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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