With the rising threats of climate change, pollution and social injustice, it’s urgent that businesses and consumers adopt more sustainable practices
As we head into 2020, it’s becoming more and more important for consumers and brands to make sustainable choices. Many scientists believe that we are already in the midst of a global disaster. If the government, big companies, and individuals don’t make strides to help the environment, there will be irreversible damage done to the earth in just a few years.
Conscious living for individuals can lead to a healthier lifestyle, but its important to consume from brands that have the same values.
No matter if you’re an entrepreneur or a Fortune 500 company, you should be adopting a sustainable business plan. Below are a handful of companies that are doing it right and allowing the consumer to make easy and green decisions they can feel good about.
Sustainability is important when it comes to the items that we need for everyday use. From contacts to clothing, a customer should have an option to buy every essential item from an environmentally and socially responsible brand.
TALA is an activewear brand that makes huge strides towards sustainability. Their clothing is made from recycled materials which allows them to save on waste and use less water when manufacturing. Additionally, their factories are certified in their reduced use of toxic chemicals and greenhouse emissions.
Skin and hair care
Love Beauty and Planet is an easily accessible brand, which is offered in-store at retailers like Target and Walmart. Their sustainability goals are vast, ranging from making their bottles from 100% recycled plastic and sourcing ingredients from other sustainable brands to reducing water usage by making their hair products fast-rinse for the consumer.
Contacts and glasses
Warby Parker is a company that has implemented changes to their materials and processes recently to become more sustainable. For starters, their new contact lens brand, Scout, boasts innovative packaging. You can tell that they are smaller than traditional contact blister packs by just the look; however, you may not be aware that they use 80% less packing too. Additionally, Warby Parker has a long-standing program in which, with every pair of glasses bought by a consumer, a pair is given away to someone in need. The trickle-down benefits of this initiative are far-reaching, because it focuses on helping others that may not otherwise have access to vision-ware… or this sustainable brand!
Outdoor clothing and gear
If you’re a lover of being outdoors, then shopping brands that are sustainable should be a priority for you as well. Patagonia is a brand that makes it clear they are in business to save our planet. They use their resources as a successful company, like their investments, their voice, and creativity to help our planet avoid extinction by committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, defend clean water and air, and support environmental campaigns.
Rothy’s shoes are made with cutting-edge green technology that uses recyclable plastic water bottles — how cool! To date, they’ve actually helped save the oceans from 37+ million water bottles by converting this waste into thread for their shoes. Plus, their factories strive for zero-waste manufacturing. Sustainability includes fair practices in the work environment as well, and Rothy’s treats their global employees with exceptional care and benefits.
Being sustainable with your food intake is the number one way to reduce your carbon footprint, as we know, some diets poorly affect the environment. However, it’s not always convenient for everyone to shop local, from farmers, or grow their own produce so that’s why it’s important to shop food brands with sustainable efforts at their core. Stonyfield Farm is a company that has paved the way in organic food, making their customers and the planet healthier. In addition to organic fields where their cows graze and where their fruits and veggies grow, they now are on a mission to have fields where kids play all over the U.S. be free of harmful pesticides.
Some of these brands are well-known and well-established. And while that gives them the advantage of having entire divisions which can focus on responsible practices, it’s easier than you may think as a small business owner to make your product and production sustainable. Take TALA, for example; it was founded in 2019 by a 22 year-old entrepreneur, who felt that above all else, fighting the fast-fashion industry with sustainability and affordability were important for her brand and customers.
If you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur, don’t say that becoming an eco-conscious brand is something you will work for down the road, once you’ve achieved a certain level of success. Rather, make the switch now so you can begin helping the planet now. (Spoiler alert: Your customers will take notice. Doing good can be good for your business!)
Remember, sustainability isn’t only on companies to make green decisions, but it’s also on the consumer as well…
Even the smallest of changes to be more conscious can make a big difference. If consumers are demanding companies to be better and shopping from brands whose views align with their own, this will help force sellers to make changes for the better.
Being an informed consumer is one of the best ways you can make the decisions you want to support eco-friendly and sustainable companies. Knowing and supporting certified B Corps is a way you can help make a culture shift to build a more sustainable earth and economy. But how do you know if a business you support is a certified B Corp and what does that even mean? B Corporations, short for ‘benefit corporations’, are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance while using their credibility and power as a business to address these issues. BLab, the non-profit organization that certifies these companies, does this based on how said companies can create value for their employees, their community, and the environment as a whole. It’s actually easier than you may think to find out if a company has been certified: BLab offers you an easy-to-use directory to find certified B Corps.
Strive to spend your money wisely to support brands that are trying their hardest to be more earth — and people-friendly — and reject those that don’t. Although it may seem easier or more convenient to keep shopping the way you do now, it isn’t doing any favors for ourselves or the environment.
You may also enjoy reading Dancing With Mother Nature: An Adventure For Change Across Antarctica by Zita Liter