About Us - Our Story

We first discovered the women's co-op at the World Social Forum, an international conference of over 100,000 people representing the grassroots community from all over South East Asia and the World.

At the time, the co-op was creating children's toys but was interested into moving more into fashion. We were struck by the gorgeous hand block printed fabrics and detailed embroidery. As supporters of fair trade we had often found it difficult to find fashionable fair trade clothes in the North American market.

We saw fashionable fair trade clothing as a powerful way to help grow the fair trade movement and to help the women from the co-op craft their own economic independence.

In a world where it is increasingly difficult to know the origins of the products we wear and consume, fair trade connects us to the people and stories behind the products. Fair Trade provides a viable alternative by upholding a trade system that values human dignity and sustainability.

We hope that you will enjoy our fair trade fashions. Many people who encounter our products say that the fabrics carry an energy with them. What people are recognizing is the beauty and in these handcrafted products, made from women who are working in safe conditions, making a fair wage.

The vibrant colors of the hand block printed fabrics and the skill of the embroidery are unlike the garments we so often encounter in North America today. It is a powerful statement when a person chooses to buy fair trade and vote with their dollars to support a fair trade world.

By providing fashionable fair trade clothes, we hope to make the decision to buy fair trade an easy one.

Thank you for supporting fair trade!

The Fabrics We Use

Marigold uses fabrics that are vegetable dyed and handblock printed to accent our naturally dyed organic cotton. Hand block printing is an age-old artisan tradition that dates back to the 12th century in India, but it is an art form that is dying due to mass produced manufacturing. We believe in honoring and celebrating the tradition of block printing to bring you clothing that is a work of art created by hand.

Several years ago we expanded our line to include organic cotton. Cotton farmers in India often do not receive a fair enough price to cover production costs. Many farmers have been forced to borrow money at extortionate rates. Unable to repay debts or support their families, suicide is common. In the Amravati district of Maharashtra 5,000 farmers commit suicide every year. Over the past two years Marigold has been buying our organic cotton from an organization based in Andhra Pradesh that helps farmers to escape the spiraling debt and increase their income by 50%. Since the organization started working in 2006 there have been no suicides amongst the 6,000 farmers we work with. Farmers have regained their dignity through self determination and through fair trading conditions.

Why Organic?

  • Agro chemicals destroy our environment: contaminate water supplies, destroy soil nutrients, and harm wildlife

  • Farmers suffer from exposure to chemicals such as severe skin and digestion problems and fatal diseases, including cancer

Impacts of Fair Trade:

  • Fair trade guarantees a minimum price which can cover sustainable farming and living conditions

  • Farmers have a collective voice and knowledge and access to the global market

  • Ensures exploitative practices of child labor are not tolerated

  • Fair trade premium helps fund community projects

In this slideshow we share some of the images of the organic cotton farmers and hand block printers...

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