Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mission: Promote Respect

At the Floyd Country Store we picked up a copy of Floyd, Virginia: Your FREE Comprehensive Guide to all things Floyd. It was through a bio in this guide that we learned about Green Label Organic.

And it was through a meeting with George and Rain Lipson that we learned about their business philosophy and how their basic product speaks to a world view. Their product: t-shirts. But not just ordinary t-shirts. They were t-shirts made from organic cotton, and learning more about their shirts was an enlightening education.

It seems that conventionally-grown cotton is the second most pesticide-laden crop in the world—second only to coffee! (“It takes 1/3 of a pound of herbicides, pesticides, and defoliants to produce just ONE t-shirt.”)

We were not aware of certified organic cotton, which is used to produce these “deliciously soft” t-shirts, but our education was just beginning.

“Each shirt is printed with a patented printing technology that uses no plastics or other harsh chemistry and is then garment-dyed with low impact dyes that contain no heavy metals.”

And “…the shirts and tops are manufactured in the USA in fair labor factories.”

As you could imagine, “Green Label Organic is considered one of the pioneers of the sustainable clothing movement.”

“George is a long-time t-shirt designer who has worked with the Grateful Dead and the Beatles. Most of the messages were related to environmental issues; all showed his creativity and sense of humor.

Rain is a passionate organic gardener and a lifetime environmentalist.”

The shirts themselves have intricate and creative designs along with environmentally-relevant messages. The Support Local design (third row from the top, photo left) and message “has been the best selling design to date and can be found at more that 200 local retail shops and farmers’ markets throughout the USA.” REI also carries the Green Label Organic shirts.

I realize this entry sounds like a commercial, but we were impressed with the business’ philosophy, the product, and George and Rain. Their mission:
“Respect for the environment and for working people everywhere,” and their efforts to educate consumers to “respect ourselves through the choices we make,” fits well with the phenomenon of Floyd, VA.

Among the residents of Floyd, there is a respect for the heritage of the area and a respect for the values of the newcomers, who respect the natural beauty of the land and want to preserve the culture and environment.

Before leaving this community, we wanted to stop at one more company that, like Green Label, has been in business less than 10 years.

What? You’re surprised to find a yurt company in Floyd County? Well,
not only has Blue Ridge Yurts built over 70 yurts scattered across Virginia and 10 other states, but this is one of two yurt-building companies in Floyd, each catering to different clienteles.

The yurts range is size from 16-foot diameter buildings to 30-foot diameter ones.

Quite a town and quite a group of special people!

For more information on these companies: and

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