Shopping for Good: 12 Sustainable Brands
From using recycled or compostable materials for shipping to ensuring consumables are responsibly sourced – there are a variety of ways that businesses can limit their impact on the environment. And since more companies are adopting sustainable practices, eco-conscious consumers have a variety of options to choose from when shopping for clothing, foods, décor, and more. Here are 12 sustainable brands that you can shop right now.
Sustainable Clothing Brands
From sourcing organic materials to crafting pieces that are entirely recyclable, an increasing number of clothing brands are adopting sustainable practices. Here are just a few:
ThredUp has modernized the concept of what a consignment and thrift store can be. Committed to reducing garment waste – ThredUp resells gently used garments at a steep discount. Customers can shop from over 35k brands – including Aeropostale, Banana Republic, Lululemon, and Madewell. In addition to purchasing previously owned pieces, customers can also order a Clean Out Kit to send clothing they no longer use to ThredUp to sell on their behalf. Once their piece sells, customers can choose either cash or a credit to use on ThredUp’s site.
Acknowledging that denim production can negatively impact the environment, Levi’s developed the WellThread collection. From plant-based dyes to recycled and organic materials, garments in the WellThread collection are made to be durable, but also reusable. Levi’s also has a robust consignment service – SecondHand – where customers can purchase classic denim pieces. Recycle your gently used Levi’s jeans, jackets, etc., and receive a gift card toward your next purchase.
Patagonia’s goal is to create a closed-looped business model where garments are created, used, and recycled into new pieces. Worn Wear by Patagonia offers customers the ability to have damaged garments repaired, or to trade-in pieces that are no longer being used for resale. Customers can also shop Worn Wear’s website for items that have been created from other pieces of clothing (ReCrafted), or pieces with imperfections (Seconds).
Used Gear by REI keeps gently used gear from being sent to the landfill. From jackets and ski pants to sleeping bags and headlamps – customers can find a wide range of pre-owned gear on REI’s website. All items are thoroughly inspected before being listed on REI’s website – and most are offered at a significant discount. Members of REI’s Co-Op can trade in their gently used gear in exchange for gift cards to use for future purchases.
Sustainable Coffee Companies
From completely compostable packaging to purchasing beans that are shade grown, coffee companies are finding numerous ways to lessen their impact on the environment. Here are just a few:
Founded over 30 years ago, Equal Exchange has been at the forefront of the coffee industry’s Fair Trade movement. Working with a network of small farmers, Equal Exchange works to promote farming practices that are both safe and sustainable. Choose from a variety of roasts in whole bean, ground, and eco-friendly k-cups.
Higher Ground Roasters
Higher Ground takes Fair Trade a step further by offering beans that are organic and shade grown. While it takes longer for coffee to grow, shade farms are important the local eco-system, especially for local and migratory birds. Whole bean and ground coffee, as well as subscription boxes are available for purchase on Higher Ground’s website.
Sustainability is top of mind at Larry’s Coffee. Every part of the process – from how the beans are grown to how they are roasted – is done with the environment in mind. Larry’s Coffee partners with small farmers to provide beans that are organic, Fair Trade, and shade grown. Their facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina use a variety of eco-friendly methods including solar power, rainwater harvesting, and sustainable packaging. Whole bean and ground coffee is available on their website, or you can select a customizable subscription.
Brooklyn-based Driftaway Coffee is serious about sustainability. The majority of their beans are roasted using an ultra-efficient roaster, and packaged in 100% completely compostable bags (even the labels are compostable!). To further lessen their carbon footprint, they rely on ground transportation as much as possible, and are an e-commerce business only. While Driftaway is known for their innovative coffee subscription service, single bags are also available for purchase on the company’s website.
Whether its responsibly sourced seafood, or clothing that has been made using renewal resources – there are a handful of online retailers that are committed to sustainability. Here are just a few:
Thrive Market is an e-commerce market that carries only organic and natural products. Shop from a variety of fresh fruit and produce, protein, as well as home and beauty products. Similar to Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s, Thrive Market is a membership-based retailer. In addition to sourcing products ethically and sustainably, items are shipped using a mix of recyclable and compostable packaging.
Another Brooklyn-based company, think of Uncommon Goods as an online craft show. There are dozens of categories to shop from filled with unique items created by artists from around the world. Uncommon Goods searches for artists that use recycled or sustainable materials, and does not carry products made with fur, leather, or feathers. Products are shipped using eco-friendly packaging.
Online retailer Made Trade partners with artisans from around the world to offer ethically made and sustainable products. Shoppers will find vegan products that are created using only eco-friendly materials, as well as fair trade and heritage pieces. Choose from a wide variety of products including furniture, bedding, clothing, kitchenware, and more. To further reduce their impact on the environment, Made Trade works with Climate Neutral, a non-profit that helps companies achieve carbon neutrality.
Believing that a cleaner planet starts with the products we use in our homes, the items sold by Grove Collaborative are non-toxic, sustainable, and cruelty-free. In addition to their own line of products, Grove also carries well-known brands like Method, Mrs. Meyer’s, Burt’s Bees, Seventh Generation, and more. Post-consumer materials are used for packaging, and Grove’s shipping is carbon neutral.