Sandy & Jim Martin
Growing up, Michigan farm girl Sandy Martin witnessed first-hand the the health repercussions of conventional farming with pesticides. Later, when she worked in the apparel industry, she saw how some manufacturers negatively affected the environment and communities where they operated. So with the help of her husband Jim, Sandy founded an apparel company based on honesty, environmental awareness, and high-quality American-made designs. Their manufacturing process is completely green and uses no PVCs, plastisols, heavy-metal inks, or chlorinated bleaches. They reclaim waste fabric from their own production, from other garment makers, and from thrift stores and give these cast-offs new life in creative items like T-shirt scarves. Headquartered in a 19th century horse carriage terminal on the shores of Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Martins' operation is dedicated to creating apparel jobs both there and throughout the U.S. They also work with Aspiro, a non-profit in Green Bay, Wisconsin that specializes in teaching job skills to cognitively disabled adults. Some of the Martins' designs are cut and sewn by adults in the program, promoting independent living.