It’s time to spring clean your vanity drawers and makeup bags to rid them of parabens, silicones, synthetic dyes and fragrances. Opt instead for products with simple, good-for-the-skin ingredients. This Earth Day, we celebrate some of our favorite green beauty brands—those committed to offering the finest sustainable beauty that’s cruelty free and naturally effective.
Often when we think of innovation in fashion, we think of cutting-edge designs, cool new pop-ups or unexpected collabs. But what about upending the conventional clothing supply chain? It’s rife with energy inefficiencies, pollution issues and even human rights concerns. It’s a serious drain on the environment—from thread production right down to garment manufacturing and distribution. As Earth Day approaches, now’s as good a time as any to discover creative clothing companies that are challenging the unsustainable status quo. Enter Amour Vert.
Amour Vert—French for “green love”—was founded by the wife-husband team of Linda Balti and Cristoph Frehsee, who met in 2007 at a defense industry conference in Abu Dhabi. Cristoph, who’d just sold his landmine-clearing company, convinced Linda, an engineer working on fighter-jet simulators, to take a leap of faith: quit her job in France and backpack around the world. “And at that time we were not engaged. We were just dating,” says Linda. “I was like, ‘That’s a bit crazy, but let’s do it.'”
Getting back to nature can be gritty, if that’s your thing. Or, as these carefully considered eco resorts show, it can be pure, pampered bliss. Within their gorgeous and distinct settings (such as the rocky Newfoundland coast, the mountains of Montana, the Utah desert) these destinations offer unparalleled luxury, catering to their guests while caring for Mother Nature.
Here are five top eco destinations, plus the perfect packing lists.
For Earth Day, we reached out to Maaji Swimwear CEO Miguel Piedrahita. The executive was keen to talk about his company’s greening efforts in Colombia, where they’re located in Medellin, Antioquia. Planting an Ocean of Trees is a program coordinated by Maaji to offset the environmental impact of manufacturing. And they are more than compensating for their practices. To date they have planted more than 90,000 trees in rural areas of the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Boyaca and Tolima. Piedrahita himself has planted 3,000 of them.
“Our company is owned by two sisters and was founded 10 years ago,” Piedrahita explains. “This program is one which the founders decided to plant trees to reduce the impact of our manufacturing process. Now we have planted 82,000 trees, all planted in Colombia in an area surrounded by nature.” Part of the project includes protecting watersheds in Colombian areas where water potential has been impacted by regional violence.
Maaji’s trees are planted in Colombian agricultural communities
Surrounded by verdant forests (including the Amazon), rivers, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Colombia contains some of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes and natural resources. It’s clear why a company set in such environs would feel protective about them.
Protecting our environment and being good stewards of the planet is something most everyone can get behind in 2017. Simply being less wasteful and more thoughtful about the products we buy is a good start.
Fortunately, here at Nordstrom, we work with a lot of brands that take eco-friendliness to new levels of eco-extroversion. For this Earth Day, we’ve rounded up just a few of many new and old brands that embrace the environmental ethos in admirable and interesting ways.
There is no denying that technology has always had an impact on fashion. But these days, that impact is being experienced on a global scale. Because of the connectedness of continents, trends and products are more easily traded than ever before. You can spot an outfit on a Malaysian blogger’s Instagram and shop it immediately, either online from the same stores the blogger did or by finding local retailers near you. All of this happens right from your phone.
The fast part of fashion can feel like a faceless blur. With this increase in globalism, the disconnect between producers and consumers is a growing cause for concern.
Soko means marketplace in Swahili. It is the name that founders Gwendolyn Floyd, Catherine Mahugu and Ella Peinovich chose for their jewelry line. Originated when the three women had a “meeting of the minds” while working in Nairobi, the collection was inspired not as much by jewelry, however, as by the puzzling question, “How can we create a business and supply chain model where everyone wins?”
Be it lemon juice in your locks, yogurt facials or cucumber slices on your eyelids, most of us have dabbled in natural beauty remedies—to varying degrees of success.
Thankfully, husband and wife team Alexander Kummerow and Julia Wills will do the researching and formulating for you. Their company, Herbivore Botanicals, has quickly gone from an Etsy shop to the darling of glossy beauty editors, and for good reason. Their ethically sourced, cruelty-free, all-natural and lovely packaged products appeal to our finer sensibilities—but more importantly, their oils, bath salts, face masks and soaps really work, often quite quickly.
We spoke with the cute couple about their growing business and how they source ingredients, which they were doing in Hawaii when we caught up with them.
You do your dance around the recycling bins—figuring out what counts as plastic, what is compostable and what is plain rubbish. You offset your carbon footprint by hoofing it to work. You purchase eco-friendly cleaning products and scour your cosmetics bottles so that they can be recycled. You are an eco-warrior. But sometimes the daily battle just doesn’t feel like enough.
A number of designers and companies go beyond the standards of environmental sustainability to find creative ways to make their products earth-friendly. Here are just a few Nordstrom brands preserving the planet with their innovative practices. We are proud to support their ingenious efforts to keep it clean.
Not only does the artisan jeweler look to nature to inspire her earthy, handcrafted creations, but Manning’s California studio is Green Certified. Her methods, too, include using recycled silver and gold sourced with the highest environmental standards. The stones on her jewelry are often upcycled from antique charms or made from alternative composites like refined ore from Michigan auto plants or raspberry nickel from former U.S. zipper factories. All the diamonds in her collection are conflict-free. Other stones are sourced using environmentally and socially responsible practices as well.
Eileen Fisher, a pioneer in sustainable clothing, helps us celebrate Earth Day with a look at her most eco-conscious collection to date. For spring 2014, 52% of the line is designed as part of The Eco Collection and 70% of the cotton manufactured for the entire offering is organic.
“Becoming more mindful about clothing means looking at every fiber and every seed and every dye and seeing how to make it better. We don’t want sustainability to be our edge—we want it to be universal,” says Fisher.
Smart Style: There are so many eco-chic options—from organic linens to hemp to biodegradable Tencel® to bluesign®-certified silks (Chinese silks that are dyed and finished using fewer chemicals, less water and less energy).
Garment Life Cycle: From developing eco-friendly materials to supporting renewable energy to recycling clothing, the Eileen Fisher brand is committed to designing for the environment.