When I landed in Napa Valley in late 2011, I never dreamed that being vegan would be a challenge. I had read so many things about how vegan-friendly the Bay Area was, I incorrectly assumed that Napa was also all in. It didn’t take long to realize that the focus on food here was based on how it paired with wine. At that time, there was zero interest in pairing wine with vegetables and grains, just meat and cheese. It was for exactly this reason that I began blogging. Though I had started to meet plenty of other vegans here in the Valley, we had no real voice. So I opened up my big mouth and became the voice. In the four years that I have been blogging about my vegan food & wine adventures, I have begun to see so many wonderful improvements to the plant based food offered up and down Valley. Every time I look at the length of my Eat! page compared to how it looked just a year ago, I kick up my heels (metaphorically speaking anyway)!
With my move to Berlin Germany rushing toward me at lightening speed, I felt I had to create something tangible that would represent what I have been doing for the last 45 months! I had to leave some kind of statement behind before moving 9,000 miles away! So with the help of Graphic Design extraordinaire Cheri Moe with Narrowgate Graphics and my husband and marketing guru Steve, we created the cutest baseball caps…EVER!!
Being a very small company, doesn’t mean that we had to think small. In addition to working with a graphic designer who is a friend & lives right here in Northern California to create our Petunia the Piglet logo, we wanted to be sure that we could offer something to our readers & subscribers that we could all be proud to wear. Something that not only got our vegan message to the masses in an incredibly adorable way but something that didn’t create any harm through its production. Of course, doing the right thing always costs more (sometimes, much more) than doing the quick & easy thing but it was worth every penny. We hope you feel the same way!
After researching our options, we chose global manufacturer Econscious to create our baseball caps. Based out of Petaluma California, Econscious works with 8 factories around the world that include India, Mexico, Pakistan and several locations in China. Working with many of these companies for a decade or more, they still do factory visits throughout the year to confirm compliance to Econscious’ standards. Their design ethos is to work with factories who share their commitment to provide a safe & healthy work environment for all employees while ensuring adherence to wage, child labor, overtime, health, safety and environmental regulations.
Our hats were created in the Quingdo factory in China. Established in 1998, they are the leading manufacturer of hats in Northern China and Econscious’ organic cotton twill caps have been created there since 2008. This factory is WRAP certified – Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. WRAP is an indie, objective third party, non-profit team of social compliance experts who have dedicated their careers to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the planet using a certification process and education. All dyeing done during manufacturing is also certified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. With its decades of experience, the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 contributes to effective product safety from a consumer’s point of view by testing textiles – raw, semi-finished & finished – at all processing levels. Including extensive product checks & regular audits to ensure the responsible use of chemicals. Meet the people who’s hard work and attention to detail created your cap! Now you can be proud to say that your hat was Made In China!
Econscious is also a member of 1% For The Planet which was created in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, the founder of Blue Ribbon Flies. With the imminent threats caused by climate change & the fact that only 3% of philanthropy in the U.S. currently goes to environmental causes, 1% For The Planet is vital to our planet’s survival. By connecting donors dollars with environmental doers to accelerate smart environmental giving, Econscious is helping to restore, protect and advocate for Mother Earth. Our planet simply cannot wait! See a list of some of the dozens of organizations that Econscious’ 1% contribution has helped!
And last but not least, Steve & I were impressed by the fabrics that Econscious uses in their products. As I mentioned, the caps are made with 100% organic cotton. I am on a mission to slowly replace all of my clothing as it wears out with an organic alternative so this is something that is very important to me. Other sustainable fabrics they work with include hemp and recycled polyester. Hemp fiber has been used for over 10,000 years because of its strength and ability to grow rapidly using less water than cotton. Even more importantly, one acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as two acres of cotton with a minimal need for pesticides! Did you know that our original American Flag was actually made with hemp! Yeah, neither did I! And with the use of recycled polyester while manufacturing an average size large Men’s Hoody, they remove the equivalent of four 20 oz soda bottles from the landfill.
And to amplify their impact even more they have partnered with organizations that are making great changes to the ethical treatment of animals; the promotion & protection of organic trade; support of the best practices of organic agriculture and creating a world where all people have enough, all communities are healthy & safe and our Earth’s bounty is preserved for generations to come! Follow this link to learn more about these Changemakers!
We also knew that donating a percentage of our proceeds was something that was very important to us and was a part of our mission – personally & professionally. For 2018, we have chosen a local animal protection group – Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch – located here in Napa. Our commitment is to donate 5% of the purchase price from every baseball cap that we sell. We will donate the proceeds at the end of each quarter through the rest of the year. We have also priced the hats very fairly so that we are able to cover the cost of manufacturing them while still providing free shipping in the U.S. We will make a tiny amount on each hat; just enough to help cover some of the expenses that it takes to run the blog! It is very important to us to keep the info available on the blog free for everyone to enjoy.
We want to see these adorable hats all over the country. When you order your hat, leave us a comment sharing where you are from! Our goal is to see a Napa Valley Vegan – Petunia the Piglet cap from the West Coast to the East from North to South and the islands too!! We hope some day soon to be able to ship them internationally so if you live outside of the U.S. and are interested, please let us know in the comment section!
Steve, Violet and I thank you for following our blog and supporting our goals to make being vegan the new normal. Visit our online store to purchase your Napa Valley Vegan – Petunia the Piglet baseball cap now & show your support on the top of your head! Let’s explore the world together (in a really cute hat) and as always…eat, drink & be vegan!