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What You Need to Know About Aveda’s Natural Ingredients

Aveda is a pioneer in the use of natural ingredients – but are all its beauty products created equal? The history of Aveda is one of sustainability firsts: the first beauty company to use 100% post-consumer recycled PET packaging, the first beauty company to manufacture with 100% certified wind power, the […]

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: 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: The Safe Sunscreen Debate

Not all sunscreens are created equal. Every summer for the past decade, the media has issued staunch advisories reminding consumers to wear sunscreen. But this year, their tone has changed. Studies are showing that not only are many sunscreens filled with potentially harmful chemicals, but also that sunscreen wearers can actually […]

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: 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: Design Within Reach

Looking at the costs of making modern design accessible. In 1999, while on a trip to London, Rob Forbes bemoaned the fact that authentic modern design was only available to architects, decorators and people in a certain strata of society. Forbes made it his mission to make design accessible to […]

Behind the Label: West Elm Green

West Elm loves stamping their products “green,” but what exactly does that mean? Brooklyn-based home decor store West Elm caters to urban design lovers with its aspirational blend of minimalist furnishings, global influences, and sustainable practices. Indie artist collaborations and eco-friendly materials play a large role in West Elm’s marketing, with […]

Behind the Label: Design Within Reach

Looking at the costs of making modern design accessible. In 1999, while on a trip to London, Rob Forbes bemoaned the fact that authentic modern design was only available to architects, decorators and people in a certain strata of society. Forbes made it his mission to make design accessible to […]

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: 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: Investigating FreshDirect’s Local Commitment

FreshDirect claims to support local farmers and small businesses, but is the company really as community-minded as it appears? Throughout New York City, massive FreshDirect delivery trucks exhibit locavore-inspired branding that promotes small farmers and eating seasonal, with witty messaging and colorful images of fresh produce. However, FreshDirect’s policies are far […]

Behind The Label: The Diamond Engagement Ring Industry

A symbol of love, with a possible history of war. “A diamond is forever.” It’s one of the 20th century’s most enduring marketing campaigns, one that inextricably linked the precious stone with marriage and commitment. But though diamonds are a symbol of romance in the Western world, their origins are often […]

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 […]

Behind The Label: Organix’s Misleading Labeling

ColumnWith a name like Organix, you might assume that the brand in question is organic… right? You would be wrong. The popular drug and big box store line of hair, bath and body products may share six of seven letters with the word “organic,” but its products surprisingly don’t contain […]

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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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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 […]