August 13, 2021
We know that not-great feeling when tuning into the news, better known as helplessness.
The world feels like an increasingly dire place and there’s not much you can do as a non-billionaire or non-high-profile politician. Sure, you can consistently and consciously vote to help steer policy-making, but that often feels inadequate. What else can you do to make an immediate difference?
There is a growing collective consciousness in the power of being a consumer. Consumers are starting to scrutinize brands by asking important questions about whether companies are operating with a greater responsibility to society and our planet. Are any companies acting as stakeholders in communities that can enact human- and environmentally-friendly outcomes?
It turns out that some companies certainly are. These emerging, conscientious companies have embraced the idea that doing good and making money are not mutually exclusive.
As part of our mission, CXperts actively seeks to work with and support companies that have real missions to do good for the world and its people. To that end, we’d like to introduce you to some great brands that are doing good. In each category we include a company you likely know followed by another one you might not have heard of but is worth your consideration and support.
Footwear does not easily lend itself to sustainability. Traditionally, shoes are made with materials that harm or degrade the environment. And then of course there are the problems with labor practices, especially shoes made in developing countries, as well as the carbon-footprint associated with shoe-making.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of footwear brands that are committed to sustainable footwear-making practices. This includes using responsible materials, ethical production, efficient life cycle and a reduced carbon-footprint.
Below we’ve selected two sustainable footwear brands.
Allbirds has been getting a lot of buzz (or should we say chirps) for the last few years and for good reason. They make uber-comfortable athletic shoes and sneakers that get high marks for their fashion-sense, performance and sustainability. Simply put, their adherents love them.
The company has gone carbon neutral with a goal of having a zero carbon footprint in the near feature. They are committed to regenerative agriculture, renewable materials and responsible energy (think renewable energy) in their production and delivery models.
For their efforts across nearly every metric, Allbirds has earned B-corp certification. For the uninitiated, a B-corp certification is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.
The CXperts team genuinely digs Allbirds’ model, its ingenuity in service of both good and gain, and the groovy customer experience they provide around their products.
Find out what else Allbirds is doing for the good of the planet.
If you like the beach or are just into wearing beach-inspired fashion, then you might have heard of or worn OluKai sandals, sneakers or slippers. Another B-corp certified footwear-maker, OluKai constructs footwear that anatomically contoured footbeds for supreme comfort, and uses quality materials and handcrafted details inspired by island culture.
Built into every aspect of its business, OluKai respects the people and the environment. They evaluate their energy usage, materials, factories and other resources for the environmental impact, minimizing waste water and the use of hazardous substances. Additionally, the company’s foundation, Ohana Giveback Program, helps to preserve local Hawaiian cultures and traditions.
OluKai is another winner in our book - one that’s worth a good look if you’re in the market for some great new kicks and want to give some Aloha spirit back to mother Earth.
Read more about OluKai’s sustainability and socially-minded efforts.
The clothing industry is a big-time polluter. In fact, an astounding 10% of worldwide carbon emissions comes from fashion production. That’s to say nothing of how waterways are polluted during apparel production and laundering - yes, laundering.
An estimated 35% of microplastics in the ocean come from washed synthetic textiles. Additionally, with “fast fashion” on the rise (the low-cost replication of high-fashion), an estimated 85% of all textiles end up in landfills every year. And who can ignore the unethical labor practices in sweatshops around the world?
More apparel companies are hopping aboard the eco train. They are choosing recycled and organic materials for clothing production, going carbon-neutral, developing fair labor practices and giving back to communities.
Here are two sustainable apparel standouts:
This big-name athletic apparel brand can be found in malls and commercial districts around the country. It’s an activewear brand founded by, led by and made for women. It takes its women-empowerment seriously.
The company has girl and woman outreach campaigns that celebrate inclusivity. They also have Fair Trade Certified factories and a P.A.C.E program that empowers women working in their factories worldwide.
Additionally, the company uses sustainable fibres in their production wherever possible and are committed to water-saving techniques and waste reduction. For its community-outreach and sustainability practices, it has been given B-corp certification.
Learn more about Athleta’s environmentally-friendly and community-outreach work.
Another fitness apparel company, Vuori is recognized for its use of recycled and organic materials. The company is committed to expanding this, with the goal of using 80% sustainable materials by 2022.
Additionally, Vuori has partnered with Climate Neutral to cancel 100% of their direct and indirect carbon emissions through funding projects that combat climate change. Vuori is also committed to creating a circular, zero waste system. By 2022, they aim to eliminate 80% of plastics from shipping and supply chains.
Vuroi has an ethical manufacturing code that defines fair labor practices and codes of conduct. The company has also taken on a community leadership role in inspiring others through connectivity initiatives, beach clean-ups and other community-empowering tools. Oh, and we love them because they are fellow San Diegans (based out of Encinitas).
Read on about Vuori’s sustainability and community initiatives.
So while you’re strolling or scrolling through your next shopping session, give these brands a visit, and whether or not you decide to buy, please do keep in mind the power your dollars and purchase decisions have in helping to shape commerce and our world in the years to come. To keep the up the positive vibes around more admirable companies that are doing good, check back for future posts in this series.