Convenient, quick, and simple - Amazon shopping has taken hold of society in recent years. With a wide variety of products in every category, it is easy to understand the popularity of the service. But when it comes to making conscious and sustainable purchases, shopping at Amazon is a poor choice.
In 2019, Amazon was responsible for generating 465 million pounds of plastic waste. Not to mention, Amazon's carbon footprint increased by 15% in 2019, making its total CO2 emissions greater than that of the entire country of Norway. With so many small businesses taking their products online, it can be just as easy to make a simple, fast, and sustainable purchase this holiday season. Read below for sustainable Amazon alternatives for nearly everything.
Amazon has become known recently across platforms like Instagram, and TikTok for their affordable fashion finds. These clothing products can be counterfeit, cheaply made, and, most importantly, toxic for the environment. Some sustainable and higher-quality alternatives include:
WearWell- This women-led retailer offers women's clothing, jewelry, menstrual products, and home goods. WearWell is highly conscious of its environmental impact and has a strict vetting process for potential suppliers and partners. With a second-hand purchasing option, WearWell allows customers to buy used products at a lower cost.
Toad&Co- This clothing company for men's and women's fashion holds its suppliers to a restricted materials list to ensure all textiles are sustainably sourced. Toad&Co also commits to using organic cotton, recycled fibers, and reusable packaging.
Galerie. LA- A black-owned, online marketplace based out of California to source fashion products, including women's and men's apparel, accessories, jewelry, shoes, and beauty. Galerie.LA scouts ethical and sustainable designers for their team and aims to improve the social and environmental impact of fashion.
With the holiday season approaching, it's easy to turn to Amazon for quick delivery of children's toys. But with the heavy use of plastic, excessive packaging, and unreliable product quality, it may be better to source your toys from one of these businesses this holiday season.
Odin Parker- Opting to use wood instead of plastic, these heirloom-quality toys are built to last a lifetime and don't require batteries. Odin Parker is perfect for a variety of ages and interests, and every purchase contributes to The Children's Hunger Fund.
Acorn Toy Shop- Another small business focused around wooden, heirloom quality toys, Acorn has stated they are committed to using sustainable practices and paying their employees a living wage. Shopping in person is also available in Brooklyn, NY. With products such as sustainable wooden toys, nursery items, and Waldorf dolls, Acorn has products for children of a variety of ages and interests.
Norman and Jules- Beautifully handcrafted pieces, eco-friendly materials, and an emphasis on children's safety, Norman and Jules is a one-of-a-kind children's store. They have a variety of products, including toys, books, clothing, and accessories. With so many products to choose from, this online shop will do more than fill your Amazon craving!
Everybody wants their home to reflect their ideal image. It can be tempting to find furniture, art, and decorative pieces at affordable rates on Amazon. However, when it comes to art, there are so many small businesses pouring their hearts into their work while maintaining eco-friendly standards. As an intentional and sustainable consumer, consider the following Amazon alternatives for home decor.
VivaTerra- With a large variety of ethical home decor pieces, sustainable sofas, and throw pillows, VivaTerra is inspired by green living. VivaTerra uses materials, including natural rocks, ceramic clay, glass, woven elephant grass, recycled metal, reclaimed or responsibly sourced woods, and easily recyclable metals like iron and brass.
Parachute- This minimalist, sustainable home decor company prioritizes the use of natural materials, such as cotton, linen, and wool, in their pieces. And in addition to their emphasis on naturally sourced materials, Parachute also uses up to 80% recycled shipping mailers.
Loomy- With beautiful statement vintage, vegan, indoor/outdoor, pet-friendly, performance, and natural rugs, Loomy prioritizes natural and recycled materials without sacrificing on style. Loomy rugs are built to last and are highly recyclable.
With so many Amazon household products using greenwashing tactics to reel in environmentally conscious consumers, it can be difficult to trust that a product is really as sustainable as it claims. Regardless, Amazon uses various planes and fleet vehicles to guarantee their Prime two-day shipping, which contributes to their drastically high levels of CO2 emissions. Shopping from these small businesses is a more reliable way to ensure your household essentials are sustainable.
Zero Waste Store- A highly efficient way to ensure your household products are sustainable is to source your goods from a zero waste store. Zero Waste Store is a plastic-free online shop that prioritizes meeting your needs for household essentials, such as cleaners and creating no waste.
Branch Basics- A women-led household shop that focuses on multi-use concentrated cleaners to reduce waste associated with standard household cleaners. Branch Basics uses attractive, highly giftable glass bottles to create a product that is both sustainable and visually pleasing.
Papaya Reusables- Instead of continuing to buy paper towels and sponges that will end up in landfills or cheap dishrags from Amazon that require frequent washes, Papaya Reusables is centered around an absorbent, multi-functional, and compostable product that can replace all of those items. Papaya Reusables comes in attractive prints that can be reused over and over again.
Although shopping at ethical small businesses is a wonderful option for those seeking a more sustainable retailer than Amazon, there is no better way to reduce the high demand for product manufacturing (and the waste that comes with it) than sourcing your goods second-hand. And thanks to these online second-hand marketplaces, thrifting your items is now easier than sorting through thrift store racks or flea market tables.
ThredUp- An online thrift store to find affordable, sustainable pieces of women's and children's clothing. ThredUp pieces include photos and accurate descriptions of a product's condition to ensure their customers are not buying heavily stained or worn-out pieces.
eBay- You can find just about anything on eBay! eBay is a simple and efficient way to find a variety of used products, including clothing, accessories, furniture, electronics, and more.
Etsy- Also known for original artisan sellers, Etsy has a variety of artists who upcycle old pieces of furniture or decor. You can also find resellers of vintage used clothing on Etsy.