east of India’s capitol, Delhi. Noida is India’s generational home of sweater knitting. The most challenging part of sweater knitting is linking, which is attaching the pieces of each garment together. It is a painstaking and skilled craft, requiring exacting motions and super-human vision. Our linkers are amazing to watch and have learned their skills from parents and grandparents. The knitting company is now part of the same 3rd generation family-owned mill that make our leggings and other apparel. They are GOTS certified, recently built a new environmentally advanced facility, and employ the same social programs as extended to their Kolkata workers.