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Behind the Label: Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value

Whole Foods has undoubtedly changed the organic and natural foods industry, but is it for the better? For some, Whole Foods is a god-send – a convenient, well-stocked supermarket filled with a trustworthy, if somewhat overpriced, mix of natural and organic foods. For others, Whole Foods is a symbol of […]

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 […]

Honest Tea: Keeping Coca-Cola Honest? Behind the Label

Column In the world of all-natural ready-to-drink beverages, Honest Tea is a key player offering simple, low-sugar and sugar-free options. But, the company is now owned by Coca-Cola. How honest does that make them? We go behind the label to find out. Honest Tea began like many startup operations: to fill […]

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: 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: Anthropologie’s ‘Made In Kind’

Are Anthropologie and sister company Urban Outfitters supporting independent designers or ripping them off? Earlier this month, indie fashion lovers went wild when Anthropologie debuted Made In Kind, its new “project in collaborative design.” With an initial offering of 11 exclusive, limited-edition capsule collections, Made In Kind shines a spotlight on […]

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: 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 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: Alternative Apparel

How “alternative” is Alternative Apparel? Alternative Apparel is often marketed as an alternative to mass-market brands – a line of high-quality basics “inspired by and created for free-thinking people everywhere,” with product names like the “V-Gan Organic V-Neck” and the “Eco-Streaky Bellflower Tunic.” But dig deeper and you’ll find that […]

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: 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 […]

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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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