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 15 of the best sustainable brands to shop this Earth Day to help you live a greener life.
Launched in 2019 by founder and CEO Jordan Nathan, this trendy cookware and bakeware brand specializes in ceramic pieces that are Teflon-free and don’t contain any other toxic materials (including heavy metals like lead and cadmium). Whether you’re looking for a new sauce pan or a large baking sheet, Caraway’s sustainably made products could be a great investment for your kitchen. Plus, everything ships in eco-friendly packaging, and the brand claims that its cookware releases up to 60 percent less carbon dioxide into the environment compared to traditional non-stick coatings.
The fashion industry accounts for between 8 to 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 global wastewater. 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 and Allbirds Reruns, this B Corp brand—which has been fully carbon neutral since 2019—aims to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2025 and ultimately bring it to almost zero by 2030.
Summersalt co-founders Lori Coulter and Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin don’t just want to take the stress out of shopping for a bathing suit. The brand—which is best known on Instagram for its form-flattering swimwear but has since branched into activewear and loungewear, too—also aims at sustainability in some big ways. Many of their garments are made from recycled or eco-friendly materials like TENCEL, Cupro, and even nylon waste (from old fishing nets); swimsuits made from their signature swim fabric offer UPF 50+ protection in the sun. Additionally, Summersalt uses recycled materials for its product packaging, and their shipping mailer has double adhesive, which helps reduce waste when it comes time to make returns.
4. 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
5. Our Place
If you love minimalist cookware that still manages to do it all, Our Place will be right up your alley. Co-founder and co-CEO Shiza Shahid spent years working on the design for the brand’s flagship product, the Always Pan. Beyond making it easier and more joyful to cook at home (the Always Pan, for instance, can replace up to eight pieces of traditional cookware), their popular pots and pans are covered in a non-toxic, Teflon-free ceramic coating that’s non-stick and eco-friendly. Plastic isn’t in their packaging, either—everything ships in biodegradable and recyclable boxes.
Shop: Our Place
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, 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.
7. Great Jones
Another eco-friendly brand worth keeping on your radar is Great Jones. Established in 2018 by childhood friends Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis, the brand offers heirloom-quality cookware made from non-toxic materials like ceramic and cast-iron enamel that are also free of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). You can also shop for bakeware, including dishwasher-friendly baking sheets made from aluminized steel. Fun fact: The brand name is actually inspired by editor and cookbook author Judith Jones, who discovered Julia Child and helped persuade Doubleday to publish the diary of Anne Frank in the U.S. after she rescued it from the slush pile.
Shop: Great Jones
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 Hybrid mattress is the brand’s most environmentally conscious mattress, as it uses natural materials like organic cotton and merino wool. Not only that, but the Leesa Legend has two layers of pocket springs made up of 95 percent recycled steel (it also ships in recycled packaging). For mattress covers, Leesa uses recycled polyester from recycled water bottles for an eco-friendly sleeping experience. Even the business headquarters are run on renewable energy.
9. Outdoor Voices
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 also shipped in recycled paper envelopes or boxes, and the brand is committed to eliminating all waste from community events and increasing its use of traceable fibers from recycled sources, among other eco-conscious initiatives.
Shop: Outdoor Voices
10. 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, which is carbon neutral certified, has even kept its operational waste out of landfills since 2010 and has donated millions in grants to support honeybee health and biodiversity via The Burt’s Bees Foundation, among other initiatives.
Shop: Burt’s Bees
Allbirds’s shoes are great but lean more towards the sporty 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. The shoes have rubber soles created from renewable rubber, and under the insoles on these shoes, there’s green padding made from algae-based foam.
12. 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.
Shop: Youth to the People
13. Conscious Step
Conscious Step is well-known for its fun socks and as a brand, wants you to wear what you believe in and feel good while doing it. Through the company’s website, you can shop by causes like conserving rainforests with Conservation International, or protecting dogs and cats in shelters with Best Friends Animal Society, and get cute merch that goes to benefit these charities. So far, the brand has been able to donate more than $1.1 million to its nonprofit partners. 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).
Shop: Conscious Step
Prose—which was founded in 2017 and specializes in custom 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 and climate neutral-certified beauty brand became the first of its kind to achieve carbon neutrality. 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.
As one of the world’s best-known outdoor apparel brands, Patagonia barely needs an introduction. However, its 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.
A version of this article was originally published in 2022 and has been updated for 2023.