Mental Floss
SMART SHOPPING

11 Sustainable Brands To Shop For Earth Day

Elaine Selna
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm / Burt's Bees
facebooktwitterreddit
This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was already a firm advocate for the environment when he arrived in Washington in 1963. However, after seeing the aftermath of an oil spill off the coast of California in 1969, Nelson became even more adamant about promoting environmental awareness. His efforts helped lead to the creation of Earth Day, which we observe every year on April 22.

Celebrating the environment looks different for everyone, but one way you can show your support is by shopping sustainable brands that are dedicated to being more environmentally conscious. Many of these companies are also certified B Corporations, which means they've met the highest standards for social and eco-friendly practices (and offer full transparency about their workforce wages, legal and supply-chain processes, and more). Below we’ve listed 11 of the best brands to shop this Earth Day to help you live a greener life.

1. Allbirds

Blue Allbirds Tree Dashers sneakers
Allbirds Tree Dashers / Allbirds

The fashion industry accounts for 10 percent of all humanity's carbon emissions. On a global level, it's also the second-largest consumer of water and is responsible for 20 percent of the world's industrial water pollution. Allbirds, the shoe brand created by New Zealander Tim Brown and renewables expert and engineer Joey Zwillinger, recognizes this issue and is dedicated to offering stylish footwear made from sustainably sourced materials like merino wool and recycled water bottles. With initiatives like the Allbirds Flight Plan, this B Corp brand aims to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2025 and ultimately bring it to zero by 2030.

Shop: Allbirds

2. Grove Collaborative

Grove Collaborative Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate on a white background
Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate / Grove Collaborative

Many cleaning products use chemicals that are harmful to the environment, like ammonia and nitrogen, which are categorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Grove Collaborative is a B Corp that offers a new approach to cleaning products. This online marketplace stocks items from more than 150 different sustainable brands, all of which offer products made from plant-based, cruelty-free, and non-toxic formulas. These brands also provide total transparency about the ingredients in their cleaning solutions and use ethical supply chains. In addition, Grove has its own sustainability goals, like wanting to be plastic-free by 2025 and reducing its total carbon footprint. 

Shop: Grove Collaborative

3. Parachute

Parachute Linen Fitted Sheets on a bed in a home.
Linen Fitted Sheets / Parachute

Ariel Kaye founded Parachute in 2014 after extensively searching for a high-quality, affordable bedding brand and coming up short. In the years since, this woman-founded business has broadened its scope, offering bath towels, robes, furniture, and more. In terms of materials, Parachute products are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified, so the textiles used are completely organic. In addition, Parachute products are certified by Oeko-Tex, meaning the textiles don't contain any harmful substances. The brand is also Climate Neutral-certified and in 2022, kicked off its first-ever circular program with its recycled down pillow, which is made from Parachute pillows that have been returned and sanitized, and made with a recycled cotton casing.

Shop: Parachute

4. Leesa

Person sleeping on a Leesa Legend Mattress in a bedroom.
The Legend Mattress / Leesa

The mattress brand Leesa has harnessed more than 30 years of industry knowledge and research to create beds made from recycled and natural materials. The Leesa Legend is the brand’s most environmentally conscious mattress, as it uses natural materials like organic cotton and merino wool. For mattress covers, Leesa uses recycled polyester for an eco-friendly sleeping experience. The Leesa Legend has two layers of pocket springs made up of 95 percent recycled steel. Even the business headquarters are run on renewable energy. 

Find it: Leesa

5. Outdoor Voices

Woman wearing Outdoor Voices' The Exercise Dress in a daisy print with a white background.
The Exercise Dress / Outdoor Voice

The fitness apparel offered by Outdoor Voices is designed with longevity in mind. All its products—including the Internet-famous exercise dress—are meant to be worn for more than just one season, and are made from sustainable materials like recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate), ethically-sourced merino wool, and more. Items are even shipped in recycled paper envelopes or boxes, which further underscores the brand's commitment to being eco-conscious.

Shop: Outdoor Voices

6. Burt’s Bees

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm on a white background.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm / Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees is a household name thanks to its popular line of lip balms, makeup, and skincare products. But it's also one of the most enduring sustainable brands around: Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby created the brand in 1984 with a mission to make clean, affordable items that aren't tested on animals; come in recyclable packaging; and are responsibly sourced from natural ingredients like almonds, beeswax, and aloe. The brand has even kept its operational waste out of landfills since 2010 and has donated $3.5 million in grants to support honeybee health and biodiversity via The Burt's Bees Foundation, among other initiatives.

Find it: Burt’s Bees

7. Rothy’s

Person wearing Rothy's The Loafer in Desert Cat.
The Loafer in Desert Cat / Rothy's

Allbirds’s shoes are great but lean more towards the athletic side; Rothy’s sustainable footwear and accessories, on the other hand, are for the fashionistas who want to help the planet. One of the fun things that sets this brand's flats and loafers apart from other office-ready footgear is that they're fully machine-washable, so they'll last longer. They're also knit from Rothy's proprietary thread, which is spun from plastic bottles; have rubber soles created from renewable rubber; and under the insoles on these shoes, there's green padding made from algae-based foam.

Find it: Rothy’s

8. Youth to the People

Person squeezing out product from Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser onto their hand.
Superfood Cleanser / Youth to the People

Cousins Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes founded the skincare brand Youth to the People in 2015, but their roots in the beauty business go further back, as their grandmother established her own skincare company in the 1970s. From moisturizing creams to cleansers and more, YTTP's offerings are all 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free, plus they're loaded with superfoods like green tea and kale that can deliver a vital dose of antioxidants and vitamins to skin. Like other brands included here, YTTP packages items in recyclable paper, and uses glass for bottles and jars to reduce its plastic usage.

Find it: Youth to the People

9. Conscious Step

Conscious Step Socks That Protect Oceans on a white background.
Conscious Step Socks That Protect Oceans / Conscious Step

Conscious Step is known for its fun socks and wants you to wear what you believe in and feel good while doing it. Through the brand’s website, you can shop by causes like conserving rainforests with Conservation International, or protecting endangered animals with Oceana, and get cute merch that goes to benefit these charities. So far, the brand has been able to donate more than $800,000 to its partners, plant over half a million trees, and protect almost a million trees in tropical forests. In addition, the products are made with sustainability in mind, using vegan cotton that's GOTS- and Fair Trade-certified (the latter of which means the brand supports better working conditions for cotton producers).

Find it: Conscious Step

10. Prose

Prose Custom Shampoo bottle in a bathroom next to a comb.
Prose Custom Shampoo / Prose

Prose—which was founded in 2017 and specializes in truly personal haircare products—isn’t sacrificing the planet to create bespoke shampoos and conditioners. Instead, it’s embracing nature to give your roots precisely what they need. In 2021, this B Corp-certified, custom beauty brand became the first of its kind to achieve carbon neutrality, and according to the brand’s website, has reduced its carbon intensity by 67 percent. All the ingredients used are ethically harvested from around the world and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs, and mineral oils, plus you can opt to for vegan, gluten-, silicone-, dye- or fragrance-free blends, based on your preferences.

Find it: Prose

11. Patagonia

Person wearing Patagonia Downdrift Jacket from Backcountry on white background.
Patagonia Downdrift Jacket / Patagonia/Backcountry

As one of the world’s best-known outdoor apparel brands, Patagonia barely needs an introduction. However, its new NetPlus material is worth learning more about: It's recycled from plastic nets used by South American fishers, and done in collaboration with the California-based brand Bureo. These nets are collected, cleaned, shredded, and turned into wearable fabric. This process reduces plastics found in the ocean and supports the local communities. 

Find it: Backcountry

facebooktwitterreddit