Made in Colorado 2017: Most ethical manufacturer
Colorado companies are awarded because their products are backed up by principles
From the finalists selected this year: Mile High Workshop, New Belgium Brewing Company and Eco Brands Group, the three companies have a variety of commitments to ethical people, product and community policies that are wow-worthy.
NEW BELGIUM BREWING CO.
Inspired by a Euro bike trip, Fort Collins duo Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch leaped into a full-blown commercial beer brewing operation in 1991. From humble beginnings, the brand has become a beacon of corporate social responsibility thanks to its environmental stewardship and employee engagement. Highlights include committing to become a zero-waste business, substantial water-use reductions, high energy efficiency standards and recycling initiatives, all of which have helped forge an unbreakable bond with customers.
Despite Colorado’s booming economy, one in eight people live in poverty, according to hungerfreecolorado.org. Taking that to heart, Mile High Workshop is a social enterprise offering its services – from woodworking to laser engraving, sewing to assembly – to a wide variety of local customers. What sets the Englewood studio apart is its training and employment of individuals seeking to re-enter the work force after struggles with addiction, homelessness and incarceration.
This company comes with a firm pledge of sustainable sourcing and principled manufacturing practices. Launched in 2015, the Boulder-based brand takes materials from clients, such as banners, bike tubes and worn-out climbing rope, to be transformed into everyday products. The Green Guru brand, under the company’s umbrella, maintains a strong national and international direct-to-consumer distribution chain, fashioning original designs for backpacks, wallets, travel and bike bags, all from recycled materials.