2022 Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Brands
Although we’re told to recycle, compost, and do whatever else we can to minimize our carbon footprint, the reality is that most of the people responsible for ruining our planet are companies and corporations, not individuals. Companies use massive amounts of resources, which creates a ripple effect around the world.
Luckily, some companies are starting to prioritize sustainability, as a value in all steps of its supply chain, from sourcing to distribution. These companies take it a step beyond green marketing and actually put eco-friendly practices in place. Sustainable also means ethical, meaning that they’re manufactured and produced fairly with healthy working conditions.
When a company claims to have ethical/sustainable brands, look for:
- Ethical/transparent material sourcing
- Eco-conscious manufacturing practices
- Shipping options that negate carbon footprints
- Reduction of landfill waste
- Recyclable/biodegradable packaging that’s waste-conscious
Here is your ultimate 2022 guide to ethical and sustainable brands to follow this year, from clothing and furniture companies to kitchenware essentials.
Misfits Market is a grocery delivery service that everything from sustainably-raised meats, wine, dairy products, and plant-based options. They also sell organic veggies and fruits at a cheaper price because they’re not as good-looking as the produce that gets sold to big-box grocery stores. Much of that slightly imperfect food gets thrown away, and Misfits Market is helping to reduce food waste by reselling it for a lower price instead. Add sustainably raised meat and seafood to that concept and you’ve got yourself a grocery haul that you can actually feel good about.
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Unlike Lululemon, the Girlfriend Collective is an activewear brand that prioritizes inclusivity and sustainability. With colorful matching sets, functional bras and leggings for all sizes, and other separates, these pieces will make you feel amazing during your workout. Plus, all their products are made from recycled materials coming from sources like fishing nets, plastic bottles, and cotton waste. The result is high-performance, stretchy goodness that you’ll want to wear to more than just a workout.
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Although this store started as a tiny vintage clothing store in LA, it quickly turned into the top source for sustainable, luxury dresses and other head-turning pieces of clothing. Instead of using factories overseas as most fast fashion companies do, this brand actually built its own factory in LA, helping to ensure healthy and fair working conditions in every step of the supply chain. This brand is carbon neutral and even uses a tool called RefScale which educates shoppers on waste, CO2, and water that they’ve saved by shopping with Reformation.
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Looma is another direct-to-consumer site that offers high-quality bedding at an affordable price, thanks to cutting out the middleman. They offer organic cotton sheets, along with options like French linen and flannel. These environmentally conscious sheets can save up to 215 days of drinking water and up to 3.5kg of CO2 emissions. Their long-staple cotton will last a lifetime, so these sheets never end up in a landfill. They claim to be the “softest sustainable sheets on the planet” and based on customers who have tried them, they’re not wrong!
In the market for some new pots and pans? California-based company Our Place uses recycled materials, plastic-free packaging, and manufacturing partners that are always well=vetted. Their direct-to-consumer products are minimalist, heirloom-quality, and best of all, sustainable. With a commitment to ethical labor standards and third-party audited factories, you can rest easy knowing that your kitchenware was made ethically. They offer pot-and-pan bundles, so you can get your hands on a quality cookware collection at a reasonable price.
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If you find yourself in need of furniture, especially a couch, look no further than responsibly sourced brand Burrow. Most popular for their modular sofas, these responsibly sourced pieces feature FSC-certified materials with non-toxic finishes. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can buy, and the most multifunctional, with many of its pieces like coffee tables offering hidden storage compartments. Burrow uses sustainably sourced hardwood and upcycled fabrics so that you don’t have to go shopping for a used couch.
With modular couches and bed frames available in as leek, low-profile silhouettes, Floyd is becoming a lot of people’s go-to rather than budget stores like Ikea. In 2022, they’re committed to becoming one of the first carbon-neutral furniture brands, and their 2025 sustainability goals include minimizing packaging and single-use plastics, ensuring 70% of materials come from renewable/recycled materials, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across their supply chain. Their sustainable materials are helping to fight the world of “fast furniture” that’s quickly filling landfills.
Paper towels are one of the most wasteful products out there, but unfortunately, they’re also one of the most useful. Marley’s Monsters signature product, Unpaper Towels, are reusable paper towels that come rolled up like your favorite spill-cleaner, but they can be washed and reused, saving the environment and your wallet. This sustainable solutions-focused company, which ships plastic-free, also sells other kitchen and dining products. They also sell their own sustainable bath and beauty essentials, laundry soap, and products for new moms.
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Rather than offering clothing from a singular brand, Italic is like a clothing brand that sells luxury goods for a fraction of the prices they’re usually sold at. With manufacturers that make the same clothing as Chanel or Prada, Italic creates a label-free version, without the branding costs. Thanks to good relationships with manufacturers, Italic can offer a direct factory-to-consumer process minus the middle-man, with both non-membership and membership options. Most of their products are under $100 and they’re on a mission to democratize luxury and the excessive prices associated with it.
Thrive Market is a membership-based online store with healthy, organic pantry staples, bath and household products, and every kind of food you can think of for a range of diets. In fact, they’re one of the largest GMO-free food retailers in the US. Along with selling sustainable, low-waste, and responsibly sourced goods, they’re a certified B Corporation, which makes it a truly eco-friendly initiative. They’re carbon neutral, use ground shipping, and work with wind-powered warehouses. Plus, thrive Market’s in-house brand works directly with farmers and suppliers to create ethically and sustainably sourced goodness.