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Behind The Label: Nutella

Everything in moderation. Most articles about the recent class action lawsuit against Nutella start with fond recollections of the author’s first encounter with the addicting hazelnut spread. My own experience is similar; I think Nutella and instantly conjure up memories of childhood summers in Umbria, hiking trips, and continental breakfasts […]

Behind the Label: H&M’s Conscious Collection

ColumnIs fast fashion giant H&M really making moves to become more sustainable, or is it all just greenwashing? Editor’s Note: This is Jessica Marati’s first column for Behind The Label, which will explore whether brands claiming sustainable initiatives are going green – or just plain greenwashing. It’s so easy to […]

Behind the Label: Chipotle, Food With Integrity

A closer look at Chipotle’s ode to sustainable eating. For the past decade, Chipotle Mexican Grill has distinguished itself from fast food competitors by emphasizing Food With Integrity, a commitment to serving customers “the very best ingredients, all raised with respect for the animals, the environment, and the farmers.” As […]

Behind the Label: Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

No more tears… but at what cost? For many Americans, the lightly floral scent of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo brings to mind the cherubic purity of a newborn baby. That’s why it was shocking to find that Johnson & Johnson’s popular line of baby care products contains trace amounts of known and […]

Behind The Label: MUJI

Sustainability through simplicity. For minimalist shoppers, MUJI is the holy grail – an emporium of Japanese-inspired simplicity offering everything from hangers to notebooks to striped cotton tees. MUJI’s mission is similarly minimalist: “to offer the opportunity of a Pleasant Life to people around the world.” Its products are simple, well-designed, […]

Behind The Label: Nike Better World

ColumnNike has proven that it can “just do it” when it comes to incorporating sustainability into its supply chain… or has it? Not so long ago, the Nike brand was synonymous with sweatshops and child labor. But over the past decade, it has successfully reinvented itself into a poster child for innovation […]

Behind The Label: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

A company driven by values, but are they divisive? Think of LUSH Cosmetics and images of all-natural soaps, gooey organic facial masks, and fizzy bath bombs come to mind… and, depending on your activism awareness, so might controversial protests related to causes like animal cruelty, Canadian oilsand development, and shark […]

Behind The Label: Revisiting H&M Conscious

ColumnIs H&M as conscious as it claims to be? The notion of H&M as a sustainable fashion brand might strike you as an oxymoron. How can the Swedish retailer, best known for pioneering wasteful, disposable, trend-driven fast fashion, possibly claim to be socially responsible? It might take time, but that […]

Behind The Label: Timberland’s CSR After the VF Merger

Exploring the relationship between corporate mergers and corporate social responsibility. Timberland’s mission is unique for a shoe company: “to equip people to make a difference in their world.” Then again, Timberland isn’t your average shoe company. For more than a decade, Timberland has been at the forefront of the corporate […]

Behind The Label: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

ColumnAs incandescent light bulbs are being phased out, compact fluorescent light bulbs are stepping in to take their place. But are CFLs really the most environmentally-friendly alternative? Thomas Edison may have been on to something when he invented and popularized the modern incandescent light bulb in 1878. But 135 years […]

Behind the Label: PUMA’s Vision and Clever Little Bag

Does PUMA’s sustainability efforts cancel out its shaky sweatshop record? In 2010, global athletics brand PUMA wowed the sustainable design world when it unveiled the Clever Little Bag, its eco-effective reinvention of the classic shoebox. The product of a nearly two-year collaboration with Yves Béhar’s fuseproject, the Clever Little Bag consists of […]

Behind the Label: Odwalla Juices as Healthy As They Claim?

With a parent company like Coca-Cola, are Odwalla juices as healthy and natural as they claim? The story of Odwalla is that of your classic lemonade-stand-turned-multi-million-dollar-juice-company. In 1980, partners Greg Steltenpohl, Gerry Percy, and Bonnie Bassett started selling fresh, unpasteurized orange juice squeezed by a secondhand juicer in a backyard […]

Behind the Label: Is Stella McCartney a Sustainable Brand?

Has Stella McCartney earned her place in the sustainable-fashion spotlight? The mainstream media often labels designer Stella McCartney the “queen” of eco-fashion for her incorporation of sustainable practices and her refusal to use fur and animal skins in her designs. As a spokesperson for PETA, McCartney frequently speaks out against animal cruelty […]

Behind The Label: The Cell Phone Industry

Cell phones are changing the world, in both good ways and bad. Last week’s highly-anticipated release of the iPhone 5 signaled to the world that despite a global recession, the cell phone industry shows no signs of slowing down. It is estimated that 85 percent of the world’s population currently has […]

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Behind the Label: Is Stevia Healthy?

The popularity of the zero-calorie sweetener stevia is on the rise. But is stevia healthy? We go behind the label to find out. Derived from a plant of the same name, stevia is as much as 150 times sweeter than table sugar but without delivering the spike in blood glucose. It […]

Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company: Behind the Label

There may be no greater consumer concern than what products we use on our children—particularly when they’re brand new. But trusting brands can be a challenge. They all seem to tell us they’re the best; that they completely understand us, honestly. Do they? This month, Behind the Label takes a […]

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