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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: 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: The Sustainability Of The Amazon Kindle

ColumnThe Amazon Kindle versus paper books: who wins when it comes to sustainability? In just a matter of years, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle have fundamentally changed the publishing industry, replacing traditional paper books with digital downloads that can be accessed in a matter of minutes. For many, the Kindle-versus-“real”-book […]

Behind the Mother’s Day Flower Trade

Though it’ll only last a week, the impact of that Mother’s Day bouquet is much larger. Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, which means lots of family reunions, lots of breakfasts in bed, and lots of flowers. Next to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is the second largest U.S. holiday […]

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 […]

Chobani Greek Yogurt: Naturally Healthy or Not? Behind the Label

ColumnChobani, the best-selling Greek yogurt in the U.S., has tapped into a market for healthy food, but is it all it claims? We go behind the label to find out. Founded in 2005 by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani finally launched in 2007 to critical acclaim. The company now commands […]

Behind the Label: Pret A Manger

How do Pret A Manger’s sustainable values extend to all of its locations? Pret A Manger was founded in London by two college friends who wanted to make a “proper” sandwich with natural ingredients, “the sort of food they craved but couldn’t find anywhere else.” As the story goes, “Pret […]

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: 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: The Kashi Controversy

After a photo of a grocery store note went viral, the discussion about food marketed as “natural” got a lot more heated. Natural cereal brand Kashi made headlines in recent weeks after information about the company’s corporate ownership and use of genetically modified and pesticide-containing ingredients went viral in the […]

Behind The Label: The Lululemon Manifesto

Underneath the inspirational sayings, some pretty shady right-wing ideologies. Very few people can argue with the feel-good affirmations printed on the Lululemon Manifesto. There are practical directives (“Drink fresh water and as much water as you can”); important reminders (“What we do to the Earth we do to ourselves”); feel-good […]

Behind The Label: Ben & Jerry’s

      ColumnBen & Jerry’s has long been a poster child for socially responsible business, with its hippie branding, activist leanings, and emphasis on incorporating “happiness” at every step of the ice cream supply chain. The company’s story begins in 1978 with an abandoned Burlington, Vermont, gas station and […]

Behind the Label: Burt’s Bees

A look at what happens when a small, personal care company gets acquired by the big guys. The story of Burt’s Bees is humble enough. In the 1990s, a woman named Roxanne Quimby met a beekeeper named Burt Shavitz, and together they launched a small line of honey and beeswax […]

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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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