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Each year as Earth Day approaches, I see the people around me making resolutions to be more conscious of their consumption and waste. They swear off plastic straws, commit to researching local recycling guidelines, and go vegan for a week or month in an effort to reduce their waste and carbon footprint.
Being sustainable looks different for all of us; we don’t all have the same resources, access, and money to invest in a zero-waste lifestyle. However, there are small choices we can make to do better and waste less every day. It’s these small choices that add up to big changes across the globe—reducing waste in landfills, giving materials a second life, and cleaning the oceans. Climate change is a massive threat, so even if all you do is educate yourself this Earth Day, it counts.
When you’re ready for something new, try to find it from a sustainable brand, which begs the question: What is a sustainable brand? I recommend looking for certifications, transparency, impact reports, and philanthropic behavior to see if a company aligns with your values. Common certifications include:
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): The standard for organic textiles. Fair Trade Certified: Discloses how ethically a product was produced. OEKO-TEX Certified: Shows that textiles were tested for harmful substances. Made Safe Certified: Certified products with safe, non-toxic ingredients. Certified B Corporation: Awarded if a company scores an 80 or higher on a rigorous assessment of environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Leaping Bunny Certified: Shows that a product used cruelty-free testing. Bluesign Certified: Whether a company has environmental and waterway impacts from production and dyeing practices.
With the sheer volume of information out there, it can be overwhelming to find sustainable brands that fit your lifestyle. We’re here to get you started with 25 sustainable brands that meet these rigorous standards for everything from clothing to housewares to beauty products.
Sustainable marketplaces 1. Package Free Shop Credit: Package Free Shop
Stock up on sustainable swaps all in one place.
When it comes to a sustainable lifestyle, Package Free Shop is close to a one-stop-shop for any and all supplies you may need. The shop was created by Lauren Singer in 2017 and has an extensive amount of products to help you reduce single-use plastic in your kitchen, your beauty and skincare routine, and your day-to-day life. The shop has an extensive selection of Zero Waste Kits if you’re not sure where to start. You can find kits for on-the-go basics, household swaps, personal care, and even specialty sets for cocktails or pets. Some other products I recommend are The Simply Co. laundry powder, Georganics toothpaste tablets, and Ecobags produce bags.
Shop Package Free Shop
2. Koko Credit: Koko
Find your new favorite waste-free items at Koko.
Koko is a women-owned sustainable product refillery and online shop that has expanded rapidly over the past year. The first brick-and-mortar store was in Columbus, Ohio. Since that opening, Koko has found homes in Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Thankfully, Koko also ships nationwide, so you can stock up on Earth Day favorites and household items to help reduce your footprint. Pretty much everything that the shop stocks is either low or zero waste with recognizable brands like Stasher bags, David’s toothpaste, Stojo Coffee Cups. Or, you can shop small-batch items from local makers like Wild Origins gentle face Wash and Poppy Pout lip balm. Koko ships orders using recycled and recyclable packaging, too.
Sustainable cleaning and kitchen goods 3. Misfits Market Credit: Misfits Marlet
Get your produce delivered.
Your typical grocery routine has probably seen a bit of a shake-up over the past year and you might miss taking a leisurely stroll through the aisles and browsing the seasonal options. Or, maybe you’re used to getting your groceries delivered from services like Walmart+, Amazon Fresh, or Instacart. Whatever your routine may look like, there’s still a good chance that your produce is going to waste. According to Feed the Children, between 30 to 40% of the United States’ food supply is wasted.
One way to reduce your food waste is to get your produce from a service like Misfits Market. The brand redirects surplus foods and “ugly” produce that is also certified organic and non-GMO to consumers, which reduces the amount of food wasted or sent to landfills. We’ve tested the service and loved it, and I’ve been getting weekly boxes for the last month and I love the convenience, quality, and mission. Plus, I don’t have to go to the grocery store as often.
Shop Misfits Market
4. Grove Collaborative Credit: Grove Collaborative
Buy all your home and pet essentials in one place.
One of the biggest reservations people have while making their home more sustainable is not knowing what brands to trust. If this rings true for you, Grove Collaborative may be the answer. The online marketplace does the research for you, stocking brands that are healthier for your home. Grove Collaborative is a Certified B Corp and items are shipped in post-consumer materials for packaging. The company also offsets carbon emissions for each and every shipment. Grove Collaborative takes the guesswork out of finding safe products for your home and makes it easy to stock up on items like garbage bags, dish soap, aluminum foil, surface wipes, dog treats, and plenty more.
Shop Grove Collaborative
5. Branch Basics Credit: Branch Basics
Swap to a simpler cleaning line.
Cleaning products make a large impact on your home. You use them to remove germs and bacteria from your countertops and surfaces, yet they can be problematic themselves. I’ve never liked cleaning products with heavy scents—even growing up—because they give me headaches. Vinegar is a great natural alternative, but it can be a hard scent to grow accustomed to as well.
Branch Basics, a women-owned business, is all about harnessing natural ingredients for pure cleaning products. All the cleaning items sold are Made Safe certified, meaning they are made without the use of over 5,000 toxic chemicals that may be harmful to us, our pets, and our environments. Branch Basics’ All Purpose Concentrate is packed with cleaning powerhouses like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and sodium phytate. The concentrate is combined with water to make household cleaner, bathroom spray, glass cleaner, laundry detergent, and even hand soap. The Basic Starter Kit is an easy starting place to ditch toxic cleaning products and still have a clean home.
Shop Branch Basics
Sustainable clothing 6. Patagonia Credit: Katie Bricmont
Patagonia makes some of the best quality outdoor goods.
If you’re a fan of the outdoors, you’ve likely heard of Patagonia. The well-known brand specializes in apparel and materials for outdoor activities of all types: fishing, hiking, climbing, camping, and so on. It also happens to be one of the highest-rated B Corps with a score of over 150. The company is transparent about its carbon footprint and incorporates recycled items in everything it makes. If you find that you’ve outgrown an item, you can send it back to the company and it’ll be added to Worn Wear, a subset that repairs and resells Patagonia clothing to extend its life “by about two years, which cuts its combined carbon, waste and water footprint by 73%.” All in all, Patagonia is the place to shop and support if you’re into conscious consumption.
7. Parade Credit: Parade
Parade is a creative force in the underwear biz.
Parade makes underwear to “rewrite the American underwear story.” The Universal line, colorful and seamless fabric in a range of styles, is the world’s first carbon-neutral, recycled, and edgeless underwear. The fabrics are OEKO-TEX certified, which is especially important as they are close to sensitive areas. Parade has also committed to being an entirely carbon-neutral business by the end of 2022. I love Parade’s line of styles and colors, the inclusive sizing, and how innovative the designers are—there are new releases every two weeks.
8. Athleta Credit: Athleta
Athleta makes sustainable women's and girls' clothing.
Athleta was one of the first B Corps I began shopping at. I was drawn to the styles because, like most of us, I like to wear comfortable clothing, especially going from work to a cafe to the yoga studio. Over 40% of Athleta clothing is made from recycled and sustainable materials, and the brand hopes to double that number to 80% soon. The company has a wide range of apparel to keep you comfortable on your commute or your next long run. I’m a big fan of the Salutation Pocket Leggings and the Everyday Non Medical Masks, which are the the best face masks we’ve ever tested. While Athleta’s clothing has high price points, the quality is outstanding and the environmental impact is much less than that of other fast fashion brands.
9. Mate the Label Credit: MATE the Label
Add MATE classics to your work-from-home look.
Mate the Label makes ultra-comfy and aesthetically pleasing loungewear from non-toxic, natural, and organic materials. Most items are made from organic cotton, which uses “87% less water than conventionally grown cotton and emits 45% fewer greenhouse gases,” according to the brand. You can read Mate’s 2020 Impact Report and browse its natural fabrics like linen, organic cotton, and Tencel. Plus, all clothing ships in 100% recycled materials as well, so your whole order is as waste-free as possible.
Shop Mate the Label
10. Girlfriend Collective Credit: Girlfriend Collective
I stand by Girlfriend's leggings!
How many of your clothes are made from recycled water bottles? Girlfriend Collective creates clothing for movement and leisure using post-consumer water bottles. The bottles are stripped of their labels, crushed, cleaned, and put through several machines for the final product of recycled “yarn” that “eliminates the need for petroleum and diverts water bottles from landfills at the same time.” Girlfriend Collective is also incredibly inclusive in terms of sizing and diversity of models, and we’ve tested out the clothing and found that it’s worth it.
Shop Girlfriend Collective
11. Madewell / Parks Project Credit: Parks Project / Madewell
Leave the Earth better than you found it.
If you’re a big hiker or traveler, you may be familiar with Parks Project, a clothing brand that aims to educate, advocate for protected lands, and donate proceeds to fund vital National Parks projects. To date, the company has donated over $1.3 million. In honor of Earth Day this year, the brand teamed up with Madewell to create an exclusive collection and each purchase comes with a free “Leave It Better” bag for collecting litter or trash, encouraging people to visit parks and keep them clean. Shopping the exclusive line also supports the “education of the next generation of park visitors and guardians, visitor programs, continued wildlife conservation, and habitat restoration projects,” which is motivation enough.
Shop Madewell / Parks Project
12. ABLE Credit: ABLE
Support a woman-owned business.
ABLE is an ethical fashion brand based in Nashville, Tennessee, that employs and empowers women across the globe. The company is dedicated to its mission to create quality goods that don’t sacrifice anyone’s quality of life along the way. ABLE invests in women and their specialized skills to fairly compensate everyone involved in production—the company even goes as far as publishing its wages. ABLE is one of the most holistically ethical and sustainable brands I’ve come across, so if you’re looking for leather bags, shoes, or apparel, ABLE is worth checking out.
Sustainable personal care 13. Burt’s Bees Credit: Burt's Bees
Who doesn't love Burt's Bees?
Burt’s Bees is quite the Earth-friendly powerhouse, and the brand has products for everyone in your family. It has been around since 1984, so it’s fair to say many products have withstood the test of time. You can find skincare and makeup made with clean ingredients, organic baby clothing, and far more. Burt’s Bees operates under its four sustainable values: ingredients from nature, no animal testing, responsible sourcing, and recyclable packaging. One of the best features of Burt’s Bees products is how easy they are to find, from a grocery store to a gas station to the company’s extensive online marketplace.
Shop Burt’s Bees
14. Everyone Credit: Everyone
Everyone can use these items—pun intended!
Everyone is an approachable body care line that’s a sister brand to EO Products, a Certified B Corp. Everyone creates items like body wash, lotion, and hand soap from natural ingredients and plant-derived essential oils. The company is dedicated to zero-waste production to reduce emissions and waste and packages products like lotions, hand soaps, and sanitizers in 100% recycled plastic bottles. I’ve been using Everyone’s body lotion for years and can’t get enough of the fresh scent and lightweight feel.
15. by Humankind Credit: by Humankind
by Humankind has easily refillable personal care items.
Personal care can be an area that’s difficult to find zero waste products for. There are plenty of brands and types that offer them, but incorporating things like refillable deodorant or a shampoo bar into your everyday routine can take a bit more time and effort. However, by Humankind creates beautiful and sensible zero-waste swaps. I tested a few items last year—deodorant, a conditioner bar, and mouthwash tablets—and I still use them. The scents are pleasant, the packaging is compostable, and the refills are both easy and affordable. I highly recommend swapping to by Humankind’s long-lasting products the next time you run out of your single-use plastic items.
Shop by Humankind
16. Cocokind Credit: Cocokind
Try Cocokind's skincare for all
I’ve sung Cocokind’s praises before and I’m not about to stop. Regardless of your skin type, I’m confident you’ll fall in love with at least a few of the brand’s natural-based products. The conscious company is owned by Priscilla Tsai, an Asian-American woman, who regularly emphasized the importance of sustainability. Cocokind shares information about its carbon footprint, if you’re interested in learning about its impact. I’m obsessed with this brand and can’t recommend these conscious products enough.
17. Ilia Credit: Ilia
Buy beauty that is skincare-focused.
Our beauty editor recently put Ilia’s popular products to the test—and she loved the “no-makeup makeup” look and said, “If you’re into easy-to-use, no-fuss makeup that’s flexible depending on what you need from your makeup, you should give Ilia a try yourself.” Ilia’s range of products and shades is guided by ingredient transparency and the motivation to create clean beauty that will protect and preserve your skin. More specifically, the company sources materials that are safe for the planet and the person using the product. Beyond creating recyclable packaging from glass and aluminum, Ilia allows customers to send in empty product containers monthly to be diverted from landfills.
18. Cora Credit: Cora
We're big fans of Cora's organic products.
Cora is a Certified B Corp that makes menstrual products and personal care items from menstrual cups to organic cotton liners to body wipes. People are finding it increasingly important to find brands they can trust for these types of items because of their proximity to reproductive organs, whether the concerns be about sexual health, fertility, or disease prevention. Cora’s products are organic and OEKO-TEX Certified, meaning products with 85% fewer toxins than conventional products. We’ve tested out Cora’s tampons subscription and found that the tampons were absorbent and easy to use, though we didn’t love the organic pads as much. We also recently interviewed the co-founder, Molly Hayward, about product design and the company’s advocacy work.
Sustainable footwear 19. Cariuma Credit: Cariuma
We can't get enough of these comfortable sneakers.
Cariuma sneakers have a cult following and a 5,000-person waitlist. We’ve tried both the Cariuma Ibi and the Cariuma Catiba Pro, and it’s an understatement to say we love them. Our style editor tested both styles and says they’re by far the most comfortable shoes she’s ever worn. Cariuma’s shoes come in classic and timeless styles and are made from organic cotton, sugarcane, bamboo, rubber, cork, recycled PET, and other ethically sourced materials in ethical factories. Cariuma has several certifications like GOTS, OEKO-TEX, Bluesign, and works with the Leather Working Group, a not-for-profit organization aimed to improve the environmental impact of the leather industry.
20. Nisolo Credit: Nisolo
Well-made shoes will last you a lifetime.
Nisolo is probably on your Pinterest fashion board, you just don’t know it yet. The Nashville-based brand creates sustainable leather shoes in a range of casual and dress styles. Its materials—mainly leather—are ethically sourced, and you can access plenty of transparent information like sourcing and wages on Nisolo’s website. I loved the Heeled Chelsea Boot and have been eyeing the Huarache Sandal for the warmer weather. Nisolo is a Certified B Corp and is Climate Neutral Certified, and the site also features an Ethical Marketplace where you can shop other sustainable brands all in one location.
21. Allbirds Credit: Allbirds
These shoes are light and comfy.
It’s no secret that we love Allbirds—from the Tree Dashers to Tree Breezers to apparel. The California-based brand is dedicated to sustainability, using responsibly sourced materials like merino wool, recycled water bottles, castor bean oil, recycled nylon, Tencel lyocell, and sugarcane. The brand is B Corp Certified and is Forest Stewardship Council Certified, speaking to its effort to protect forests and habitats. If you’re in the market for an everyday shoe, look no further than the tried and true Allbirds.
22. Bombas Credit: Bombas
I love how cozy and warm Bombas are.
Finding a good pair of socks is rewarding but can often be difficult. I’ve had plenty of instances with socks that just end up with holes after a month or two. Now I’ve found that when it comes to quality socks, Bombas are the way to go. Bombas offers a wide variety of socks featuring fun and fashionable patterns and colors made with high-quality, sustainable materials that are built to last a long time. This means you can decrease the number of new socks you have to buy over time, therefore reducing textile waste. On top of making quality products, Bombas is a quality company founded on the philosophy of donating to the needy and acts on that philosophy by donating an item of clothing for every item sold. Bombas’ ethical business practices have earned them a B Corp Certification, so when you shop with them, you can do so with a clear conscience.
Sustainable home goods 23. Parachute Credit: Parachute
Invest in quality linens.
Bedding and towels come in direct contact with our skin and often when it’s at its most vulnerable. If you tend to have allergies or sensitivities, it probably wouldn’t hurt to spend a bit more on high-quality linens that are made with natural fibers and fewer chemicals. Parachute’s home goods and linens are some of the best on the market, and the brand makes our favorite bath towel. Parachute is OEKO-TEX certified, guaranteeing products are safely made without any harmful chemicals or synthetics, and participates in the Nothing But Nets campaign to send bed nets to those in need to protect against malaria. If you’re looking to bring sustainability into the finer aspects of your home, Parachute has some of the finest goods made by the world’s top craftspeople.
24. Pela Credit: Pela
Don't waste money on another plastic phone case.
Shopping for a new phone case can be overwhelming. It’s not something you often think about until you really need one and there are so many patterns to choose from. But it turns out that phone cases are a problem for the environment, too, as tens of thousands are thrown out and left to pollute the environment since many are non-biodegradable. With Pela, the choice becomes a lot easier. The brand makes phone cases with high-quality, biodegradable materials that are compostable for when it’s time to part with your phone case. Pela is Climate Neutral Certified and B Corp Certified, providing sustainability and quality protection for your phone. You can take my word for it. I have a case of my own.
Shop Pela here
25. Avocado Green Mattress Credit: Green Avocado Mattress
Be honest with yourself: is it time for a new mattress?
Please don’t forget to clean (or replace) your mattress as part of your spring cleaning. If you’re not sure if it’s time to find a replacement, check out these four signs that it’s time to let go. And if you’re ready for an upgrade, shop one of our favorite mattresses: the Green Avocado Mattress. It’s sustainable and organic, making it a top choice for people who like to sleep cool and comfortably. The brand is Greenguard Gold Certified (low emissions), Certified Organic, Made Safe Certified, OEKO-TEX Certified, and Climate Neutral Certified—what’s not to love?
Shop Avocado Green Mattress here
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.