These days, having an energy-efficient home, driving a gas-sipping automobile, and recycling are a must if you want to show dedication to preserving our environment. This trend has made its way into fashion, and now there are designers and companies striving to create more products and run their businesses in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. The following are some of the leaders in eco-friendly retail and what they are doing differently.
This retailer has shown commitment to the environment by stocking their shelves with a high percentage of recycled, renewable, or organic materials. These items are easy to find in-store as they are labeled with their trademarked ecoSensitive labels. As a company, they are doing their part for the environment with approximately ¼ of their buildings supplied by green energy, and an increase in their number of LEED-certified buildings. Employees who bike to work or take public transportation are given incentives, further proving their dedication to going green.
If there is one company that has been transparent with their products, it is Patagonia. They instituted a product impact tracking tool dubbed The Footprint Chronicles so consumers will know exactly where their product originated. They are proponents of ethical treatment of animals, and use only 100% traceable down. To further show their dedication to animals, they have created an environmental program called Freedom to Roam, which has donated more than $35 million to the protection of wildlife. As a company, they use recycled paper for their catalogs, solar energy, and even have a recycling program for old Patagonia gear.
When one thinks of Nike, their phrase “Just do it” inevitably comes to mind. These days, Nike is “just doing it” when it comes to selling environmentally-conscious apparel as well. They have expanded their 100% cotton line to include t-shirts not unlike the men’s undershirts found on underfit.com, and their Reuse-a-Shoe program has resurfaced more than 300 sports surfaces with more than 23 million recycled pairs of shoes.
Stella McCartney is one of the biggest fashion icons of this generation. Unlike many designers who depend on fur and leather to accentuate their fashion lines, Stella uses neither in any of her products. Even her shoes are leather-free, and the wool used in her clothing comes from sources that are proven to be humane, and her testing is never done on animals.
With the eyes of the world on businesses and fashion designers and an emphasis on “going green”, some of these companies are getting it right!