Brands for a Better World. Let's makes some Ripples!

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

At Ecoripples, we have been busy building a sister site call Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products. As you may have guessed, this site focuses on profiling eco-friendly cleaning products!

Our team has put together a list of great brands creating great products.  These brands produce eco-friendly products that will meet all of your cleaning needs.  Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.  What other brands are out there that should be added to our list of eco-friendly cleaning products?

Our Favourite Brands – Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s is committed to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the best quality. Their all-one cleaning products are not only popular due to their wide variety of possible uses but also because of their organic and fair trade sourcing. They dedicate their profits to help make a better world!

Bayes

Bayes premium cleaning products ensure minimal impact on the environment. Their products are biodegradable, safe, pet friendly and effective. Bayes Cleaners was launched in 2006 with just 4 products.  Now the brand has over 20. Their vast range of cleaners are targeted for kitchen, living room, bathroom and outdoor cleaning.  Bayes Cleaners also produce green living products such as water filtration bottles, hand soap and produce wash.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is a brand that creates plant based solutions that work. The company has been using renewable plant ingredients to make products for 27 years. Seventh Generation offers a range of animal cruelty free products from household solutions to feminine care.  Their line includes soaps, cleaners, disinfectants, baby wipes, diapers and organic tampons.

 

Mrs. Myers

Mrs. Myers uses essential oils to product earth-friendly cleaners, baby products and laundry supplies. They make intelligent, responsible raw material choices, and whenever possible, obtain materials from renewable plant resources such as coconut, palm, corn, soy or olive. Sometimes they choose to use non-plant-derived material for reasons of efficacy, consistency and safety. Their products do not contain chlorine bleach, ammonia, petroleum distillates, parabens, phosphates or phthalates. Mrs. Myers uses concentrated, biodegradable formulas and at least 25% post-consumer plastic in our bottles. They do not test on animals.

Method

The founders of Method set out to change the world by creating beautiful cleaning products that are as kind to the planet as they are tough on dirt. They product naturally-derived, biodegradable, non-toxic household cleaners, laundry supplies, personal care and soap.

To learn more about these products and brands, check out our site Eco-Friendly Cleaning ProductsIf you have any brands that you think we should add to our eco-friendly cleaning product list, please let us know in the comments below.

WeWood: How they Plant Trees with American Forests

WeWood has some great looking watches. Their designs are eco-friendly and they have this great partnership:

The roots of this company are fantastic. Check out this quote from their site which I think provides a great summary of their watches:

“The brainchild of an Italian watch lover and two eco-smart entrepreneurs, WEWOOD fashions wooden timepieces from mostly scrap-wood and uses state-of-the-art Miyota movements for the guts, a hybrid of technology and nature resulting in a unique watch that’s both handsome and earth friendly.”

WeWOOD uses recycled and sustainable materials to craft luxury watches, eliminating environmental harm and restoring resources with each watch. WeWOOD watches are crafted with a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. WeWOOD’s goal is to restore the environment’s resources one tree at a time.

Since 2011, WEWOOD has planted over 420,000 trees with its partners and sets challenging targets for 2015 and beyond. One such challenge is their goal of planting 1 million trees by 2020.

Read more about their story here.

Hape – Eco-friendly Toys

Hape toys is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials.

Why We Love Hape:

Sustainability is at the very core of Hape’s values.  In the company’s first line of their website profile, they identify how they create products from sustainable materials.  This underlies the company’s strong commitment to sustainability.  It is an integral component of the thinking that goes into their products’ design.

Hape toys are both creatively designed and eco-friendly.  Their products meet and often exceed the strictest international standards for quality and safety.  Hape’s product embody life cycle thinking.  From the beginning of the design process, through to production, delivery, and post consumption, Hape toys are a collaboration of global thinking and responsible ecology.

Hape’s Mission statement:

Hape believes that the future begins and belongs to our children. It is our duty to leave them with infinite possibilities, not unsolvable problems. Our toys are created to inspire play, learning, and exploration of the world we live in; through responsible business practices we aspire to leave the world in a better condition than when we received it.”

Other Highlights:

  • Hape is currently building a Early Childhood Education Center and Environmental Development faciltiy in Gongtong, China.  The campus will facility research and educational groups exploring the use of bamboo and other natural materials.
  • Products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada which promotes responsible management of the worlds forests.
  • Hape has introduced processes to ensure that by-products produced in production cycle result in minimal impact to the environment.  They have introduced a water purification system so cleansed water can be released back into circulation.

Some of our favorite toys of theirs are their vehicles.  Check these things out:

Hape-Bamboo-Mini-Monster-Truck-0 Hape-Bamboo-Mini-Sportster-Vehicle-0Hape-Hape-Bamboo-E-racer-Suzuka-0

These are few of the reasons why we love Hape toys and you will find them in the Ecoripples’ shop.

Let us know what you think about Hape in the comments below.

Herman Miller – Towards Sustainability

Herman Miller is a major American manufacturer of office furniture, equipment and home furnishings.  Furniture companies are definitely not the first companies that come to my mind when I think of industries that may be striving towards sustainability.  However, Herman Miller is doing just that and has a compelling story to tell.

Striving Towards Sustainability

Herman Miller is on a “Journey toward Sustainability” designing products with consideration for their environmental impact. Their emphasis is on product durability, innovation, and quality.  They design for repeated use, repair, maintenance, and reassembly. Herman Miller focuses on maintaining high standards while incorporating more environmentally sustainable materials, features, and manufacturing processes into new product designs.

The company has a Design for the Environment (DfE) team, which is responsible for developing environmentally sensitive design standards for new and existing Herman Miller products. The DfE Protocol goes beyond regulatory compliance to evaluating new product designs in four key areas:

  • Material Chemistry and Safety of Inputs — What chemicals are in the materials and are they the safest available?
  • Disassembly — Can we take products apart at the end of their useful life to recycle their materials?
  • Recyclability — Do the materials contain recycled content, and more importantly, can the materials be recycled at the end of the product’s useful life?
  • Life Cycle Analysis — Has the product been optimized based on its entire lifecycle.

Working Closely with Cradle to Cradle Certification

Herman Miller aims to become an environmental powerhouse.  A significant part of its environmental strategy is its adoption of Cradle to Cradle design.  Herman Miller has over 20 Cradle to Cradle Certified Products.  Their commitment to Cradle to Cradle extends beyond product design.

The company has conducted a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for all operations.  All of the electricity used by Herman Miller facilities worldwide is powered with 100% renewable energy.

These are some pretty impressive sustainability actions from a company that produces furniture.  It is important to see these strides in industries that are not traditionally viewed as sustainable.

Here are a few of Herman Miller’s products:

Aeron-Chair-By-Herman-Miller-Highly-Adjustable-Graphite-Frame-With-Posturefit-Size-B-0-0Embody-Chair-by-Herman-Miller-Fully-Adjustable-Arms-White-Frame-and-Titanium-Base-Standard-Carpet-Casters-Blue-Moon-Balance-0Envelop-Desk-by-Herman-Miller-Walnut-Brown-Veneer-Top-Finish-Black-Umber-Legs-with-Glides-Y7755WABUEGG7-0-0

Let us know what you think of Herman Miller in the comments below.

Petit Collage – Modern Decor and Play Things

Petit Collage is a line of modern nursery wall décor and playthings.  Petit Collage creates bamboo mobiles and dolls, fabric wall decals, puzzles, games, and more.  The founder Lorena Siminovich and her small team of designers are located in an artistic hub of San Francisco.

Petit Collage handcrafts their goods in a sustainable way.  Products are designed with our planet in mind.  Using the best-quality, most forest-friendly materials available is important to the brand.  The company uses sustainably harvested wood veneer, renewable bamboo, recycled paper and vegetable-based inks.

Here are a few of their products:

Petit-Collage-Folding-Growth-Chart-0Petit-Collage-Paper-Doll-Chain-Craft-and-Color-Robot-0Petit-Collage-Wall-Decal-By-Land-0

 

Patagonia – Sustainability a Key Focus

Patagonia is a company with a strong focus on sustainability. The company designs and produces outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports.  These sports include climbing, surfing, skiing and snowboarding, fly fishing, and trail running.

Why We Love Patagonia

Patagonia has great sustainability leadership. On April 23, 2015 Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia, told a Princeton University audience that “We’re consuming at such a high rate that we’re using up all the planet’s resources. That’s a reality. It’s time to stop thinking about being consumers and start thinking about being a citizen.” It is very important for a company to have this kind of sustainability leadership from the top if they are to have any meaningful impact.

In 2011, the company launched the following ad campaign:

Patagonia Dont-Buy-This-Jacket-Ad-2

Pretty amazing that a clothing brand will advertise to not buy its product.

Patagonia aims to ensure their products are produced under safe, fair, legal and humane working conditions.  This is one of the main focuses throughout their supply chain.

Fair Trade Certified™ products

One of Patagonia’s practices that we really like is their commitment to Fair Trade Certified™ products. They have increased the number of products in this line from 33 in spring 2015 to 192 in fall. The products are sewn by workers at their first Fair Trade partner in Pratibha Syntex in India, at four newly certified factories in Sri Lanka, and at one in Los Angeles, California. The program’s market-based approach ensures that workers not only receive fair compensation for their labour, but also helps to create better working-conditions and safeguards against the use of child labor.

Patagonia is widely known and heralded for their Corporate Social Responsibility and their work has been rewarded. The 2015 Sustainability Leaders Report, produced by think tank SustainAbility and research consultancy GlobeScan, asked 816 sustainability experts in 82 countries which company they thought best integrated sustainability into its business strategy. Patagonia ranked second.

There is an extensive list of their activities listed on Patagonia website.

Patagonia is a great example of a company that seems to be asking all the right questions of their business. They are striving to continually improve their practices from a sustainability perspective. We love what this company stands for. This is why we support Patagonia products and you will find them in our market.

Let us know what you think about Patagonia in the comments below.

Krochet Kids – A Brand Founded on Social Capitalism

Krochet Kids intl. creates apparel and crochet hats.  But that is far from their entire story.

Krochet Kids is a social capitalism brand.  They are a registered non-profit organization.  As a non-profit, they are able to focus more resources and financial investment into their program initiatives and activities that achieve empowerment of the people they work with.

Krochet Kids have developed a unique model of empowering the women of Northern Uganda and Peru that are part of their supply chain. The organization provides these women with the assets, skills, and knowledge they need to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.  Krochet Kids provides education so that they can develop beyond the need for outside aid.  These are very admirable assets to have as the foundation of a company.

Check out this video which provides a great overview of their brand:

One of the things that struck me in this video was the part where the creator of the piece of apparel actually signs the tag of the product they made. This small act really drives home the connection of a product to the end user.  This connection is often lost in shopping today.  Simply signing the tag makes you realize, or at least think about the person on the other end of the product.

Here are a few examples of products from Krochet Kids:

Krochet-Kids-intl-Hoot-Hat-Kids-0Krochet-Kids-intl-Becks-Jr-Beanie-Kids-0

Krochet-Kids-DevinTote-Bag-0Krochet-Kids-Ali-Lace-Stripe-in-Fig-Size-OSFM-0

If you are interested in purchasing any of their products, you can buy them directly from Krochet Kids website or find them in our market.

What do you think about the Krochet Kids model?  Do you know of any other brands that have such a strong connection to the community they work with? Let us know in the comments below.

Vulli and Eco-Friendly Sophie the Giraffe

Every parent that I know is familiar with Sophie the Giraffe. This toy is incredibly popular. I’m not sure if one of the reasons for its popularity is because of the creator’s environmental conscious or simply because it is a great toy. Either way, the makers of Sophie have a very strong environmental compass.

Vulli was created in 1945. In the early days, the brand specialized in mechanical toys. Over the years, Vulli has become a specialist in the world of baby care and early learning toys.

Sophie the Giraffe

Vulli is based in Rumilly.  The small community is in the Haute-Savoie region of France.  Maybe being based in a small community in the middle of the Alps has lead to the company’s strong sense of sustainable development issues. Their commitment is displayed through what the company does, says and makes.

Sophie the Giraffe is made of 100% natural rubber. The rubber comes from the Hevea tree growing in sustainable forests. The plaster used for the manufacturing of Sophie is sorted separately and recycled in the plasterer industry. The waste plastics, scrap metal, and boxes created in the manufacturing process are set aside for recycling.  The company is currently studying recycling of all rubber waste.

Vulli is also conscious of sustainability in the communities where they operate.  A hedge of fifteen different species was recently planted in partnership with the city of Rumilly.  Beehives were scheduled to be installed in 2015.  These acts are being implemented to help preserve biodiversity in the area.

Sophie is not the only product that Vulli Makes.  They also make a number of other baby teething toys derived from rubber including the following:

 

Vulli-Magic-Pumpkin-Doll-House-0A different style of toy that Vulli produces is the Magin Pump’kin Doll House. This product is in their Klorofil brand of toys. Each toy comes with a sticker and poster set to introduce children to sustainable development and to encourage them to preserve our planet.  The poster is an interactive board of small stickers identifying eco-friendly practices. What a great way to introduce kids to sustainability ideas.

I’d be interested to learn more about this line of products.  I wonder what materials are used in its production?  I was unable to find that information.

Are you familiar with products from Vulli? Do you have Sophie the Giraffe? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Turning Water Pipes into Electric Generators

Interesting and innovative use of wastewater for energy!

tentree – A Canadian Eco-Friendly Clothing Brand

The Canadian apparel company tentree was founded with environmental responsibility at its core.  tentree believes that they can inspire a new group of consumers to tackle environmental issues and have a positive impact on our future.  It was an environmental inspiration that formed the foundation of this company:

 For every piece of apparel purchased, tentree plants 10 trees.

tentree partners with not-for-profits and communities around the world.  To grow their tree planting and sustainability efforts, tentree has partnered with organizations including Canadian Wildlife Federation, WeForest, American Forests, Eden Reforestation, and Trees for the Future. They also partner with local organizations and communities where they plant trees to increase their ability to have targeted and lasting impact on the local community.

When planting trees, tentree partners with local communities to help grow the seedlings that will be used for planting.  Then, locals spend long hours clearing the planting sites of debris in order to promote better growth.  Between this preparation and the resulting planting, fifty trees can provide one local worker with a full day of employment.

tentree is not only planting trees.  It is their goal to work with facilities across the globe to encourage environmental stewardship and socially responsible behaviour. They only work with socially and environmentally responsible factories that are WRAP approved, agree to yearly unannounced audits, and abide by their code of ethics.

tentree has only been around since 2012.   It will be interesting to see how they continue to improve their environmental and social footprints.

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You can purchase ten tree apparel from their website at tentree.com or you can check out our market.

What do you think about tentree? Do you have any of their apparel? Let us know in the comments below.

Sprout – Eco-friendly Watches

Sprout is another company with Eco-friendly ambitions at its core. The company sets out to make the most eco-forward watches available.  Sprout Watches set out to create an eco-forward lifestyle brand which utilizes the highest quality materials while striving to protect the Earth’s natural resources.

The Sprout corporate website highlights all the materials they use in their products.  These materials include biodegradable corn resin, bamboo, cork, and organic cotton.  For a complete list of materials that are used, refer to the eco-facts section of their site.  Two of the elements that I wondered about from a sustainability perspective were the mother of pearl and the Swarovski crystal.

Sprout defines the eco-facts of these elements as the following:

“Natural Mother of Pearl – Our Mother of Pearl watches are all declared through the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife in the U.S. and will never be from forbidden or endangered species.

Swarovski CrystalsSprout Watches is proud to offer models using Swarovski’s new ADVANCED CRYSTAL TECHNOLOGY, the new DNA of Crystal, which is a patented, lead-free formula using only carefully selected raw materials that are in compliance with all international standards.  Researched and developed for more than 10 years, this major technological breakthrough in the ADVANCED CRYSTAL offers unsurpassed brilliance with the highest precision, quality, and clarity for flawless beauty.”

We were browsing through the sprout catalogue of watches.  Here are a few of their watches and their features:

Sprout-Womens-ST1057YLCK-Swarovski-Crystal-Accented-Yellow-Cork-Strap-Watch-0

 Women’s Swarovski Crystal-Accented Yellow Cork Strap Watch

Some of the environmental features of this watch are:

  • Featuring a tan corn resin case and buckle;
  • Lemon yellow bamboo dial with 12 clear lead-free Swarovski crystal markers;
  • Natural cork strap with organic cotton backing and yellow stitching, and a mineral crystal lens.

 

Sprout-Womens-ST2019MPLG-Light-Green-Organic-Cotton-Strap-Watch-0

Sprout Women’s Light Green Organic Cotton Strap Watch

Some of the environmental features of this watch are:

  • White corn resin case and light green bezel;
  • Mother-of-Pearl dial with tree motif; and,
  • Light green organic cotton strap with corn resin buckle.

 

Sprout-Womens-ST5525MPPK-Swarovski-Crystal-Accented-Fox-Design-Beige-Cotton-Strap-Watch-0

Accented Fox Watch

Some of the environmental features of this watch are:

  • 38mm round white corn resin case and pink bezel;
  • Mother-of-pearl dial with orange fox graphic;
  • Fox’s eyes accented with 2 clear lead-free Swarovski crystals; and
  • Light beige organic cotton strap with pink stitching, backing, and sides.

 

We love the idea of Sprout watches. This company really pays attention to the materials that go into their products.

Do you have a Sprout watch? Let us know what you think of these watches in the comments below!

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Christmas 2015

Christmas is closing in on us and you are probably getting close to finalizing your shopping.  Or, you are like me and you haven’t started.  Here are a few eco-friendly gift ideas that you may want to put under the tree.  I have hand selected a few products, but any product from the following brands are great eco-friendly gift ideas.

Hape Police Car

Hape is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials.  They make all sorts of toys, but I am a big fan of their line of bamboo vehicles.  All of Hape’s products are made from natural materials and water-based paints.  This product uses bamboo taking advantage of the special properties of this highly renewable material.

Sprout Women’s  Organic Cotton Strap Watch and Cork Bracelet

How about a watch from Sprout? Sprout sets out to make the most eco-forward watches available.  This one is made from cork and organically grown cotton.

tentree Steelhead Pullover Hoodie

tentree is a Canadian company that plants 10 trees for every item that is purchased.  They continually work with facilities across the globe to encourage environmental stewardship and socially responsible behaviour.  They have a great line of Men’s and Women’s clothing.

Petit Collage Wood Puzzle

If you still need something for the youngster on your list, how about the Petit Collage Wood Puzzle.  Petit Collage strives to handcraft their goods in a sustainable way using the best-quality, most forest-friendly materials available.

Green Toys Pizza Parlor 

Come on, a pizza parlour from Green Toys? This toy looks awesome, mainly because I’m a huge fan of pizza.  This colorful 27-piece set features four slices that can be stacked with toppings galore to dish up any personal pie.  Each realistic part is made in the USA from food-safe 100% recycled plastic milk containers.

Well, there you have it.  A few eco-friendly gift ideas from some great brands!

Do you know of some other eco-friendly ideas?  We’d love to hear from you.  Let us know in the comments below.

What is Ecoripples?

Welcome to Ecoripples. Thanks for checking us out. We are a community trying to make a difference.

Ecoripples.com gives you the opportunity to support companies working towards a sustainable economy and future.

Our goal is simple:

We aim to make it easier to discover and buy environmentally and socially responsible products.

What is a socially and environmentally responsible product?

This is a question with no definitive answer. There is no golden rule that applies to all socially and environmentally responsible products. However, we use a guiding principle to keep things simple. We support companies who are making a conscious effort to create a product that is better for our environment and society.

We support these companies by sharing and buying their products. By doing this, we can make ripples in the economy. Hopefully, our ripples will spread and introduce these products to a much larger audience. The more ripples we make, the greater reach these products will have.

Please join our community and start making some ripples!