Whenever you're making purchasing choices, you rely on a set of criteria to decide between this product or that one; this company or the other. A lot of the time, the main criteria may well be the price of the product you're looking to buy, but sometimes, you may have a little wiggle room to support a company whose mission you really, truly believe in. These seven eco-friendly companies also have the added benefit of a feminist mission — so if you're looking for new places to support, look no further. Fortunately, from underwear to cosmetics, laundry to beer, there are companies that produce eco-friendly products and support women's rights to boot.
The tie between ecology and feminism isn't super complicated. The entire movement of ecofeminism was founded to highlight how the two can be informed by each other. To quote Professor Mary Mellor, "ecofeminism is a movement that sees a connection between the exploitation and degradation of the natural world and the subordination and oppression of women[...] Ecofeminism brings together elements of the feminist and green movements, while at the same time offering a challenge to both." And these businesses have big eco-feminist points to their names, like having women in charge, environmentally friendly products and practices, or structures that give back to communities and women in need.
1. MADI Lingerie
MADI lingerie was founded by a woman who discovered that underwear is the most-needed item at domestic violence shelters around the US. Her line matches every sale of bamboo underwear with a donation to women in need in America. It also empowers female workers in Kansas, where the brand is manufactured using lace made in the U.S. Intimates start from $33 and include bras and dressing gowns.
2. My Sister
All of My Sister's tee shirts are made using ethically sourced, environmentally friendly products and materials, their slogans make a statement against sex trafficking, and the sale of the tees funds charity partners who fight exploitation of women the world over. Profits also go to aftercare programs for women who've escaped trafficking, and thus far, according to their website, they've funded 3,431 hours of survivor employment.
3. New Belgium Brewery
Yes, craft beer can be feminist AND make a positive environmental impact. New Belgium is the U.S.'s first wind-powered brewery, focussing heavily on making its brews eco-friendly as well as tasty. It diverts 99.9 percent of its waste, and is known for focusing on its feminist hiring credentials and outreach practices in the past 10 years.
4. This is L
Tampons and period waste can be a big environmental problem, which is why feminine hygiene products are an area where eco-friendliness is blooming. And companies like This Is L. are also involving feminist principles in their ethical approach. Their tampons are ethically and organically made, and Talia Frenkel, the founder, works with organisations across the developing world to match every L. product purchase with a donation to a girl or women in need. L.'s products include tampons, pads and condoms, which can make a huge difference to women's chances to get education and take control of their reproductive health.
Enrou is a marketplace for artisans the world over, many of them women who are getting economic empowerment from their skills. Not only do the two founders source skilled workers all over the world, though, they also partner with organizations to help with development initiatives in the areas their artisans live. The company estimates that it's created over 41,000 hours of "dignified" work around the world since its launch.
6. The Simply Co.
The Simply Co. is the brainchild of Lauren Singer, who progressed from zero-waste blogging (she's the woman behind eco-friendly blog Trash Is For Tossers) to developing a business idea: a green laundry detergent that could reduce rubbish. She produces The Simply Co. laundry detergent with small amounts of sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free soap, baking soda, and washing soda. That's it.
7. Dulse & Rugosa
Claire and Carly Weinberg are the mother-daughter duo behind Dulse & Rugosa, and they source all their ingredients themselves on the remote Gotts Island, off the coast of Maine, which is powered solely by solar panels. The botanicals are as eco-friendly as you can get, combining local seaweeds and flowers, and the beauty products span everything from facial masks to hair and skin creams. Definitely a secret-weapon kind of business that will make all your friends jealous.