It’s exciting to see that more and more people are starting their journey towards a zero-waste lifestyle. Like most impactful social changes, big corporations and our favorite brands adapt and make changes to their products and services. Unfortunately, some brands have adopted eco-friendly language without implementing any effective change - this is called greenwashing. Greenwashing is a business practice of providing misleading marketing messages that convey their products as environmentally friendly. Sustainability is not one size fits all however it can be difficult to verify which brands and businesses are actually making a difference for our planet. You do have to do some research, but we have created a quick checklist to make it easier for you! Also, we’ve provided a template for direct messaging your favorite brands on social media to ask them questions about their sustainability practices.
Remember, you have options! Whatever you are looking for, there is most likely a sustainable swap that is comparable and doesn't come at the cost of our planet.
Scan Their Website
One of the best ways to determine businesses' sustainability practices is to look at their website! Transparency of their initiatives, impact, and practices will be accessible through their site. A company that cares about the environment will make this information easy to find. Remember, you have options! Whatever you are looking for, there is most likely a sustainable swap that is comparable and doesn't come at the cost of our planet.
We recommend checking packaging and websites for certifications. These are like stamps of approval from top environmental organizations recognized around the world. The most recognizable certifications for environmental practices are B Corp, Leaping Bunny, Climate Neutral, and 1 % for the Planet (to name a few). These certifications have thorough and strict criteria that they use when assessing companies' practices. If you see these symbols on the websites or packaging, you can feel confident in the product or service you are using.
A useful resource in your research is using apps and websites that rate companies' environmental impact, manufacturing, and materials. One of our favorites is the database Good On You which rates fashion and accessory companies based on how brands treat their workers, planet, and animals. Another great resource is Ethical Consumer which rates businesses from different industries such as food, tech, health, and beauty.
Direct Message The Company or Brand
Here is a template for you to direct message your favourite brands on social media. A majority of companies have a customer service rep that monitors their DM’s in order to answer their customers' questions. Here is an example of a quick and straightforward message you can send.
Hi (Insert Company name)!
I am really interested in your brand and I recently saw that you are making eco-friendly products. I would love to learn more about your sustainability practices and how you plan on reducing your environmental impact. Looking forward to your response.