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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: 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 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 […]

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: 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 […]

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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 […]

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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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