By Leona Lozanova
Every year, 700 million jugs of plastic laundry detergent bottles get used and then thrown away just in the US. Using detergent sheets is an excellent way to reduce that number. Spot Detergent Sheets aims to eliminate plastic waste by making the packaging entirely of cardboard.
I was really excited to try the products because they are very convenient and easy to use. All you have to do is put a half or full sheet in the machine with your load. They have a crease so they tear easily when needed.
Detergent sheets are also quite useful for traveling; They are lightweight, thin, and you do not have to worry about the detergent spilling. They will fit easily into your travel bag and not weigh you down.
By Sarah Lozanova
Baleaf Sports activewear brand is turning nine and is launching the #Havea9thdary Challenge. This month-long online sports theme is an opportunity to share in the joy of being active while also protecting the environment.
The company sent me a promotional pair of athletic shorts to try out last year that feature recycled fabric, and they’ve been a favorite ever since. I mostly use them for paddleboarding and kayaking because they are quick drying-drying and have a secure zippered pocket.
By Sarah Lozanova, Sustainability Writer
Fashion is one of the biggest industries globally, and there are more than 60 million workers in the clothing, footwear, leather, and textiles industry. The sheer scale of the apparel industry means it has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, working conditions, water quality, and resource consumption. But in recent years, numerous clothing companies have been sprouting up or shifting practices to embrace sustainability.
We reviewed many clothing companies to identify those using recycled materials, eliminating the use of toxic chemicals from their supply chains, minimizing packaging, and paying employees a living wage. Many companies are relatively young and were started with a vision of helping the world. Others have been in business for decades and are embracing greener practices.
It used to be difficult for the sustainably minded shopper to find a backpack or duffle bag made from recycled materials because most products were made from virgin fibers. Today, we have more options, including the Del Dia collection from Cotopaxi. These bags, made of repurposed fabric remnants, illustrate the company’s commendable approach to more sustainable outdoor gear.
Icebug makes it easy to be active in icy, slippery winter conditions with its traction footwear products, which include studded shoes and boots. I recently sampled a pair of the Stride Women's BUGrip hiking boots for an article I wrote on sustainable footwear. The boots feature 16 steel studs plus rubber soles that provide excellent stability on a variety of surfaces. Yet, these winter hiking boots are relatively lightweight and very warm.
I live in Midcoast Maine, where winter tends to be long and often very icy. Thus, hikers and even walkers often use traction cleats or crampons when needed that go over boots or shoes. However, this option doesn't provide the same stability that I find with the BUGgrip boots, where the studs are built into the outsole.
By Sarah Lozanova, Sustainability Writer
Every year, about 20 billion pairs of footwear are produced across the globe. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is known for pollution, an immense water and carbon footprint, and poor working conditions. However, a handful of footwear companies are creating fundamentally more sustainable products and inspiring corporate giving programs.
These innovative brands are taking actions such as opting for ocean freight over air freight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, partnering with BLOOM for algae-based EVA foot beds, and using recycled water bottles in their footwear materials. They are creating fashionable products using bio-based or recycled materials, reducing packaging waste, and paying a living wage to their workers. Let’s explore some of these footwear brands that are leaders in sustainable footwear.
One of the biggest hurdles in achieving a circular economy is finding high-quality uses for recycled plastic materials. But, increasingly, some clothing companies are stepping up and making products with a high percentage of recycled content.
Baleaf recently sent me a promotional pair of athletic shorts so I could try out this innovative product. They feature recycled polyester made from plastic bottles and recycled nylon from fishing nets. Such products create a market for recycled items, increasing the demand for recycling services, thus closing the recycling loop. I often wonder how much of my plastic waste is actually made into new useful products, which is why making high-value goods with recycled content is critical in creating market incentives.