A lot of eco products aren’t all that eco

We love the movement around the low-waste world and fashion industry. We wholly support it – and are now a small part of it to support rural jobs in Cambodia and environment work there. But a lot of eco products, aren’t all that eco. When we started floating ideas of making our own sustainable and ethical goods to support our education work, we realized there were a lot of issues in the industry.⁣

1. Most eco-businesses that don’t handmake the products themselves aren’t all that transparent. They barely offer past surface level information on labor practices and materials. Some do this exceptionally well; most don’t. Action: ask the business questions before you buy.⁣

2. So much of the zero-waste world comes from products sourced from China, branded & sold with a markup. We have personally tried to avoid China as much as possible. Factories create huge waste. Staff work constantly to meet quotas. Most people have never visited the factories, don’t know the conditions etc. They don’t have a great track record on human rights. This is also a problem with fast fashion companies. There are companies like Peak Designs that spend a lot of time in their chosen factories (Vietnam) – that helps a lot. ⁣

3. A lot of eco-products don’t have a transparent supply chain. What exactly is the fabric (and blend)? Who made it? Was it made by machines or by hand? Where was it made? Is the business that is making it ethical? Are workers in a healthy environment? Were a huge amount of chemicals used in the process? Where did that all go? ⁣

4. Some materials are just damn hard to make eco. Labels are commonly synthetic and not disclosed. Let’s just be honest and consistently research, communicate and try and do better. We are absolutely not perfect but greenwashing items as more eco than another when it really isn’t if you do the end calculations doesn’t actually benefit the Earth. Case in point, virgin cotton totes made in factories can have a bigger impact than plastic bags.⁣

This is a small space for the essay we could write here but it’s a start. It is extremely difficult to run a truly sustainable business and just transport alone means no-one will ever be perfect. We all need to strive to do better.