[Written in collaboration with COIN]
Sustainable Brands Save Green
Generations of ambition and ignorance have climaxed with devastating environmental effects. The planet isn’t as healthy as it should be and it’s largely our fault. Through centuries of industrial innovation, population growth, and unchecked social demand, humankind has destroyed life-giving ecosystems, created dead zones in our oceans, accumulated islands of plastic, and burned holes in our atmosphere. Some may believe sustainability is a political hoax, but all you have to do is open your eyes to melting ice caps, dying coral and smog covered cityscapes to see that people have fostered an unsustainable way of life.
Scientists believe that we will see irreversible damage in this lifetime if changes aren’t made, especially with consumer goods. From reusable plastics and recycled materials to eco-friendly products and ethically sourced goods, some of the world’s biggest brands are recognizing their ability to make a grand impact on current and future health of the earth.
Certified B Corp, Allbirds was founded by Tim Brown to create sustainable footwear. With engineer Joey Zwillinger, the two created shoes made from natural materials like Merino wool. The company says that its manufacturing process uses 60% less energy than typical synthetic shoes. In addition to working with ZQ Merino to ensure high standards of animal welfare and land management, Allbirds also uses recycled plastic bottles to make its laces and their packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. Wait, there’s more! This year, the company went carbon neutral throughout its entire supply chain.
EVERLANE – RENEW
Popular fashion chain, Everlane, has created a collection of outerwear called ReNew which is made entirely of discarded plastic bottles. By 2021, Everlane aims to have no new plastic in its entire supply chain.
“Without commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, defend clean water and air, and divest from dirty technologies, humankind as a whole will destroy our planet’s ability to repair itself.” This call to action shared by outdoor retail brand Patagonia, is a sentiment they’ve boasted for nearly 40 years. Amongst other initiatives, the brand dedicates the greater of one percent of sales or 10 percent of pre-tax profits to grassroots-level environmental groups.
Seventh Generation’s mission is to nurture the health of the next seven generations; the brand does this by creating household products made from renewable, plant-based ingredients and packaged with recyclable materials. You can find Seventh Generation products at local grocers including Target and Walmart.
Apple doesn’t often boast about its sustainability initiatives, but make no mistake, this big business is taking big steps to reduce its carbon footprint. According to the company’s website, “All of Apple’s offices, retail locations, and data centers run on 100% renewable energy.” Additionally, Apple offers a recycling program for all of its products and recently released a new MacBook Air and Mac Mini made with 100% recycled aluminum.
The most common material used in Adidas products is polyester, and the brand has committed to phasing out the use of virgin polyester through the use of recycled plastics. “By 2024, we aim to have all of our shoes and clothing made with recycled polyester,” the company shared on its site. “It’s time to shift our attitudes, our perspectives and our habits. We must find ways to synchronize humankind’s economic system with the ecosystem of nature.” Until 2024, Adidas is taking step to offer sustainable products through collections like Adidas x Parley which uses upcycled marine plastic waste that is intercepted on remote islands and beaches.
These are just a few of the many brands taking steps towards a more sustainable future. Research the items in your own home to find out if they’re helping or adding to the problem. Real change begins with you and your lifestyle; by making little adjustments, like supporting sustainable brands, you can have a big influence on the healing of our planet.