Organicallygrowngroup's Blog


Go Jamie Oliver!
April 13, 2011, 7:38 pm
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Last night, I watched Jamie Oliver’s TV show, Food Revolution. Jamie was refused entry to any and all public schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.  According to the show,  57 tons of sugar is used weekly to  flavor milk.  This is in the midst of an obesity epidemic.  And it appears that most of the food is processed and brought into the individual schools.  Shockingly,  it looked like the sequel to the classic film documentary, Food Inc.

Our children deserve better than this and we deserve a more responsible board. We support your efforts, Jamie. Don’t give up the fight.

By Bob Stein, co-founder of Organically Grown



IT’S GOOD TO BE GOTS!

I am so excited about our brand new spring line of organic baby clothes. They are beautifully designed and on top of that, they are GOTS certified!  GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. The goal of the standard is to ensure the organic status of the textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, and finally labeling to provide a credible assurance to the consumer. Additional criteria for processing and manufacturing include:

  • At all stages through the processing, organic fiber products must be separated from conventional fiber products and must to be clearly identified
  • All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability
  • Prohibition of critical inputs such as toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nano particles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes
  • The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals
  • Bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching)
  • Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited
  • Discharge printing methods using aromatic solvents and plastisol printing methods using phthalates and PVC are prohibited
  • All operators must have an environmental policy including target goals and procedures to minimize waste and discharges
  • Wet processing units must keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and wastewater treatment, including the disposal of sludge. The wastewater from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional wastewater treatment plant.
  • All processors must meet worker-friendly standards set forth by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

We are very proud to offer you this super high-quality, well-designed, socially conscious product at an affordable price. Please visit our website.

Your baby or a friend’s baby will thank you!
By Bob Stein, Co-Founder of Organically Grown



Reflecting on the Tragedy in Japan
March 11, 2011, 7:32 pm
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Our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to our Japanese friends.  The earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand and now Japan remind us how fragile life is.

Haiti is relatively close to the Gulf of Mexico. What would happen if seismic activity caused the opening of hundreds of offshore oil wells in the Gulf?  We saw the devastation caused by just one.  How would we shut off hundreds of wells?  What would be the consequence?  I think you know the answer.  And oil prices rise as we are held hostage to the plight of unstable governments.

Is nuclear the long term solution to oil? If you listen to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” carefully, the real lyrics are: “Baby you need coolant…baby I ain’t foolin’.”  Now we hold our breath to see if Japanese nuclear power plants confronted by earthquakes and tsunamis will leak radiation.

Wind and solar energy are abundant without the risk factors.

So what is our energy policy? Well, as my beautiful father would have said, “The lunatics are running the insane asylum!”

BY BOB STEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF ORGANICALLY GROWN



Sunset Sessions Goes Organic

I just returned from Sunset Sessions, which was held at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California.  This year was the fourteenth anniversary of Sunset Sessions, which was created by one of my dearest friends, Michele Clark.  Michele was in the music business before she even knew it, putting band flyers on the windshields of cars in nightclub parking lots. Michele became an iconic independent promoter in the recording industry, helping to be responsible for breaking hundreds of acts, including Maroon 5, Norah Jones, Coldplay, and John Mayer on the radio and Colbie Caillat, Zac Brown, and Jason Mraz at Sunset Sessions.  Sunset Sessions was Michele’s idea to bring together record companies, radio programmers, and film and television music supervisors to listen to emerging recording artists.  Over four days, I was fortunate enough to listen to 45 amazing artists and bands that will be the superstars of tomorrow, along with established artists such as Stevie Nicks, KD Lang, John Waite and Vanessa Carlton.

I would like to thank Michele for “going organic” and allowing the Sunset Sessions t-shirts to be made by Organically Grown and for allowing me to speak to the music community about the benefits of organic cotton and our company, Organically Grown.




The Two Voices of Barbra Streisand

Last weekend, I died and went to heaven. Julia and I attended a MusiCares event honoring Barbra Streisand as their Person of the Year. MusiCares is a foundation providing medical and financial assistance for musicians during their time of need. In addition to performances by Barbra, the artists paying tribute included Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, Seal, and Faith Hill, as well as Broadway veterans Lea Michele, Kristen Chenoweth, and Matthew Morrison, and their Glee castmate Darren Criss.

I instantly fell in love with Barbra when my parents took me to see her in Funny Girl on Broadway when I was eight years old. I thought I would marry her one day. From her humble Brooklyn beginnings, Streisand has gone on to become one of the few entertainers to win an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy, as well as a Director’s Guild Award.

Just as impressively, Streisand has had a second voice that has raised over $25 million through the Streisand Foundation and her live performances, donating to organizations supporting environmental preservation, voter education, women’s issues, and the protection of civil liberties. Barbra is also a committed environmentalist. One day, we were hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains and we were told that Barbra had donated the 22.5-acre Ramirez Canyon estate in 1993.

Bob with the "Warblers" from Glee

Whether you agree with her politics or not, she is a committed citizen who could have easily sat on the Malibu beach and done nothing. Instead, she has made a difference for so many people through her voice and her philanthropic efforts. At Organically Grown, we salute Barbra for not only her creative achievements, but for giving so much back.

By Bob Stein, co-founder of Organically Grown



Organically Grown Salutes Emma Watson

Because of the blockbuster success of the Harry Potter franchise, Emma Watson has become a worldwide superstar at a young age. Even more impressively, Emma has used her celebrity for a higher cause and has shown concern for the planet by shining a spotlight on the importance of wearing organic clothing.

Much like the Harry Potter books enticed children who were busy playing video games to pick up a book, Emma is a role model to other young people who may not otherwise know or care about organic clothing options. At Organically Grown, we admire and thank her for her extraordinary efforts.

BY BOB STEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF ORGANICALLY GROWN



The Legend of Bobblehead Bob
January 5, 2011, 12:19 am
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Emily and Yaima decided to get me a bobblehead of myself for Christmas. Well, what can I say? I thought about it long and hard. Were they trying to tell me that I am a talking head that annoyingly tells them the same stupid stories over and over? Even though these stories are designed in my mind to inspire them? Well…that may be the case. But, let’s face it…It’s really a cool gift. After all, a lot of thought went into it, and who can really brag that they have their very own bobblehead? They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I embrace my bobblehead, which does have a striking resemblance to myself. I named him Bobblehead Bob.

I have spent the last three years of my life trying to get the organic cotton message out: According to the Organic Exchange, there are 456 million of pounds of pesticides used in conventional cotton production, and many of these pesticides are on the EPA’s list of known, likely, or probable human carcinogens. As a result, farm workers get sick, runoff creates water contamination , and so on and so forth. I have shared this sad reality  so many times that I am beginning to feel like a bobblehead myself. There is so much more work ahead before everyday people hear the battle cry and the world shifts to a healthier choice: the organic standard.

Whenever you change the world, it takes time…And then it happens in an instant. When the universe opens up, people learn the truth and traditional ways of doing things are no longer sustainable. So until the change happens, I will be a bobblehead, shouting from the rooftops.

I AM BOBBLEHEAD BOB!

BY BOB STEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF ORGANICALLY GROWN



Organically Grown’s Weekend with TreePeople and AIDS Walk Los Angeles

TreePeople planters pose with Jackie and Janie

It was a great weekend for the Organically Grown team. We started it with a bang, volunteering with the TreePeople, and ended it by walking six miles in support of AIDS Walk Los Angeles.

OG Founder Bob Stein shovels mulch

Over the past two years, Organically Grown has sponsored tree plantings with the TreePeople and the City of LA.  Our weekend began Friday morning, which we spent caring for the fifty trees that were planted in our neighborhood. This involved staking, mulching, and removing the accumulated weeds and grass, so that the trees could breathe. We worked through a Los Angeles misty day, and fulfilled our commitment to care for the trees. We would like to give special thanks to Marcos, Ryan, and Danny of the TreePeople, as well as Janie Thompson, for their hard work.

On Sunday morning, we gathered with over 30,000 supporters of AIDS Project Los Angeles. In spite of the continuing drizzly weather, we happily completed the 6.2 mile AIDS Walk Los Angeles through West Hollywood.

The Organically Grown Team

At the finish line!

It was inspiring to see such a large outpouring of people, all gathered together, and walking for a shared cause. The Organically Grown team was proud to be a part of an effort that raised over $3 million for Los Angeles residents affected by HIV and AIDS.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the TreePeople care this weekend, and a huge congratulations to all the organizers and participants of the AIDS Walk!


About the TreePeople: TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit that unites the power of trees, people and technology to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles. Simply put, our work is about helping nature heal our cities. For more information, visit treepeople.org

About AIDS Walk Los Angeles: AIDS Walk Los Angeles was created in 1985 and has raised more than $69 million for HIV programs and services throughout Los Angeles County. As the world’s first AIDS Walk, the event launched a nationwide movement, and has itself grown into one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the country. Over the past 25 years, more than a half-million participants, many of whom were members of corporate and community teams, have raised crucial funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles and dozens of other AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit aidswalk.net

About AIDS Project Los Angeles: AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest nonprofit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education, and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. With more than 25 years of service, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, visit apla.org

BY EMILY LAIRD, DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA, ORGANICALLY GROWN



The Unsung Heroes
September 17, 2010, 5:54 pm
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Last Friday, you saw me hobnobbing with Hollywood’s elite at the Stand Up to Cancer benefit. Today, I would like to share with you a different kind of story about an unsung hero named Pete Barajas. Pete has been taking care of the park near our house for the past twenty-two years. Yesterday, as I was walking my dogs Hero and Carl, I saw Pete and he didn’t seem like his cheerful self. He told me that he was being transferred. I immediately made a phone call to Lee Marks, the person in charge of the park.

She requested that maybe I could write a letter on Pete’s behalf. The following is the letter I wrote:

Pete Barajas has been serving our neighborhood at Encino Park for the past 22 years. That’s a long time when people these days just come and go.  Pete does an amazing job keeping the park in tip top shape.  When I see how people trash the park (especially on the weekends), I am amazed how Pete gets the park back to brand new by Monday…always with a smile on his face.

One night I couldn’t sleep, so I took my dog for a walk and there’s Pete cleaning the tennis courts at 5:30am! I asked Pete if he was crazy as it was still cold and dark. Pete politely said that he consistently cleans them and that they had to dry for the people who get there by 7:00am!

That’s Pete. I can tell you from working in the park as a citizen forrester with Treepeople, Pete knows where all the bones are buried.

Pete is an ASSET to our neighborhood.  I can get you the names of 100 neighbors who feel the same way about Pete.

I am respectfully requesting that you please keep Pete at Encino Park.  He is a dedicated friend to the neighborhood.

Others wrote similar letters on behalf of Pete.

There are many of us who are not celebrities, just ordinary people who do extraordinary things…Win no trophies or awards…Just figure out how to do the right thing, like put out a fire, stop a criminal, work on finding a cure for a disease, raise loving children, try to recycle and save water, and yes, even take pride in keeping the park spotless.

This morning, Hero and I saw Pete with a big smile on his face. He told me he was staying in the park, and thanked me for writing the letter he never asked for. I said, “No. Thank you, Pete. Thank you for your service to our community.” Thank you, Pete…Just keep doing your thing.

BY BOB STEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF ORGANICALLY GROWN



Brandweek’s Moral Cotton
September 7, 2010, 7:22 pm
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There is a great cover article in a recent issue of Brandweek titled “Moral Fabric.” There are several interesting facts about organic cotton in this article, specifically about the relatively new and growing popularity of companies producing organic cotton. For example, the article compares the organic cotton movement to being similar in size and scope to that of the organic foods movement around ten years ago. To put it in perspective, the organic foods industry was a $6 billion business in 1990, and a $24 billion business last year. Comparatively, the organic cotton business is currently a $4.3 billion industry, and is projected to grow to $6 billion by next year. The author of the article, Robert Klara, writes, “Seeing as organically grown cotton was worn the by likes of Jesus, Caesar and King Tut, why are so many major brands waking up to it only now? Again, there’s a parallel to organic food. After years of consuming chemicals, more and more Americans are ready to return to natural things.” Thanks to articles like this one, hopefully the importance of organic cotton products will continue to grow in the consciousness of consumers. Organic cotton is the fabric of the future.

Be sure to check out the full article here!

BY BOB STEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF ORGANICALLY GROWN