Founded in 1992, Maggie's Functional Organics came together on the premise that all workers could be treated ethically and that clothing could be functional, beautiful and affordable yet also constructed from environmentally sustainable materials.
Sixteen years later, the company's line of organic and fair trade socks, scarves, tights, loungewear, legwarmers, tees, baby clothes and tops is going strong, using nothing but certified organic cotton and certified organic wool.
A production snafu surrounding the company's crew socks resulted in its most creative and environmentally-friendly product yet - Maggie's Menagerie Sock Monkey - made by a 100% worker owned co-op.
Each colorful, one-of-a-kind, cuddly hand-sewn critter is sold on a "grab bag" basis (colors are chosen by the company, not the customer), and is stuffed with pre-consumer polyester mill scrap since it provides the smoothness and loft that the monkeys need to survive tons of turns in the wash.
Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer.
See more of Pilar's stories here.