Fran Teplitz, Green America’s executive co-director, said: “Choosing clothing made ethically and with consideration to the environment is one of the best ways to support social and ecological responsibility in your day-to-day life – by literally wearing it on your sleeve. We at Green America applaud these small businesses for their work to help people and the planet with each garment they produce.”
Learn about the winning companies below
Themis and Thread, Hector, NY. Themis and Thread creates clothing while taking great care not to adversely affect the environment, humanity or the economy. It offers a fully customizable fashion line of organic cotton and upcycled material, and uses exclusively American-made components.
Jesse Beardslee, founder of Themis and Thread, said, “Themis and Thread will use the prize money to purchase vintage and American-made sewing equipment to complement the current machine, a 1940’s Singer Featherweight 221. Other plans include deepening our commitments to alternative energy, carbon neutrality and American- produced, organic and recycled fiber innovations. We will expand our current projects with recycled paper hang tags, posters and packaging, and our natural non-toxic dye method.”
Fed By Threads, Tucson, AZ. Fed By Threads is the first American-made “Supply Chain Aware” organic, sweatshop-free, boutique clothing store and custom print apparel business that only carries certified responsibly manufactured products. It also provides emergency meals through the purchase of its garments.
Alok Appadurai, co-founder and CEO of Fed By Threads, said, “It’s an honor to be recognized for our commitment to ending hunger in America, supporting living wage garment jobs nationwide, reducing food waste, and increasing demand for organic sustainable sweatshop-free apparel. We will use a portion of these funds to jump-start our pilot program to donate organic Fed By Threads hoodies to kids battling cancer in America. It’s all about love.”
Fair Indigo, Madison, WI. Fair Indigo Label garments are made with organic Peruvian pima cotton and dyed with Oeko-tex certified dyes. Its cooperative members and small business employees in Peru are paid fairly and treated with dignity and respect.
Robert Behnke, co-founder and president of Fair Indigo, said, “We strongly believe the best way we can contribute to a cleaner, greener apparel industry is to grow the market for fairly traded and earth-friendly clothing, which supports organic farmers and small-scale humane production. In this era of viral video clips, we feel the best way we can use this prize money is to connect consumers to the farmers and workers who benefit from fairly traded ethical apparel by making a mini-documentary. We will show consumers how their purchases directly help grow the green economy and shrink the more toxic economy.”
The next round of Green America’s award will be announced in early 2017 and for the first time one of the three winning companies will receive $10,000 and two will each receive $5,000. The award will be given to three green small businesses that focus on green products and services for pets and animals. The next companies nominated could be overall green pet stores, help raise chickens or bees, or responsibly produce items for pets and other animals.
The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Tess O’Brien, Clean Power Perks, Jennifer Snyder, Clif Bar; Erlene Howard, Collective Resource, Inc., Dale Luckwitz, Naturepedic; Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation; and Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, both of Green America.
ABOUT GREEN AMERICA
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems.