Our Mission Statement

We work for the good.

baby on blanketWorking for the good informs everything we do at Blue Okra. We work for the good of our customers, providing top quality, well-made products that are designed to last and be handed down across generations. We work for the good of our planet by fully embracing environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes. We work for the good of our fellow workers, striving to partner with suppliers who respect employees by providing good working conditions and a living wage. We work for the good in our local communities by giving of our time and resources.

Our mission statement is short, but the implications are large. Easy to say, hard to do. But that’s OK. That’s true of most goals that are worthy of our efforts.

To make the mission statement real, it needs commitments. We’ve made them:

  • A commitment to quality and safety for our customers (pesticide free, plastic free products)
  • A commitment to a specific positive social impact (poverty alleviation, sustainable economic development)
  • A commitment to a specific positive environmental impact (100% organic fabrics, upcycling products)
  • A commitment to serve a target beneficiary group (e.g. low income customers, smallholder farmers, organic farmers and organic fabric mills)

And we seek to grow, learn and share the knowledge we’ve gained with others. Check out our blog, and follow us on social media (linked below) for our latest news.

Our Company

gift bagsHi, we’re Julie and John Parker. As parents and grandparents, we understand the challenges you face in choosing the best products for your family that are also environmentally friendly and socially conscious.

Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

In 2017 we started Blue Okra as an ethical manufacturer of 100% organic baby blankets and children’s sleepwear whose guiding principle is to work for the good.

Julie is a graduate of the Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design FIDM and has worked as a designer, patternmaker and in sales. She is concerned about the devastation caused by fast fashion on our environment and its impact on hard working people around the world.

We look at ethical manufacturing in three major areas:

We examine our entire supply chain so that everything we make is safe for people and our planet.

The long-term effects of exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, such as those used to process bamboo fibers, can be dangerous, so we prefer to be abundantly cautious and use only organic cotton. Our products are unbleached and undyed because the processes of bleaching, printing and dyeing can be toxic and can generate toxic waste. We use only USA made fabrics and notions – made from USA grown organic cotton – to reduce our shipping carbon footprint and to support American jobs. Lastly, our minimal packaging and even our office paper is made in the USA from compostable post-consumer material to minimize waste and to ensure it’s recycled or disposed of responsibly.

There are 20 – 30 million slaves in the world today, and 78% of them are in the labor industry, many in garment manufacturing.

While some countries like the USA have minimum wage laws which help protect workers, many do not. Even where such laws exist, enforcement is critical if the laws are to be effective. That’s why it’s important for any company that wants to lay claim to being ethical to know their suppliers. Globally, there are emerging standards and certifications for Fair Trade, but they vary widely. While Minimum Wage is a good and necessary step toward protecting workers, we also get to know our suppliers to ensure that they are providing good working conditions for their employees, and we are working toward bringing a living wage to our entire supply chain.

We make products that are durable enough to be loved and used daily and then be passed on to others to be loved and used some more.

As an antidote to fast fashion, we believe in making the best products possible and in giving good value to our customers. We make products that are durable enough to be used, loved and cherished by families – even those with multiple children – and then be passed on to another family so they can be reused and cherished by others.