The Best Brands for Sustainable Shopping


Lately on social media, people throughout the United States are distraught and appalled at the proposal of the Willow Project. This project calls for the creation of new oil fields on the North Alaskan Slope, and if approved, this project will generate enough oil to release an estimated 9.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year— equivalent to the addition of two million gas powered cars. This situation calls attention to the ongoing environmental concerns, one answer to this question being being shopping more sustainably. Consumers who shop consciously can reduce landfills and their carbon footprint, as well as support their own health and the health of the planet. One aspect of sustainable shopping is clothing. Patagonia, a popular clothing brand, is known for being environmentally conscious for their use of recycled fabrics, and implementation of several programs to lower their environmental impact. Patagonia produces their clothes with reduced emissions, and donates 1% of all their sales to environmental causes and the creation of a “repair and reuse service.” This service allows customers to return used Patagonia clothing that will then be repaired and resold, further decreasing their emissions and preventing these garments from ending up in landfills. Like-wise, Levi’s is a strong advocate for sustainable practices and another great option. Since the adoption of their Water<Less initiative in 2011, Levi’s had saved almost 13 billion liters of water as of 2020. Furthermore, their recycle and reuse policies require all facilities to recycle at least 20% of the water used in manufacturing. Similar to Patagonia, Levi’s also offers a secondhand shopping option. Customers can exchange used Levi’s clothing for a gift card, and their worn garments will be recycled and resold which reduces carbon, waste and water footprints significantly.

Beauty and hygiene products are also a large contributor to carbon emissions.Ilia, a trending makeup brand, promotes recycling and looks to use more sustainable materials in their packaging. According to their website, they use “recycled aluminum, glass components and responsibly sourced paper” to create their more environment-friendly packaging. Moreover, Ilia allows customers to mail in up to ten empty beauty products per month to be recycled including products from other
brands, not just Ilia. Similarly, Lush is a well-known beauty and bath brand with strong sustainability policies. Lush looks to use sustainably-produced ingredients, and 70% of their products are self-preserving. Additionally, the total recycled content in Lush packaging is 89%; pots and bottles are made with 100% PCR(post-consumer recycled) plastic, carrier bags are made with 100% PCR recycled paper and gifts are wrapped with recycled paper called Ecopops which are 100% biodegradable. Finally, The Body Shop launched their refill plan in 2019 and are continuing to add refill stations to all their stores, allowing customers to refill and reuse containers while reducing waste. The Body Shop sources their plastic from waste pickers in India, offering fair wages and better working conditions and almost all their plastic product packaging is 100% recycled materials.

Saving the environment requires participation from everyone, and shopping sustainably is a great step in the right direction. Small changes such as shopping sustainably are essential in becoming more environmentally conscious.