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Responsible Retailing: These Eco-Friendly Brands Are Striving For A Sustainable Future

Business

In today’s day and age, consumers are becoming more aware of how the products they purchase are being produced and the impact they have on the environment. Products or product packaging that is harmful to the environment stands a slim chance with even the slightest of conscientious shoppers. Sustainable shopping is one trend that’s on the rise—particularly with millennials and Generation Y. Through demand, shoppers are creating a world of responsible retailing.


The key group that is leading the charge of demanding more eco-friendly brands is Generation Y. 84 percent of their generation believe it is their duty to change the world, and they are far less accepting of businesses not joining them at that party. Kelly Stickel, Founder and CEO of Remodista, a fintech and retail analyst, has her finger on the pulse of the best eco-friendly brands out there right now.

"While ethical shopping and sticking to eco-friendly only brands is a tall order to fill, there are ways to go about it that adhere to one’s own personal moral compass and ethical code"

While ethical shopping and sticking to eco-friendly only brands is a tall order to fill, there are ways to go about it that adhere to one's own personal moral compass and ethical code. Nowadays it is possible to find products that are eco-friendly in just about every industry of shopping, from home goods and cleaning supplies all the way to beauty and fashion. Stickel has done the heavy lifting of researching and identifying brands that are truly committed to their eco efforts to save consumers the time and effort of wading through them all. These are her top picks for brands to support in the eco-friendly commerce spectrum:

- Modibodi makes period-proof underwear and swimwear. Enter sustainability. The average woman will use about 20 tampons or pads during the course of her period. That translates to about 300 pounds of product, both in applicators and wrappers, used over the entire course of her menstruating life.

Using a washable and reusable product such as Modibodi, saves money and waste. Modibodi was founded by Kristy Chong, a fast-tech entrepreneur and a social advocate for women’s health issues and rights.

- Naadam is a cashmere brand who pays their suppliers, nomadic goat herders, 50 percent more than traditional traders, and they don’t use any middlemen which means you get the product for cheaper. Their cashmere never sees harsh chemicals or bleaches. They have programs for healthier goats and sustainable grazing practices. Their products are made in clean energy powered facilities and they ensure that their employees are paid livable wages. The brand was born out of the ever-growing demand of the population of consumers that seek quality and transparency in manufacturing.

- Moroccanoil is a hair treatment brand making big moves when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint. In 2017, Moroccanoil saved 737 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted through the use of solar energy. They also save an average of 4,000 trees every year by cutting out secondary packaging. Carmen Tal, Co-Founder, looked to other woman for support when launching the business and to the women of her native Chili when shaping her aesthetic.

- Flora and Fauna sells only vegan and cruelty-free products. Their offices are solar-powered and all of their shipping materials are plastic-free and made with recycled materials. The brand is focused on running an ethical, responsible business and being transparent with customers.

Some other Australian eco-friendly retailers that are making their mark include: Wholesome Hub, Nourished Life, and Pure Home Body. The three are online websites that focus on selling organic and natural products and provide toxin-free shopping options. Each site vets the products they agree to feature to ensure they meet the eco-friendly standards they wish to uphold.

In addition to being eco-friendly brands, Flora and Fauna and Modibodi are both female owned and operated brands that are recognized for their work by Stickel’s Women2Watch program. Women2Watch is a group of women who drive innovation in both online and brick-and-mortar retail. Through Women2Watch, Stickel has had the opportunity to work and consult with the women behind the brands, the trailblazers of responsible retailing.

We are thrilled to highlight all of the amazing brands who are thinking about the future of retail in terms of sustainability and conscious retailing. We continue to learn and be inspired by these women leaders and their efforts in the sustainability arena.” - Stickel

"These brands all exemplify how companies can go about taking responsibility for their impacts on the environment on both a local and global scale"

Many people are familiar with the damaging effects of fast fashion but are less familiar with the impacts other industries have as well. Each of these brands represent a different industry and market. Consumers are no longer limited to specific avenues of their lifestyles that allow them to be environmentally conscious, nor are eco-friendly brands pigeonholed to specific industries. These brands all exemplify how companies can go about taking responsibility for their impacts on the environment on both a local and global scale.

Eco-friendly does not only apply to the processes in which products are made in factories. Their efforts include making sure that their workers and suppliers are paid a fair wage and safe working conditions. They also focus on how items are treated before consumers receive them to ensure that they are not breaking down during day to day.

Remodista and Stickel not only have their pulse on the businesses out there that are eco-friendly, they are also able to predict how these trends will impact the marketplace in the future as well as where these trends will take businesses. One of the main common threads among these companies that helps make them eco-friendly is their online presence verses a brick-and-mortar location. Purchasing goods through an online retailer cuts down on the carbon footprint that item leaves behind through both packaging as well as distribution and delivery.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.