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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: 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 […]

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: 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 […]

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: 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 […]

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: 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: 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: 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 […]

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 […]

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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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