How We Pick Our Products
Products don't make it into our collection by accident. In fact, we hand pick every item based on a clear set of criteria. We look at each brand and make sure they're able to tell us that their products offer the right benefits. We consider:
1. How It's Made
We evaluate the way materials and ingredients are grown and sourced, the health and environmental impacts of the manufacturing process, and each brand's labor practices.
2. How It's Used
We analyze a product's ability to improve your everyday life through its practicality, durability, energy efficiency and ability to limit or lower your carbon footprint.
3. How It's Disposed
From the packaging to the ability to either reuse, recycle or resell the product itself, we judge products based on how well they prevent materials from going to waste.
Qualities We Value
We've got high standards and we're not afraid to admit it. In fact, we want you to know exactly what they are and what they mean. When you see any of these icons while you're shopping, you'll know exactly why.
Consider the difference between a baseball and a boomerang. You can throw either one, but only the boomerang comes circling back to you as good as new. When we're considering the items to include in our collections, we look for boomerangs. After all, when products are made from repurposed or renewable materials, it helps us preserve natural resources and ensures that we can repeat the process over and over again.
Growing up, our grandmothers had a natural solution for almost any ailment. Today, we're trying to walk in their shoes. That's why we're drawn to products that rely on as many ingredients as possible from nature, and we do our best to ensure that they're free of harsh chemicals. It's not just for your health, choosing all-natural products also helps the environment, too.
We all love to be rewarded for a job well done. When it comes to making some of the best products on the market, we want to make sure that all of the workers involved in the process from start to finish were both treated and compensated in the fairest ways possible. Sometimes brands rely on certifications to show that they treat their employees well, sometimes we have to do some research to make sure for ourselves. Either way, we support and promote brands when they tell us that they considered all of the individuals and communities in their supply chain.
Manufacturing is not a dirty word. In fact, when it's done responsibly, it can be a beautiful thing. These days, so many companies are making huge strides toward conserving water and energy and implementing other sustainable practices. Some are able to afford third-party certifications and others are working toward it. Since we realize that many brands are on the same journey with us, we'll promote them when they continually work to minimize their environmental impact..
We all do our best to turn off the lights when we leave a room or to use the faucet sparingly, but we can't always control the flow of water, electricity or emissions when most products are in use. When items are designed to automatically limit these things, it makes life so much easier to conserve resources. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of products designed to be inherently efficient, and we’re happy to offer as many of them as we can.
Sustainability does not have to be synonymous with sacrifice. With the right products, you can lead a more eco-friendly life without having to disrupt your daily routine. In fact, when you choose products with this icon, you'll be making a more positive impact while living in greater abundance.
When you see this icon, it means that the product does not have to end up in a landfill. How it gets reclaimed can vary: some items are recyclable, others are reusable and some are biodegradable—every so often, you might even come across an item that can be composted! You'll reduce our dependence on sourcing raw materials, but you can also feel good about contributing to the building blocks of the future.
When it seems like you have to sort through a series of Russian nesting dolls to get to the product you purchased, there's a good chance that someone overdid it with the packaging. We're not really fans of all that waste, so we made sure that all of the items that have this icon either feature packaging materials that can be reclaimed or just use less of it in general (and we really love it when a company does both).
Merchant Buy Back
When products reach the end of their life, they deserve better than a landfill burial. We know this, and a lot of the companies we partner with are aware of it too. When you see this icon, it means that the merchant will take this product off your hands when you're done with it to give it a second life or dispose of it responsibly. Sometimes you can even make money this way, other times you can cover the cost of shipping or pick up some discounts. Either way, it's a guaranteed win-win.
Certifications We Trust
There are plenty of organizations dedicated to certifying brands and goods based on specific guidelines and goals. We're partial to the ones whose criteria and track record put them head and shoulders above the rest.
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) Certified
The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) evaluates products based on a set of rigorous scientific standards and BPI-approved laboratory tests, all with the goal of promoting the use and recovery of biodegradable materials. BPI-certified products are 100% biodegradable and compostable.
B Corp certification is granted to for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. These certifications are issued by B Lab, a non-profit organization that evaluates companies in more than 60 industries and 27 countries.
Certified Organic - OCIA
OCIA Certified Organic foods meet standards set by the OCIA, an independently accredited organization founded by farmers. OCIA Organic Certification ensures that, for at least three years prior to harvest, no chemicals or non-natural fertilizers were used in the fields, pastures, orchards or vineyards where the products were grown.
Cradle to Cradle
Cradle to Cradle certification identifies healthy and sustainable products. Items with this certification are made from materials that are safe and healthy for both humans and the environment; contain reusable components; are assembled and manufactured using renewable, non-polluting energy; are made in ways that protect and enrich water supplies; and help advance social and environmental justice.
Active in more than 80 countries, Ecocert is one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world. Depending on the product category, Ecocert-certified goods may have been grown without use of chemical fertilizers or synthetic products; made from animals predominately fed with organic feed and reared with access to open air and maximum living space; or made from controlled, organically sourced farm ingredients.
ENERGY STAR is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products made in the USA. Items bearing the ENERGY STAR certification use 20-30% less energy than required by federal standards, which aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity.
Fair Trade Certified
Fair Trade Certified items have been inspected and approved by Fair Trade USA, the largest third-party certifier of fair trade goods in the United States. The farmers grow and harvest their crops in sustainable, environmentally sound ways and both the farmers and workers involved in making Fair Trade Certified products are paid a fair and honest price for their goods, which fosters education, healthcare and economic development initiatives.
FSC certification is administered by the FSC, an international non-profit that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. Wood and paper products may achieve different types of FSC certification; forest management certification denotes that the forest where the wood originated is managed sustainably, chain of custody certification indicates transparency, and controlled wood certification indicates that a percentage of the wood was sustainably farmed.
Green America Certified Business
Formerly known as Co-op America, Green America focuses on social justice and environmental sustainability. Green America Certified companies are committed to using business as a platform for social change. Bronze, silver and gold levels of certification indicate where a company is on its path to social responsibility.
Green Seal helps organizations make their operations and products eco-friendly by reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and natural resources. Items bearing a Green Seal meet life cycle-based sustainability standards. Green Seal standards apply to hundreds of product and service categories, including food, paper, personal care and cleaning products.
Green-e is the country's leading independent certification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Green-e Certification indicates that a company has taken steps toward smarter energy usage.
International Organic and Natural Cosmetics Corporation (BDIH)
The International Organic and Natural Cosmetics Corporation (BDIH) grants certification to natural cosmetics that protect animals and the environment. BDIH certification indicates that products are not tested on animals, any raw material used to make the products does not come from dead vertebrates, and any vegetable raw materials are ecologically sourced.
ISO 14000 Family
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets worldwide standards; the ISO 14000 family sets the standards for controlling the environmental impact of products and services. Items that meet these ISO standards measure and improve their environmental impact, producing goods and services that are safe, reliable and high quality.
Leaping Bunny Program
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) administers the Leaping Bunny Program in order to implement cruelty-free standards for companies that make cosmetics, personal care items and household products. Products that feature the Leaping Bunny logo do not test on animals.
Farms and forestlands that meet standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Networks or the Forest Stewardship Council receive Rainforest Alliance Certification. Forest carbon, tourism and forestry enterprises whose operations meet similar criteria receive Rainforest Alliance Verification.
The Natrue Label
The NATRUE Label indicates that a product was made using eco-sound manufacturing processes and contains natural and organic ingredients that are either untreated or lightly treated.
The NPA Natural Seal
Home and personal care items bearing the Natural Products Association (NPA) Natural Seal are produced and developed without testing on animals, bear a low risk to human health, are made of natural ingredients, and use biodegradable ingredients and environmentally sensitive packaging when possible.
USDA Certified Biobased Product
USDA Certified Biobased Products are wholly or significantly made of biobased ingredients, including renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials.
USDA certified organic products incorporate common organic food production practices. USDA Organic standards apply to areas including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices and rules for food additives. USDA Organic multi-ingredient products contain at least 95% certified organic content.
WaterSense, a program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encourages water efficiency. WaterSense-certified products meet a set of water efficiency standards and are verified through a public product testing process.
Products bearing the internationally recognized recyclable symbol contain materials that can be repurposed into new products, which in turn conserves resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Variations of this symbol can be found on many forms of plastic, metal and paper products.
U.S. Composting Council Certified
U.S. Composting Council (USCC) certification applies to products that have been scientifically proven and independently certified as biodegradable and compostable. The Compostable Logo Program is a joint effort between the USCC and the Biodegradable Products Institute [BPI].
Materials We Avoid
We love connecting you to some of the best brands and products out there. Frankly, some things just don't make the cut. To make sure that all of our collections feature items that are good for you (and the planet), we will not include any of these ingredients or materials. Check out the chart below to see what we steer clear of and why.
|Material||Where It's Commonly Found||Why We Avoid It||Alternative Names For This Material|
|2-Butoxyethanol||Household Cleaners||Liver damage; Kidney damage; Respiratory disorders; Skin irritant||Glycol ethers; Butyl Cellosolve®; Butyl oxitol; Dowanol® EB; EGBE; Ektasolve EB®; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; Jeffersol EB|
|Alkylphenol Ethoxylate, Nonylphenol Ethoxylate, Octylphenol Ethoxylate||Household Cleaners||Biodegrades slowly into toxic compounds; Endocrine disruptor; Carcinogenic; Reproductive toxicity||Ethoxylated nonyl phenols (NPEs)|
|Aminomethyl Propanol||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Skin irritant; Eye irritant|
|Ammonia||Household Cleaners; Beauty/Personal Care Products||Respiratory irritant; Reproductive toxicity; Skin irritant||Anhydrous ammonia; Ammonia hydroxide; Aqua ammonia; Aqueous ammonia; Ammonia nitrogen unionized; Unionized ammonia; AM-FOL; Ammonia gas|
|Benzene (C14-C30) Alkylate||Household Cleaners||Carinogenic; Endocrine disruptor; Skin irritant; Respiratory irritant; Organ system toxicity; Reproductive toxicity|
|Blue #1||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Petroleum derivative; Carcinogenic; Contaminated with heavy metals; Skin irritant; Potentially derived from animals||FD & C Blue 1; Blue 1, C.I. acid blue 9, Disodium salt; FD&C Blue no. 1; 1206 blue; Acid sky blue A; Aizen food blue no. 2; Blue 1206; Blue FCF; Brilliant blue FCD no. 1; Brilliant blue FCF Supra; C.I. acid blue 9, disodium salt; C.I. food blue 2|
|Boric Acid, Sodium Borate||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Endocrine disruptor; Reproductive toxicity||Boracic acid; Boron trihydroxide; Orthoboric acid; Trihydroxyborane; Basilit b; Borofax; Borsaure; Borax, Disodium salt; Sodium tetraborate; Antipyonin; Borascu|
|BPA, BHA||Plastics; Beauty/Personal Care Products||Endocrine disruptor; Carcinogenic; Skin irritant; Immunotoxicity; Reproductive toxicity; Obesity; Diabetes; Behavioral changes; Resistance to chemotherapy treatments||Butylated Hydroxyanisole; Butylated Hydroxytoluene; BHT; Bisphenol A; Antioxyne B; Antrancine 12; Embanox; Nipantiox 1-F; Protex; Sustane 1-F|
|Bronopol||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Skin irritant; Respiratory irritant; Environmental toxin; Reproductive toxicity; Releases formaldehyde and nitrosamines; Immunotoxicity; Liver toxicity; Gastrointestinal toxicity||Beta-Bromo-Beta-Nitrotrimethyleneglycol; Bronidiol; Bronocot|
|Chlorine||Household Cleaners||Respiratory irritant; Thyroid disruptor; Skin irritant; Asthmagen|
|Coal Tars||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Carcinogenic; Contaminated with heavy metals; Skin irritant; Respiratory toxicity; Persistence and bioaccumulation||Carbo-cort; estar; impervotar; KC 261; Lavatar|
|Ethylene Glycol Ethers||Household Cleaners; Beauty/Personal Care Products||Liver damage; Kidney damage; Respiratory disorders; Endocrine disruptor; Reproductive toxicity; Cardiovascular toxicity; Gastrointestinal toxicity; Neurotoxicity;||Mono-butyl ether, EGBE, 2-Butoxyethanol|
|Hexahydro-1,3,5-Tris (2-Hydroxyethyl)-s-Triazine||Household Cleaners||Skin irritant; Respiratory irritant; Environmental toxin; Reproductive toxicity; Releases formaldehyde and nitrosamines; Immunotoxicity; Liver toxicity; Gastrointestinal toxicity||Grotan; HHT|
|In skincare products:
|Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Immunotoxicity||Butylcarbamic acid; Carbamic acid; IPBC|
|Lead||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Neurotoxin; Liver damage; Carcinogenic; Endocrine disruptor; Reproductive toxicity; Respiratory toxicity; Persistence and bioaccumulation||Lead acetate|
|Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (DDBSA)||Household Cleaners||Aquatic toxicity; Respiratory irritant; Skin irritant|
|In skincare products:
|Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Skin irritant; Aquatic toxicity; Immunotoxicity; Neurotoxicity|
|Mineral Oil||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Petroleum derivative; Skin irritant; Carcinogenic; Immunotoxicity; Respiratory toxicity||Deobase; Liquid Paraffin; Petrolatum; Paraffin Oil; Prolatum oil|
|Monoethanolamine (MEA)||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Immotoxicity; Respiratory toxicity; Skin irritant|
|Oxybenzone||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Photoallergenic effects; Endocrine disruptor; Cellular damage; Bioaccumulation|
|Phenols||Household Cleaners||Respiratory irritant; Circulatory damage; Organ system toxicity; Neurotoxicity; Reproductive toxicity||Benzenol; Carbolic Acid; Hydroxybenzene; Liquid Phenol; Oxybenzene; Phenyl Alcohol|
|Phosphates||Household Cleaners||Algal blooms; Degraded water quality|
|Phthalates||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners; Plastics||Endocrine disruptor; Reproductive toxicity; Respiratory irritant||Dibutyl phthalate; DBP; DMP; DEP|
|Preservatives||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Endocrine disruptor; Formaldehyde releaser; Carcinogenic; Skin irritant; Immunotoxicity||Bronopol; 2-bromo-2nitro-propane-1,3 diol; Formaldehyde; DMDM hydantoin; Diazolidinyl urea; Imidazolidinyl urea; Parabens (methyl, propyl, ethyl, butyl, etc.); Quaternium – 15|
|Propylene Glycol||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Carcinogenic; Skin irritant; Immunotoxicity; Respiratory irritant||Polyethylene glycol; 1,2-Propanediol; 2-Hydroxypropanol; Methylethyl Glycol; 1,2-Propylene Glycol; Alpha-Propyleneglycol; Dowfrost; Methylethylene Glycol|
|Selenium Sulfide||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Carcinogenic; Skin irritant; Respiratory toxicity; Kidney toxicity; Organ system toxicity; Persistence and bioaccumulation; Environmental toxin; Neurotoxicity; Reproductive toxicity||Selenium disulfide|
|Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)||Household Cleaners||Respiratory irritant; Skin irritant; Organ system toxicity; Environmental toxin; Aquatic toxicity||Hypochlorous Acid, Sodium Salt; Sodium Salt Hypochlorous Acid; Antiformin; B-K Liquid; Bleach; Carrel-Dakin Solution; Caustic Soda Bleach; Chloros; Chlorox; Clorox|
|Sodium Xylene Sulfate, Sodium Xylene Sulfonate||Household Cleaners; Beauty/Personal Care Products||Skin irritant; Respiratory irritant|
|Tetrasodium EDTA||Beauty/Personal Care Products||Skin irritant||Edetate Sodium; Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid Tetrasodium Salt; Tetrasodium Salt; Sodium Edetate; Tetrasodium Ede Tate Tetrahydrate; Tetrasodium Edetate; Tetrasodium Edetate Dihydrate|
|Toluene, Butylated Hydroxytoluene||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Petroleum derivative; Endocrine disruptor; Immunotoxicity; Respiratory toxicity; Environmental toxicity; Reproductive toxicity; Neurotoxicity; Organ system toxicity||Toluol; BHT; Methyl benzene, Methyl benzol, Phenyl methane|
|Triclocarban||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Endocrine disruptor; Organ system toxicity; Reprodutive toxicity; Environmental toxin|
|Triclosan||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Endocrine disruptor; Immunotoxicity; Persistence and bioaccumulation; Environmental toxin; Skin irritant; Causes bacterial resistance to antibiotics; Liver toxicity; Thyroid disruptor; Aquatic toxicity|
|Triethanolamine (TEA)||Beauty/Personal Care Products; Household Cleaners||Respiratory toxicitity; Aquatic toxicity; Skin irritant; Organ system toxicity; Immunotoxicity; Asthmagen|