This is no great secret: Big corporations don’t care about the environment.
They pollute the world’s landfills, manufacture cheap thrills for the masses made of toxic materials, and drain the nutrients from foods and wines while adding preservatives and chemicals.
But since the ‘90s, there’s been a push from the public for companies to consider the environment.
Use bamboo. Use hemp. Use biodegradable materials. Recycle. Don’t dump waste into the ocean.
And for a long time, their pleas seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
Now, the uptick may have escaped your notice… but major brands are catching on to public demand. For example, Tide, the laundry detergent company, just released “Pure Clean,” an eco-friendly detergent.
Per their website, it’s the “first plant-based liquid laundry detergent that has the cleaning power that you expect and deserve from Tide.” The box confirms it is free of:
- And optical brighteners.
Even the formula is made with 100% renewable wind power electricity. Now, it’s only 75% plant-based…
But the fact remains… an enormous corporation sunk time and money into a green venture.
They’re not the only ones.
In 2019, here are just a few of the major corporations promising to reduce their carbon footprint and make the world a greener place:
- Target introduced an eco-clothing line, fashioned and designed to limit the reliance on raw products. Additionally, they throw their financial weight behind education and environmental conservation.
- Toyota, famous environmentally for introducing the Prius model, the world’s first mass-market vehicle. The EPA gave the company a nod for their ecology in fuel consumption. The Prius is the third lowest carbon-emitting vehicle in the UK.
- United (Continental Airlines) has spent $16 billion to replace all of their airplanes with more fuel-efficient models, reducing emissions by 5%. It has even reduced its nitrogen oxide emissions by 75% since 2000. In addition to including recycling in its waste habits, it also have environmentalists working with engine manufacturers to design greener models and ecological practices.
- McDonalds, surprisingly, use only energy-efficient appliances. That means the company cut its energy waste by 25% during business hours. Also, its parking lots can recharge vehicles and clean ground water. McDonalds’ PR team uses “considerate means” to source their meat.
Vote for the Little Guy
When you’re as big as those companies, scaling back and changing your operative functions is a massive commitment. And lots of activists feel like the change being enacted by these blue chip companies won’t have a big enough impact, especially if we’re going to start seeing active changes in our climate and in the oceans within a decade.
So while it’s admirable that they’re making strides, it’s worthwhile to support companies that have built themselves around an agreed moral obligation to the environment, safe working conditions, livable wages, and friendly use of materials.
Fair Trade Certified seal ensures: The product was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic stands. See their standards here.
This is especially poignant for the fashion industry. Famous for using cheap labor to make synthetic-blend low-quality clothing, and filling the world with last season’s wear-waste, the fashion industry is revolutionizing what it means to make sustainable clothing.
Here are some fair trade clothing brands to check out.
Pact: It is FTC, and all of its basics and activewear are made of organic long-staple cotton. Its website will tell you who made the clothes and how, as well!
TOMS: Social conscience is built into the very fabric of TOMS, so to speak. Every pair of shoes purchased buys a pair of shoes for a child in need. Its shoes are also made with vegan and sustainable materials.
Reformation: You don’t have to sacrifice luxury by going green — Reformation does both. Its production minimizes water, energy, and waste by designing through eco-friendly technologies. It even has a function where you can earn store credit by sending them your gently used high-quality clothing items to upcycle.
Warp + Weft: You may not have known this, but traditional denim processes are incredibly harmful to the environment. This company has saved more than half a billion gallons of water because of their vertically-integrated design. They also offer affordable denim for men, women, and children, up to size 24.
thredUP: This company is a fantastic resource for upcycling — not only can you buy fantastic, ethical, and well-made clothing from them, you can also send in your old clothing. You can search by the brand as well, and thus ensure you’re still buying fair trade.
Keep checking the blog, and we’ll continue our fair-trade series with cleaning brands, food companies,