Between warnings of a climate emergency and the possibility of plastic waste outnumbering fish by 2050, thinking about the ways we, as individuals, can help save the planet is quite daunting. Fortunately, there is a growing trend of companies that are doing their part to mitigate these environmental dangers — and we can help them. This Earth Day 2021, we’re sharing our favorite sustainable brands that are committed to leaving the world in better shape than they found it. These brands are giving back in huge ways and you can support them today and every day. Read on to find the best eco-friendly fashion, home, and travel gear brands for Earth Day.
United By Blue
United By Blue is a Philadelphia-based outdoor apparel brand that removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product it sells. (To date, that figure eclipses three million pounds!) All of its clothing, bags, accessories, and home goods are ethically made from sustainable materials. In the spirit of transparency, United By Blue provides details regarding the location and means of production for all of its items right on its website.
Nothing New is helping to reduce the monumental amount of plastic waste in the world by turning said plastic and other sustainable materials into comfortable, stylish sneakers for men and women, right down to the laces and labels. (It takes approximately six plastic water bottles to create a pair of Nothing New shoes.) This eco-friendly footwear is also good for water conservation; over 160 gallons of water are saved per pair of Nothing New sneakers versus regular canvas shoes.
UpWest’s motto is, “Comfort for good.” All of its cozy and sustainable apparel — from tees and sweaters to loungewear and pajamas — is made from recycled and organic fabrics. UpWest also does its part to reduce paper waste by offering paperless receipts in-store and recycled poly bags for online orders. That same care for the Earth is extended toward the community through initiatives such as the UpWest Foundation, which supports like-minded charities, and a partnership with clothing donation platform Give Back Box.
Wellen draws much of its inspiration from its SoCal roots — think carefree days on the beach. The result is a line of comfortable apparel that’s suitable for a stroll on the boardwalk or casual days at your (home) office. Wellen only partners with ethical and sustainable factories that use organic, recycled, or Bluesign-approved raw materials. There is an air of exclusivity surrounding Wellen products, but for good reason: Its limited runs reduce overstock that may potentially end up unsold and in the landfill.
Outerknown is the creation of professional surfer Kelly Slater. It features a wide range of apparel suitable for work and play. (We’re fans of Outerknown’s button-down shirts for those laid-back date nights.) The brand has been committed to sustainability and fair practices from day one, pursuing Fair Labor Association accreditation before officially opening shop. Outerknown sources 90% of its fabric from organic, recycled, or regenerated materials. Plus, it’ll replace, repair, or recycle any pair of its S.E.A. JEANS at no cost.
Blueland tackles the plastic waste problem by offering refillable bottles or tins in which you can place its soap tablets or dish powders. Since 2019, the company has helped divert one billion single-use plastic bottles away from landfills and oceans. Blueland’s refill model not only helps reduce waste, but it’s also a more economical option since you’ll be saving on packaging costs.
All of Avocado’s mattresses, pillows, and bedding are made in the USA from ethically sourced organic materials. That includes natural latex, which the company grows and produces itself. Also noteworthy is Avocado’s 25-year warranty for mattresses, which is well beyond the industry standard of 10 years. In 2019, Avocado became the first mattress company worldwide to achieve net-zero carbon emissions — and it outdid itself in 2020 when it went carbon negative.
The Citizenry sources handcrafted furniture and home goods from artisans around the world. It collaborates with local communities to ensure ethical standards and practices, including fair wages. (Plus, 10% of all proceeds go right to artisan communities.) The Citizenry sells its items exclusively online in limited quantities to reduce overstock that may otherwise wind up in a landfill.
Vivaterra, or “living earth,” sells home goods and décor made of sustainable materials such as recycled glass and reclaimed wood. It works closely with local artisans from more than 20 countries around the world as well as within the United States. Vivaterra advocates for fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable development for artisan communities.
Larq’s award-winning self-cleaning water bottle uses its proprietary PureVis technology to eliminate germs, bacteria, and other contaminants without the use of toxic chemicals. The company also donates a portion of its proceeds to clean water initiatives and other environmental causes via the 1% for the Planet network.
Luggage brand Solgaard is on a mission to help cut ocean plastic in half by 2025. How does Solgaard plan to do that? By removing single-use plastics from all products and using ocean-bound plastic to create suitcases and backpacks. Solgaard is also working with The Plastic Bank in the Philippines to create jobs for locals to upcycle ocean plastic into practical goods.
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