When it comes to reversing climate change and ensuring our planet remains habitable for generations to come, humans have a lot of work to do. Alongside more radical measures, however, one important way we can all make a difference is to curb our consumption—to be mindful of what we purchase, to get things secondhand when we’re able, and to reduce, reuse, and recycle. When we do have to purchase something new, it’s essential we try to pick sustainable, eco-friendly options wherever we can, in order to make as small an impact on the planet as possible.
Here are just a few wonderful, women-run businesses making it easier than ever to do just that.
Self-described as the “world’s first zero waste, full range beauty brand,” Ethique is more than doing its part to make sure that plastic waste is a thing of the past. From shampoo to stain remover to face serum, all of their products come in bar-form—which is far less wasteful than all those bottles, pots, vials, and jars most of us have sitting in our bathrooms. Founded in 2012 by Brianne West, the company has already prevented over 3.3 million plastic containers from ending up in the trash.
If you aren’t using a reusable water bottle in 2019, what are you waiting for?! According to Earth Day Network, Americans purchase around 50 billion plastic water bottles a year—the vast majority of which end up in landfills or dumped into the ocean. Make the switch and commit to fewer single-use plastics by investing in a beautiful reusable bottle from S’well, founded by Sarah Kauss in 2010. S’well bottles come in a variety of colors, patterns, neutrals, and everything in between, so there’s something for everyone. No excuses. (And here’s a bonus tip: For Earth Week 2019, they’re offering a free water bottle with purchases over $35!)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that great workout gear makes exercising a whole lot better (and eating pizza on the couch a lot more comfortable). Co-founded by wife and husband duo Ellie Dinh and Quang Dinh, Girlfriend Collective’s offerings are not only great for every body type and size (everything is available in XXS to 6XL), they’re also ethically produced. Even more incredible, all of their leggings, bras, and tops are made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. Trash has never looked so good!
After she couldn’t find “nude” lingerie that actually matched her skin tone, Proclaim founder Shobha Philips decided to launch a company that offered bras for a more diverse range of women. What started as a very frustrating (and, for many women and other bra-wearing people of color, extremely relatable) situation has since blossomed into a beautiful solution. Each bra (currently available in three shades) is made from “100% post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles,” diverting three bottles from ending up in landfills with every product purchased. While still small, Proclaim will definitely be a brand to watch.
If you’re on the market for everyday household products that are effective, plant-based, biodegradable, and will decrease your single-use plastics, look no further than Common Good. Co-founded by Sacha Dunn, Common Good offers beautifully packaged products that pack a punch when it comes to cleaning power. Most exciting of all, however, is their refill program, allowing customers to visit “refill stations” nationwide once they’ve run out of product, rather than purchase a whole new bottle.