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Green Propaganda and Our Confederacy of Dunces

Often when you see images of the earth, recycle signs and other eco-slogans on t-shirts, you just assume the t-shirt itself is made from sustainable materials, right? Rarely. In fact, next time you’re out, take a look at the tag and you’ll see that most are made from conventional cottons […]

Saving the Planet One Package At a Time?

Feel good package design that hooks consumers where it matters most: in the shower. When you found your perfect shower gel, was it love at first sniff? Probably not. When it comes to shower products – be it for cleansing your body or eradicating mildew – packaging is everything. You’d […]

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 […]

Eco Yachts: Can Bloated Boats Ever Be Green?

They’re a potent symbol of excess: bloated floating mansions that stir up the calm waters of the ocean, pump out CO2 and suck up fuel like there’s no tomorrow. But those poor beleaguered billionaires who seek refuge on the high seas aren’t about to give up their luxury yachts. Still, […]

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 […]

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: Odwalla Juices as Healthy As They Claim?

With a parent company like Coca-Cola, are Odwalla juices as healthy and natural as they claim? The story of Odwalla is that of your classic lemonade-stand-turned-multi-million-dollar-juice-company. In 1980, partners Greg Steltenpohl, Gerry Percy, and Bonnie Bassett started selling fresh, unpasteurized orange juice squeezed by a secondhand juicer in a backyard […]

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: 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 […]

The Beige Report: Greenwashing Makes Us Feel Dirty

ColumnGreen marketers want us to believe in their products while hiding their dirty laundry. To listen to the marketers, it’s a brave new green world of products out there. But greenwash is greenwash and Burmese teak is bad news no matter how you slice it. A gas hog SUV is […]

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 […]

Greenwashing Earth Day

Green-wash – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. – TerraChoice Earth Day seems to have brought out the green in everyone, especially businesses. Wherever we turn, we are being bombarded by advertisements and articles […]

Kentucky Fried Marketing

We’ve got our eyes on you, KFC. For years now you’ve been a cornerstone of the fast food movement, bucketing out deep-fried meat and refined carbs in every direction and every conceivable portion size – relentlessly filling American faces for decades. You’ve taken criticism on the chin, which was brave […]

Foodie Underground: Is it Artisan?

ColumnWhat does the word “artisan” actually mean? Artisan: the poster child word for the food movement. Slap “artisan” on something and you’ll immediately draw a crowd. Goat cheese or artisan goat cheese? Strawberry preserves or artisan strawberry preserves? Charcuterie plate or artisan charcuterie plate? You tell me which one sounds […]

‘Green Coal’ Company LoraxAg Names Itself After Seuss Character

First there was “clean coal”, now there’s “green coal” – though neither would gain the approval of the Lorax. But that hasn’t stopped a Massachusetts coal startup from calling themselves “LoraxAg“, after the beloved Dr. Seuss character. The coal-gasification company plans to make farm fertilizer from high-sulfur coal, which currently […]

Going Clear? Maybe Green Isn’t Enough for Businesses

Have you ever bought a product on impulse because of some vague claim like “green,” “natural” or “earth-friendly,” brought it home and found it’s not green at all? Not all companies are trying to deceive us, but with the lack of a unified standard for green labeling, it’s all too […]

Old Spice Fresher Collection Not a Walk in the Park

Old Spice has come out with a new men’s body care line said to rival nature. Yes, actual nature. Old Spice is at it again. Getting our attention by using something most of us can relate to, even when associated with personal care products: Humor. Remember “The Man Your Man Could […]

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Old Spice Fresher Collection Not a Walk in the Park

Old Spice has come out with a new men’s body care line said to rival nature. Yes, actual nature. Old Spice is at it again. Getting our attention by using something most of us can relate to, even when associated with personal care products: Humor. Remember “The Man Your Man Could […]

7 Clues To Tell if Your Garment is Really Sustainable: Eco Fashion Dissected

   Greenwashing is plenty common, from Tom’s Shoes to H&M’s Conscious Collection; companies take advantage of the fact that customers don’t take the time to research the supply chain of each brand, since ain’t nobody got time for that. There’s no equivalent to USDA organic certification for fashion, so how can you […]

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: 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 […]

Foodie Underground: Is it Artisan?

ColumnWhat does the word “artisan” actually mean? Artisan: the poster child word for the food movement. Slap “artisan” on something and you’ll immediately draw a crowd. Goat cheese or artisan goat cheese? Strawberry preserves or artisan strawberry preserves? Charcuterie plate or artisan charcuterie plate? You tell me which one sounds […]

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