We can learn a lot from our neighbors. The family on the cul-de-sac teaching their kids about recycling or the guy across the street who’s really into composting, encourage us to make small changes that will have a big impact on our planet. Our team wanted to share with you some brands in our Neighborhood who inspire us to exist sustainably.
Brands We Admire
Why They Get a Gold Star: Talk about an A+ student in sustainability, Rothy’s weave their vision of a more sustainable world in every shoe they knit out of recycled plastic. Rothy’s doesn’t stop there; from sturdy shoeboxes that double as shipping containers minimizing box-in-box waste, to their manufacturing workshop where 3D printing and handcrafted assembly coalesce, Rothy’s is changing the game in sustainable fashion.
Why They Get a Gold Star: Just Human is a sunglasses company that doesn’t buy into the hype of fast fashion. With glasses created from FSC reforested softwood trees, recyclable lenses, and cases made out of pineapple leaf fibers and fishing nets found in the ocean, Just Human is finding new ways to reframe our thinking on sustainability. Co-founder Craig Gonsenhauser, explained, “... We all have the power to be a force for good.”
Why They Get a Gold Star: Could rain jackets be the new superhero capes? In our eyes, Rains comes pretty darn close to making that leap: “We cannot save the world alone, but we are confident that our efforts can contribute.” Rains seeks transparency and accountability with extensive policy commitments and responsibility reports covering how they uphold UN guidelines on business, human rights, and environmental impact. Turning jackets and backpacks into vessels for good, Rains is transitioning to fully recycled nylon and polyester by 2021, limiting chemicals used in production, and saving the day by making your favorite Rains products last as long as they can.
Why They Get a Gold Star: The team at PHLUR was over the smoke and mirrors in the perfume industry. They wanted a scent with simple ingredients, crafted with integrity, packaged sustainably, and draped with an aura of approachability. When they couldn’t find it, PHLUR made their own. From IUCN responsibly sourced ingredients, to donating over 1% in annual net revenues to environmental organizations, to meeting the social and environmental standards to be a certified B Corporation, PHLUR gets all of the brownie points and scout patches for their unwavering commitment to sustainability.
Why They Get a Gold Star: The average person goes through a stick of deodorant every few months and even if it is a fancy, non-toxic, all natural deodorant, a hunk of plastic is still tossed out on the regular. Taylor and Zach, the founders of Helmm saw an opportunity for a product at the intersection of sustainability and innovation. They are changing the game with cases made of nickel-plated zinc and Horween leather that hold refillable deodorant cartridges, which translates to 65% less plastic than regular deodorant sticks. Happy planet, happy pits.
Why They Get a Gold Star: The founders of DSTLD have never been fans of the superfluous. Whether that’s massive markups on clothing items or the extreme waste by fast fashion, they wanted a way to ethically “distill” the luxurious qualities of a clothing brand while cutting out the unnecessary. Co-founder Mark Lynn said, “We also have a strong commitment to reducing waste in the fashion industry… We believe less is more, and in buying fewer, better things.”
Why They Get a Gold Star: With Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten free, aluminum free, organic products, Disco goes the extra mile by also creating easy to recycle packaging. It’s always a win when something avoids ending up in a landfill.
Why They Get a Gold Star: Their coats are born out of a mother-daughter connection and a commitment to a legacy of positive action. Acknowledging fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world, Emory Bee is guided by the dogma: “nothing changes, if nothing changes.” Through their quality faux furs and responsibly sourced fabrics, Emory Bee shouts into the void of one-season-wares that there is a better way.
Why They Get a Gold Star: An offshoot of its parent company, Gap, Hill City is committed to transparency and sustainability while also manufacturing their sleek athleisure line in certified B Corporation environments. Choosing to opt-out of harmful chemicals like PFC and opt-in to organic, non-modified cotton, makes this line not just a comfy option, but a smart one. Sweat your heart out while wearing Hill City, but don’t sweat it’s impact on the environment.
Why They Get a Gold Star: Bamboo-based bedding that is “as soft as silk, as sustainable as hemp, as breathable as linen, but at the price of cotton.” Ettitude makes sustainable textiles accessible without compromising on quality or feel. They utilize every inch of their patented CleanBamboo fabric, sourced from FSC-certified forests, by repurposing scraps for packaging. Snuggling in sustainable sheets and caring for the planet “one sleep at a time.”
Why They Get a Gold Star: Comfy clothes that are also doing good. UpWest puts caring for humans at the forefront of their business by donating 1% of their gross sales to Freedom Service Dogs of America, Mental Health America, and Random Acts. They recognize a big part of helping people is also helping the planet. UpWest is evolving in their eco-conscious mission by instituting recycled shipping bags email only packing slips in order to minimize their waste. We can cozy up to that.
It turns out we have some in-house sustainability “experts” at HQ and we asked if they had any tips on being more eco-conscious:
“Educate yourself about the nitty gritty of recycling. Did you know that you should recycle bottles with the lids on them or that any leftover food bits in a container need to be rinsed off before you recycle it? If proper steps aren't taken, a lot of our recycling can end up in a landfill. Most times, "doing good" is not good enough and we need to be knowledgeable about processes and implementation to create true sustainability.”
“I'm no pro, but I'm trying my best to do these things: eat less meat or eat plant-based meals. Try and buy more food locally. Avoid fast fashion. Buy less in general and wear my clothes longer. If I buy from anywhere, buy reused or vintage. If I want something new, make sure the brands are truly sustainable and ethical. The Good On You app is a great resource for that information. Reuse and repurpose. There's a lot of ways we can be better, but just do the best you can!”
“Just start somewhere! You have to care enough to change even a few of your habits and then keep challenging yourself to do more. Find products that you're excited about using, follow people online that are committed to the cause and make it a new hobby!”
Who inspired you to be more eco-conscious?
“Growing up, my mom really instilled in me the idea of caring for the earth. I remember her teaching me to pick litter when we were in parking lots or on a walk. That has always stayed with me.”
“My mom was a big influence growing up. But now with the health of animals, humans, and the planet itself at serious risk, we’re running out of time to even have a choice to be eco-conscious. Eventually we won’t have an option except to be sustainable in all aspects of our lives. Might as well start now and try my best to help reverse what’s been done.”
“Generally, I try to keep myself accountable to being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. I came to the realization that the way that I was mindlessly consuming was problematic and incongruent with how I wanted to be. I'm not perfect, but I couldn't deny the reality that making eco-conscious decisions was fairly easy and just required a little bit of effort for the greater good. Also, I love earth and I want her to be happy.”