Category Archives: Eco

Eco / Travel

Sustainable Practices and the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet and Profit

31st May 2019

Rachel Grace | Sustainability

When defining sustainability, many minds might jump to the idea of ecological sustainability – satisfying the needs of present generations without affecting the ability of future generations to fulfill their own needs. However, the environment and the natural resources it provides do not exist within a vacuum; there are people on this earth, and they tend to extract the resources on it. Because of this, a sustainable future only exists at the intersection of these three elements: planet, people and profit.

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Eco / Fashion

Quirky, Cute and Sustainable // Mata Traders

24th May 2019

Mata Traders | Sydney Bike Dress

Mata Traders

Mata Traders was kind enough to send me their Sydney Dress Bikes ($86). This dress is so quirky, cute and adorable for the springtime. With a classic retro silhouette, it definitely is something I could get away with wearing at work in the office during the summertime. The length hits me just above my knees, and it is the most gorgeous rich navy color. Plus, the bike detailing makes the dress super flirty! Pair the dress with a straw bag like this one from Redemption Market, some strappy matching sandals and, finally, a hat. And voila! The perfect spring look for picnics in the park or bike riding in Charleston (is it weird that’s what this dress reminds me of?). 

The best part: Mata Traders has an incredible commitment to sustainable, slow fashion and Fair Trade practices. I love love love their mission: “The Mata Traders mission is to ‘fashion a better world’ by creating designs that celebrate a woman’s originality and empower her to use her dollar for change. We merge uncommonly vibrant style with fair trade practices to make an impact on global poverty – bringing fair wages to artisans in India and Nepal.” They’re part of the ever-evolving, rapidly-growing fashion revolution, and I love that.

Mata Traders commits to:

  1. Preserving art forms
  2. Fighting gender inequality
  3. Empowering women in India & Nepal
  4. Making a global impact on poverty
  5. Combatting child labor

By employing women in India & Nepal, they are able to do all of these initiatives. These women are part of marginalized communities, and their focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment makes an incredible impact on not only these women’s lives, but the entire community. Their employment packages also include health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions and daycare.

In addition, the social workers on staff help out with the artisans’ personal needs, “from opening a bank account to situations of domestic violence and dealing with HIV/AIDS” (MataTraders.com). Literacy classes, computer training, regular workshops on topics like hygiene, nutrition and parenting are also offered to these artisans.

The Fashion Revolution

This brand, amongst a plethora of others, are part of the Fashion Revolution. Next up, you should read about the revolution towards slow, ethical fashion if you haven’t gotten around to it yet: The Fashion Revolution. 

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission off of your purchase if you use my link. However, don’t feel compelled to use my link — I’d just love your support for this sustainable brand. If you’d like to read more on my disclosures and codes, please click here.

Finally, I’d love to know your favorite sustainable brands! Here’s a list of 5 others that I love. Leave a comment below letting me know which ones are your favorite. 

Xo,

Jade Nicole

Beauty / Eco

The Truth Behind Your Favorite Cosmetic Brands: Greenwashing

22nd May 2019

The Truth about Your Favorite Beauty Brands | Greenwashing

I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious and mindful about the brands I choose to put my money towards. I love the idea that, with your money, you can vote for the type of world you want to live in. Don’t support unfair living wages? Don’t buy from that brand. Hate animal testing? Don’t buy from that brand. Really disagree with a business owner’s ethics? Don’t buy from that brand.

In a strategic communications course I took in the spring, one of our course topics was corporate social responsibility. We talked about how brands and companies contribute to the world around them, and how (specifically Millennials and Gen Zers) are more and more concerned with a brand’s mission and values. We want to buy from brands that contribute to a better world as a whole.

And… brands aren’t dumb. Brands know that we want cruelty-free products. They know we value products that don’t diminish the communities they’re produced in. These companies know we don’t want to spend our money to continue the cycle of poverty in third world countries. So what do they do? They use public relations and brand messaging to convey the good they do for our world, hoping that it will wipe out the mass production, cruelty, exploitation, etc. that they cause.

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is the act of brands and businesses to make unsubstantiated, misleading claims about the environmental benefits of their products. This tactic makes us believe that we’re making an impact with the products we’re choosing when it’s not proven that we are. It’s business. And it’s cruel.

These brands make claims that they are non-toxic, eco-friendly or natural, and in reality — they just aren’t. This is a marketing ploy that is used to swindle you into buying a product that is no better for the environment than the rest.

The Red (or Green?) Flags of Greenwashing

There are a ton of different strategic words these brands use in order to carry out this marketing ploy on us all. These terms are not regulated, meaning that a brand can literally use them even if it’s just not true. The reason for this is because most of these things are blanket subjective terms — what may be considered “natural” to you may not be “natural” to me. What distinguishes a pure product from another? Plant-based could mean that there’s one plant used or all plants used.

Organically Becca put together this list of “red flags” you should watch out for when you’re looking for products that are actually natural and good for the environment:

Botanical

Chemical-free

Dermatologist recommended

Earth-friendly

Extracts

Gentle

Green

Herbal

Mineral

Natural

Naturally essenced or fragranced

Oil-free

Organic

Paraben-free

Plant-based

Plant-derived

Pure

Raw

Sensitive

Sulfate-free

So, when taking a look at these products on the shelves in the store, be sure to take a peek at the back of the product. Read the ingredients for yourself. Are the ingredients things you recognize? Or are they mostly ingredients you don’t?

Ingredients To Look Out For

Concerning ingredients range from micro plastic to different types of oils that are completely decimating rainforests around the globe.

Here’s your short list of ingredients to keep your eyes peeled for:

(And here’s why)

Polyethylene (micro plastic)

Palm Oil

Chlorphenesin

Tetrasodium Edta

Ci 15850

Stearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol

Cyclopentasiloxane (silicon oil)

Aluminum Hydroxide

Dimethicone Crosspolymer

Dimethicone

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Methylparaben & Propylparaben

Propylene Glycol

Disodium Edta

Petrochemicals

Syntheic colours

Fragrances

Preservatives

2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol

Diazolidinyl Urea

Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Ci 19140

Amodimethicone

Top Greenwashing Companies

It comes as no surprise, to me at least, that the top greenwashing brands in America are electricity and power brands. However, there are still so many beauty brands in particular that claim to be natural and organic, yet are far from it. They use green and white packaging, use alluring buzzword terms that sucker us all in.

The Method

I’ve included a short list for you, but then I’ve gone into more depth about the types of non-green qualities if you’re interested to see why I’ve included them in this list. Just remember: all of this is subjective. I myself am mostly concerned with animal testing and human exploitation, as well as unsustainable business practices and production. I’m not as concerned with the natural ingredients, although some of those practices have landed them a space here on this list as well.

The Short List of Greenwashing Beauty Brands

The following are not linked to products, but instead an explanation as to why they’ve been included on this list. Please click on a link to read a fellow bloggers’ deep-dive investigation into the unethical or unsustainable practices these brands are guilty of. 

  1. Kiehl’s
  2. Origins
  3. Aveda
  4. Aveeno
  5. Estee Lauder
  6. Moroccan Oil
  7. The Honest Company
  8. Arbonne
  9. Bio-Oil
  10. Covergirl Natureluxe
  11. Herbacin
  12. Herbal Essences
  13. Johnson’s Natural
  14. Josie Maran
  15. Jurlique
  16. Korres Natural Products
  17. LUSH Cosmetics
  18. Nivea Pure & Natural
  19. Organix
  20. Simple Basics
  21. Tarte Cosmetics
  22. The Body Shop

I’m going to go more in depth on a ton of these different companies as time goes on, but this seems like a good starting point to present the dangers and reality of greenwashing. Many of these companies are companies I personally have bought from; they’re raved in Sephora reviews and generate millions of dollars per year. However, just being aware of the harmful effects they have not only on the environment but your body as well can help to stop the mass consumption of these products.

Which brands would you like me to do a full deep-dive into first? ‘Cause you know that’s where I’m headed. Let me know in the comments!

Xo,

Jade Nicole

Eco / Fashion

The Fashion Revolution

16th May 2019

The time has come for the long-awaited Fashion Revolution! Not only does this revolution ensure a more ethically-sourced, kinder world, but it also encourages the slow fashion movement to abolish wasteful mass production. It is a movement rooted in love for the environment and (most importantly to me), love for other people.

The Fashion Revolution is comprised of people around the globe who are committed to changing the fashion industry’s values and the environment. They’re the designers, academics, writers, business leaders, policymakers, brands, retailers, marketers, producers, makers, workers and fashion lovers. They’re the industry and the public. The world’s citizens. Me and you.

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