As environmental issues continue to wreak havoc on our world, trying to lower your carbon footprint can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. We don’t all have to be Greta Thunberg, but there are small changes we can make to our daily routines that can have big impacts. That’s why we’re SUPER excited to share five amazing brands with you that are making products that help our planet without compromising comfort or quality. And as if you needed another reason to try out some of these amazing products, four out of five of the brands featured were either founded or co-founded by women. Sounds like a win win in our book!
#1 Genusee Eyewear
During the water crisis in Flint Michigan, Detroit native and red cross volunteer Ali Rose helped distribute much needed bottled water to families in the area. Although this immediate action was necessary, Ali couldn’t shake the guilt she felt seeing thousands of plastic water bottles being thrown away each day. So she decided to do something about it. Ali created Genusee, an eyewear company that creates gorgeous glasses from upcycled single-use plastic bottles. The impact of the company has been twofold — not only has it helped turn plastic waste into beautiful products, but it’s also brought much-needed jobs and a bustling manufacturing industry back to Flint, where the company is based.
We suggest their best seller — the Roeper frame in Crystal Fog, which is the natural color of the post-consumer recycled water bottles. They’re available in prescription, non-prescription or reader, with the option to add blue light filter or fog free lenses.
If you’re looking for a pair of shades, we love Ocean Blue frames, which were made in collaboration with artist Amber Vittoria. A portion of every purchase of this style is donated to the Flint Women & Girls Fund.
And as if you needed more inspiration to purchase a pair, Genusee is giving all KCM readers $20 off their purchase — just use code KATIECOURIC20 at checkout!
#2 Girlfriend Collective
Credit: Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective is another brand that is turning trash into treasure. We’re obsessed with their tagline: “Trash looks better on you than it does polluting the planet.” It’s true — we don’t know how they did it, but they’ve managed to turn upcycled plastic bottles, fishing nets and other plastic waste into a line of simple, timeless bras, leggings, tanks and more. Their products are both comfortable and flattering — especially this irresistibly cozy fleece collection. With sizes ranging from XXS- 6XL, you’ll find something for everyone.
Some of our favorites include this adorable half-zip fleece which comes in three colors, bike shorts equipped with pockets, and this racerback bra, that can be worn during “low impact” activities. It doubles as a great top for sticky summer days outside.
KCM is no stranger to Allbirds. Katie sat down with their CEO Tim Brown for her podcast, Next Question, just before the pandemic. By now you’ve definitely seen the popular wool sneakers that have taken the athleisure world by storm, but you may not know the story behind them. With the goal to help you “break a sweat, not the planet,” their shoes are made from environmentally-friendly materials like eucalyptus and merino wool. Did you know that in New Zealand, where Allbirds were first created, sheep outnumber humans six to one? And just like people, sheep love a little haircut every once in a while, which provides an all natural wool substitute for the typical synthetic materials used in sneakers. Thanks, sheep! As an added bonus, Allbirds are machine washable. So if they start to smell a little ripe, you can just pop them into the washing machine and they’re like new again.
Allbirds have styles for men, women, so you can get a pair for the whole family. For women, we’re loving this slightly cropped, relaxed boxy T-shirt. For men, these Men’s Tree Toppers are the perfect casual everyday shoe.
As the folks at Blueland say, “Plastic was meant to last forever, but most is only used once.” When founder and CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo became a new mom, she couldn’t believe how much single use plastic she was throwing away. “I wanted to do my part to help,” she says, “but it was impossible to find household products like window cleaner, lotion, and toothpaste that didn’t come packaged in plastic.” That’s why she founded Blueland, a company that allows you to buy a single plastic bottle for household cleaning supplies that you can use for life.
Keep the bottle and order more dissolvable cleaning or soap tablets as needed. For an overall starter kit, try The Clean Essentials, which includes four sustainable bottles and plastic-free refills for hand soap, multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and glass + mirror cleaner. The dish soap starter kit is also our top pick— with refills packaged in compostable paper pouches.
At cocokind, sustainability is their first priority. Their plant-powered, sustainable, and cruelty-free beauty products will leave you looking amazing and feeling great. With a mission of conscious beauty for all, they make organic products like their best-selling sea kale clay mask and their chia face oil that ship in sustainable packaging. They’ve got products for every skin type, from dry, to oily, to acne-prone, to mature, so no matter what your problem area is you’ll find something you’ll love. One of our personal favorites is their Daily SPF lightweight, mineral-based 30 SPF made of reef-safe zinc oxide, blue phytoplankton and microalgae. When you’re finished, each product page has a “how to recycle” tab with instructions on how to safely and sustainably dispose of your empty containers.
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