Maggie Marilyn is dedicated to protecting the natural world. Maggie Marilyn’s Forever collection gives a new meaning to circular fashion, sustainability, and respect.
The Forever collection stems from the values Maggie Hewitt learned from her home in coastal New Zealand. Her love and sense of stewardship for nature drove her to create a brand that honors the earth. The clothes in her collections Forever and Somewhere are made entirely from organic cotton and wool, and all nylons are 100% recyclable. Hewitt is committed to using materials that do not harm the earth and are harvested as sustainably as possible.
Sustainable Fashion: Regenerative Aspect of a Circular Economy
Forever takes circular fashion to another level. Committed to stepping past just being “sustainable” Forever leans into the regenerative aspect of a circular economy. In a circular economy, waste and pollution are eliminated, allowing for materials to be reused, restored, or recycled. The brand is in close contact with their material suppliers, urging local cotton farmers to apply more regenerative practices to their work. By applying their values to their suppliers, the brand helps proliferate regenerative and renewable practices.
Maggie Marilyn is unwavering in its efforts to be a sustainable company and holds itself following the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG’s). Every year the company sets goals that align with such standards so they can effectively reduce their impact on the planet and continue to make valuable products.
Of course, most of their goals are quite difficult to achieve and exceptionally complicated.
The brand, promising to be transparent, is remarkably honest in its shortcomings. One target they set for 2020 was to use chemicals responsibly. A challenge they faced was replicating certain colors naturally and trying to create colors that consumers wanted without using chemicals. Ideally, the brand wouldn’t use chemicals at all, however, this is difficult to achieve.
Maggie Marilyn also wants to become carbon neutral certified, an even more challenging task. Carbon neutrality is often confused with being “carbon free” though they are different. Neutrality allows the brand to produce carbon emissions, as long as the net emissions are zero.
Economic Access to Circular Fashion
It is important to consider the price of the clothes made by Maggie Marilyn as well. Due to their high quality, resources, and creation process, the prices of their clothing range from $140 USD up to the thousands. This highlights the fact that climate inequality and access to sustainable products are deeply intertwined with race and economic class issues.
Though the brand has high moral values and is committed to making change, only a specific group of people can support their business. It leaves those who can only afford “fast fashion” to perpetuate the consumer waste cycle.
However, with more fashion designers making commitments to circular fashion and sustainability, this can change. The fashion industry operates heavily on the make, wear, and trash model that generates copious amounts of garbage. Cheap clothes are often made with microplastics, nylons, and elastics that cannot be recycled or repurposed; many are not biodegrade.
A reconstruction of this industry will not only make the materials used by clothing lines like Forever less expensive, but also make higher quality clothing more accessible to more people. Higher quality clothing also promotes less consumption, as individuals do not need to replace low-quality clothing that degrades quickly.
Maggie Marilyn’s Commitment to Workers
Aside from sustainability, Maggie Marilyn is also dedicated to treating its employees with the highest standards possible. Their mission to protect the natural world includes animals and humans alike. Providing living wages, enacting gender and sexual equality, and providing growth and success opportunities are all goals of the brand.
For such a large brand, their dedication to its employees is inspiring. Larger companies often go hand-in-hand with conditions where employees do not feel heard, respected, or adequately compensated for their work. Large corporations ignore the needs of their workers. Maggie Marilyn’s proactive work and commitment to honor and respect the people who make their brand a reality is heartening.
Maggie Hewitt could have created a financially lucrative fashion brand that required little to no concern about her products’ sustainability. We can be grateful that collections like Forever exist because people like Hewitt are dedicated to this planet. As Hewitt says, “We are at a truly pivotal moment in history. This isn’t just about fashion. Here and now is where we decide what the world will look like for future generations. We must adapt to a changing world. We must choose to be better than those before us.”