Shopper awareness goes hand in hand with learning about what companies operate ethically vs what brands can be trusted knowing they play their part to make a world a better place. Here’s what you should know!
Shoppers have a bigger impact on the environment than you might think. Nowadays, most consumers want relationships and familiarity with the brands they choose. However, sustainability and ethical business practices are also becoming more important than ever. As more people become aware of the impact of excessive waste, they’re taking a closer look at how brands and businesses are responding.
Our choices of who we buy from are essentially tokens of approval for what companies are able to get away with. If you choose to frequent a business that is wasteful and doesn’t care about its environmental impact, you’re ultimately supporting its harmful endeavors.
That’s not meant to be a criticism. The bottom line is, many people aren’t fully aware of which brands are making sustainable efforts and cleaning up the environment and which ones are doing more harm than good.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to educate yourself on those brands and potentially make changes to your shopping habits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best sustainable brands out there today, as well as some you should avoid.
The Importance of Going Green
There are so many harmful environmental issues impacting our planet right now. Unfortunately, large corporations and businesses are often at fault for causing the most damage.
However, they get away with it because of the choices consumers make. It’s easy for the average person to think their habits and daily choices won’t make a difference when it comes to the environment, but that isn’t true. Choosing to shop sustainably and frequent brands that take planet protection seriously is a great place to start.
Not only does “going green” promote a healthy future for the environment, but it can impact your health and well-being now. Going green can help your health by:
- Improving oxygen intake;
- Reducing your exposure to harsh chemicals;
- Boosting your mental well-being.
If you want to start shopping with sustainable brands, it’s important to know what to look for and what to avoid. First, make sure you understand the ins and outs of greenwashing. Today’s marketers understand the appeal of sustainability, so many of them go out of their way to promote their brands and products as “green” by using confusing or ambiguous language.
If you want to avoid greenwashing when shopping, do your research on specific brands and products. Be hesitant to believe buzzwords like “non-toxic,” “clean,” or “friendly to the environment.”
Finally, familiarize yourself with materials and resources that are helpful to the planet, not harmful. For example, some brands are using high-tech hemp to make textiles, clothing, food, and even insulation.
Hemp is a wonderful crop that requires very little water to grow and serves as a natural air purifier. The more you know about sustainable materials, the easier it is to choose eco-friendly products and brands.
The Best Brands for the Planet
If you want to get a head start on sustainable shopping, take a look at some of the brands that are doing their part.
These brands cover a variety of industries, from cars and coats to soap and household cleaning supplies. What makes them each sustainable is their dedication to things like renewable energy, reduced waste, and public advocacy for climate change solutions.
While these brands are leading the way, you should be able to find plenty of companies doing their part for the planet in just about every sector. For example, some of the most ethical shoe companies right now include 8000Kicks, TOMS, Etiko, and Dooeys.
They might not be the first brands that come to mind when you’re looking for footwear for yourself or your family, but that’s the point — making changes to your frequented businesses can make a difference in your sustainability efforts while telling the larger corporations that don’t care about their carbon footprint that you won’t accept their practices anymore.
Fast Fashion and the Future
While we hate to call out specific brands for their environmental issues, it’s clear that some companies are continuing to do what they can to make a steady profit with little to no regard for the planet.
One of the biggest problems our environment currently faces is “fast fashion”.
Fast fashion companies offer cheap, trendy clothes that are typically viewed as runway reproductions. They are mass-produced using inexpensive materials and are often poorly made. What’s the problem with that?
For starters, many of the materials these brands use aren’t sustainable, and they’re making thousands of items from those materials. The worst part, however, is the quality of the clothing. Because they are so cheaply made, it often doesn’t take long for the clothing to tear or wear out, causing the owner to throw it away and contribute to the textile waste crisis we’re facing.
Some of the worst fast fashion offenders in today’s market include SHEIN, H&M, Zara, Mango, and Forever 21.
There are plenty of brands in other industries doing just as much harm to the environment. Major brands like Nestle and Coca-Cola have come under fire for contributing to mass pollution.
While many corporations are now trying to make up for those issues, it’s still important to continue to do your research. The more you educate yourself on the brands that impact the environment, the more empowered you’ll be when it comes to your own sustainable choices.