No one thinks about ending a business when they’re starting one. At least I didn’t. Once I sold my patented tank to Nordstrom’s, all I could think about was getting it into as many stores as possible.
Twenty-three years ago, most companies making clothing for new moms focused on either maternity or nursing, but no one considered making a line that worked for both. I’m proud to say, we did that. The Original Nursing Top made by MAJAMAS EARTH changed the clothing market forever.
We were the first to introduce and patent a nursing tank women could wear after they had their babies, but innovators keep innovating, so we didn’t stop there.
As the years unfolded, MAJAMAS EARTH would create athleisure, loungewear, intimate apparel, baby and even Men’s basics, but our beautiful clothing wasn’t the only thing that set us apart…
When I started the company, I knew nothing about the clothing business, but once I realized how dirty the industry was, I made it my mission to make sure all our clothes were manufactured as sustainably and ethically as possible. I remember showing our collection at my first Dallas Market when a buyer of a major department store walked over to view it. He was from an oil family and said, “No one cares about ‘sustainable’ clothing. Just drop that ‘schtick’ and show me whatcha got.” I was stunned, but he continued with his encouragement.
“Your line is so expensive. Why don’t you just make it in China like everyone else?” he asked. “Then you could sell more at lower prices.” He was right, of course. I could’ve taken that path, but my conscious wouldn’t let me.
When we launched our line, few noticed what was happening to our planet, and no one noticed the damage the garment industry was having on it.
Actually, when I entered the world of clothing most manufacturers who had always produced their collections in the States were moving their production to China or Bangladesh. Contractors there had little to no accountability for how they managed their people and their waste. Unions protecting garment workers in the States didn’t exist overseas so manufacturers could pay next to nothing to have their collections sewn there. Rivers turned color from the dyes washing into them and discarded clothes piled up along their shores polluting the towns and villages where most of the workers in these factories lived. Up to recently, most countries turned a blind eye to the damage clothing manufacturing was doing, but we noticed, which is why we have always kept our production in the U.S. Making our collection in the States felt like the only way we could ensure our clothes were made sustainably and the people making them were treated and paid fairly.
Fast forward to the present and wow! What a difference a couple of decades can make.
After a global pandemic shut down the ports, it looks as if clothing manufacturing is slowly coming back to the U.S. That move is important because it cuts down on emissions, keeps the production local and in most cases, ensures the shops are ethically run and pollutants aren’t being dumped into our water and air.
Plus, the pandemic kept us home, and made many of us rethink our wardrobe. It diminished our need to own a ton of clothes, and it shined a light on our wasteful, fast-fashion spending. In some ways, it has even made resale and upcycling hip too.
This appears to be good news for us and the planet, but it turns out, sustainability comes with a price…
Lately, everything is more expensive and sometimes, as consumers and suppliers, we have to choose to pay or walk away. Which is part of the reason why MAJAMAS EARTH is closing. Our fabrics and supplies to make our clothing have increased so much, we’re feeling priced right out of our market.
On top of that, our contractors want and deserve more money so they can stay up with their increased costs. It doesn’t help that some of the larger retailers we sell to are asking us to support sales at a price so high, it sacrifices our margins. In the past we would rise to the challenge, but the combination of all these factors is just too much for ME.
Don’t get ME wrong though. While most companies close because they’re burdened with debt or other negative mojo, we are exiting owing no one and our collection has continued to sell incredibly well. As my mom used to say, leave the party while you’re still having fun and I guess that’s exactly what we’re doing.
We have been thrilled to help women ditch their uncomfortable, underwire bras for our organic cotton and printed ones. By using recycled and reclaimed fabrics in unique prints we elevated the eco-fashion space taking it from plain vanilla to, well… fashion.
We made one of the few baby collections sewn in the U.S from 100% cotton, designed with a retro vibe and just as comfortable as our adult clothing.
Even our Men’s basics stand apart from the fast-fashion stuff most guys seem to go for. Maybe that’s because few garment companies make sustainable clothing for men. Our tees, joggers and boxers have been designed with a focus on detail like printed back linings and prints inside the pockets. We even added a double layer in the front of our Organic Cotton boxers to help them last longer than the ones sold in a three pack and bundled in plastic.
We never stopped innovating and I’d like to think we put a dent in fast fashion by starting the eco-trend no one saw coming at Fashion Week twenty three years ago.
Possibly the most rewarding part of our journey has been the people we’ve had the chance to work with. It’s impossible to have a great business and make a great product without great people. We’ve always surrounded ourselves with a team of talented, smart people who were committed to helping us make the best clothing ever. Their loyalty and passion to help MAJAMAS EARTH succeed has always blown us away and we can’t thank them enough.
Having a mission and a great product has brought us some of the best customers too. Your loyalty, input, patience and support has meant the world to us and for that we are eternally grateful.
I have no idea what’s ahead once we finally sell that last bra, or pair of pants, but whatever it is, we wouldn’t have gotten here without so many others supporting us.
Thank you to everyone who has made MAJAMAS EARTH a success and for keeping a piece of ME in your closets all these years. We are beyond grateful and we appreciate the opportunity to have been able to work with each and every one of you. We will keep you posted on our future plans and if our bras or garments ever make a comeback, you’ll be the first to know. Here’s to not hearing the last of ME…
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
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What’s your favorite thing you’ve discovered from ME?
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13 thoughts on “Will You Remember ME?”
I discovered that bras could be designed to be supportive without underwires even for a 36E. This was important for me after a surgery left me with a sensitive scar on my bra line. Now, I am open to designs in eco friendly basics that I thought were designed for a different body type. I am still waiting to see more plus size options in the market, but at least I know the are some options out there for us curvy ladies if I look for them.
Love your bras. I dislike underwire bras. Your bras are the best and most comfortable for me. I will miss Majamas Earth.
I just (this year) discovered ME and will miss the bras for sure! Never got a chance to try out the rest of the line, but was thrilled to be able to find organic cotton bras that still had padding and would hide well under a t-shirt. I avoid synthetic fabrics due to a skin reaction, and it’s hard to find bras that are 100% natural fibers – most of them labeled ‘cotton bras’ still have a cup lining of nylon or polyester (why??). Thanks for the sustainable, ethical, conscious designs – I’ll miss them!
Sorry that it has to end this way for you guys, Germaine. I know you put your heart and souls into this company. You fabrics , colors and designs were always so creative and innovative. Whatever is in your future, it will be greatness!
I was looking for a sports bra that didn’t put unbearable pressure on my trapezius muscles. Found majamas at Whole Foods; during covid, I wasn’t shopping but discovered i could order directly from majamas online. I called to discuss the band options and was surprised that i was speaking to the owner. My most recent order didn’t appear to have been delivered (but it was in my mailbox) ; i called, left a message, call returned by the other owner. Amazing personal service. Thank you.
I am so sad you are closing up shop! Over the years I learned to hate bras — until I found ME. Comfortable support without synthetic fabrics or underwires. Thank you so much! I hope the collection I have will last until I can find a replacement!
Oh, my gosh – I’m already having bra withdrawal and I have a good stash to get me through for awhile. I so hope you find a way back to the market with your wonderful, comfortable, sustainable bras. Good luck to you in future endeavors!
Since your retail shop days on Lombard I’ve been a regular! My clients new babies received a special gift from ME too! My favorites: organic cotton swaddle blanket, bras and I still have a black zip-up hoodie from over 15 yrs ago 😁. Best to you and your family on the next phase of your life journey!
I’m not saying good-bye to ME, just see you later! Love your beautiful and comfy ecoware, Germaine, and your ethics. Anticipating your triumphant return—if/when you want. 💕
Many many successes as you bring your creativity, energy, and stewardship to your next chapter!
I will miss ME! My most favorite pajamas are from you, and the joggers both my husband and I lived in throughout the pandemic. Thank you for being sustainable and caring about our Mother Earth. Here’s to new beginnings. ❤️
Beautifully written story. I have Majamas on right now while Zooming through my work day — so comfy and pretty. Thank you ME, Germaine, Russ and all for your creative, ethical vision and beautiful, sustainable products—it’s the best loungewear I’ve ever worn. Good luck with what’s next! We’ll need whatever you’ll be doing I’m sure.
Germaine, I just read the news that you are closing. We first met when we shared a booth (just a table, really) at a La Leche League conference in Chicago in 2001. I was just starting my business and you were a little bit ahead of me. You were an inspiration to me then and have continued to be, even now. Along the way we have always checked in with each other and shared tales from the front lines of entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, raising kids while being entrepreneurs, etc. We had so much in common, like the fact that we both were inspired to start our businesses when we became moms and saw a need for a product that would solve one of our problems–and then we took the leap to leave corporate jobs to dive in and…start-up. I hope we can still stay connected now that you are closing Majamas. I would love to hear what your next adventure will be and to catch up with you about all things Germaine! Best wishes for your next step! ~ Gretchen