How To Find An Eco-Friendly Company
Ambassador Jenn is on a mission to find eco-friendly companies! Here's how she decides if a company is worth her money!
In today’s world, we have so many choices when it comes to the products we buy. I have been on a mission to find more environmentally friendly companies to buy from. If you read my last post about why it matters where you shop, you’ll know that I have given up Amazon completely, and I am searching for alternatives.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for me actually, I love this kind of thing) this means doing a lot of research instead of just one click adding to cart! I’m going to walk you through my process of finding the right companies to buy from.
What Is The Company?
Is it a small local business? Is it a large corporation? In general, smaller local businesses are more eco friendly, not always though! This is why it’s important to research further into the company.
Where Is The Company Based?
One of the first things I look for is where the company is based out of. In general, I am looking for Canadian companies since I am Canadian. It’s more convenient to shop in Canadian Dollars, and you don’t have to worry about duties or import taxes.
Also if the company is based in your country, it should have a warehouse there and shipping won’t be as far away (less carbon footprint from the travel of the product during shipping), or better yet you can go pick it up and save the shipping cost and the shipping packaging!
Where Is The Product Made?
Of course just because it is a Canadian company that doesn’t mean the products are made in Canada. So many companies have their products made overseas to save on labour costs. In general, I prefer products made in Canada (or the USA), but the next step is important...
Who Made The Product?
Who literally made the product is one of the most important deciding factors to me. We’ve all heard of the companies using sweatshops and paying people basically nothing to make your $200 pair of shoes.
There are still so many companies that use child labour and prison labour to make the products as cheap as possible. Do your research! This one is so important, the less we buy from companies using slave labour, the less demand for their product, the less they need to make.
What Materials Is It Made From?
Opting for naturally occurring fabrics like cotton are better for the environment in general. Look for products made from recycled material. Any product that breaks down, or is compostable is a better choice than plastic.
Microplastics are a huge problem in our oceans and waterways. They can come from a variety of sources like clothing made from synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fabrics), tires eroding while driving, personal care products (microbeads), and many more.
I also like to make sure the product is well made and lasts a long time so that I will not have to replace it sooner!
What Is The Company's Mission Statement?
You can learn a lot about a company by its mission statement. Usually, you can find it on the company website (check the About Us section). Look for companies that talk about what they are doing for the environment right on their website. You can almost guarantee if they aren’t talking about it, they aren’t doing it and keeping it a secret!
I also like to look for how the company is giving back, like giving some (or all) of their profits to causes that support the environment, donating products (like shoes) for every purchase, or donating returned products.
What Do They Use For Packaging?
The less packaging the better! If you can pick up in-store, that’s ideal as you can bring your own bag and avoid all of the shipping packagings!
Do They Test On Animals?
We’ve got to agree that testing on animals is just wrong. We have other ways of making sure that products are safe for humans. Look for companies that don’t test on animals, you can usually find logos that state they are Vegan or cruelty-free (leaping bunny approved).
What Can I Do?
Hey Jenn; this is all great but that’s a lot of work when I just want to get a new pair of shoes!
I know, it can be overwhelming! If you don’t want to go through all of the websites on your own, then I suggest looking for a Certified B Corporation.
This is a neutral 3rd party that analyzes the company’s business practices.
From the B Corp website:
“Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”
You can browse for companies on their website for ones that fit your needs (and wants!)
I also like using the PETA website to search for cruelty-free products.
My favourite though is going to my local producers and actually talking to them. Local makers, growers and producers are usually happy to chat about their company and their products!
Jenn is a personal finance and travel blogger at Will Save For Travel. She loves local cider and coffee, travelling to new places, and currently has an obsession with finding an old house to renovate.
She also co-hosts a travel podcast; The Travel Mug Podcast! Every 2 weeks Meggan and Jenn chat about travel tips, travel destinations and travel fails!