Shopping online for quality eco-friendly and charitable products can be a tedious task. Although search engines can be helpful, you’ll have your work cut out for you in filtering through a multitude of questionable products. In addition to that, trying to decipher whether something was made ethically, or if it’s been falsely advertised to appear “green”, can make your head spin.
To simplify conscious consumerism and bring transparency into the ecommerce space, we’ve developed the product footprint -- an online tagging system and sustainable impact report. Product footprints give sellers a way to share in-depth information, certifications, videos and photos behind the supply chains of their products. Product footprints also provide consumers the ability to conveniently shop according to their values - be it a vegan lifestyle, organic needs or a desire to give back to society and vote with their dollar.
Every seller on EcoHabitude abides by a minimum of two of the following footprints:
A “Biodegradable” product is one that contains materials that will break down, or decompose, into raw materials that are absorbed back into the environment. In a safe and relatively quick way, biodegradable materials generally decompose within six months -- from a solid biodegrading into soil, or a liquid biodegrading into water. As any material that comes from nature can return to nature, biodegradable materials are typically made up of plant-based, animal-based or mineral-based materials. Sellers using this tag claim that their product and/or packaging is biodegradable and will specify product certifications as well as an estimated time of biodegradation.
This tag may apply to such items as: household cleaning products, personal care items, packaging, fine foods, etc.
A “Conflict-Free” product is one that adheres to the ethical sourcing of diamonds and precious stones and metals. Sellers using this tag claim that their product and its materials were not obtained through mines nor companies that participate in violence, human rights abuses, child labor, or environmental destruction.This tag may apply to such items as: jewelry, accessories, etc.
A “Cruelty Free” product is one that is produced without harming animals. This means neither the finished product nor any of its ingredients were tested on animals. Sellers using this tag claim that their product was not tested on animals nor were animals harmed in the product’s production.
This tag may apply to such items as: personal care items, cosmetics, household cleaners, leather alternatives, etc.
A “Cultural Preservation” product is one that supports a culture and its community through the conservation of a unique skill set. An example of a product that supports cultural preservation might be a hand woven linen made by an artisan in India that preserves the aesthetic and technique of their ancient weaving culture. Sellers using this tag claim that their product maintains a cultural heritage and are required to disclose the region in which this culture is located as well as the skill that is being preserved.
This tag may apply to such items as: home goods, apparel, accessories, etc.
A “Fair Trade” product is one that adheres to fair trade principles between sellers and manufacturers. These principles include establishing direct, long-term relationships with suppliers; paying fair wages, as well as ensuring safe work conditions and no child labor. Sellers using this tag claim that their product adheres to fair trade principles and are asked to disclose the location of their producer as well as provide fair trade certification.
To learn more on how to become fair trade certified visit: Fairtradeusa.org
This tag may apply to such items as: apparel, crafts, jewelry, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, flowers, fresh fruit, fruit juice, herbs, nut and oil seed, quinoa, rice, seed cotton, shea butter, sport balls, sugar, tea, vanilla, wine grapes, etc.
A “Fibershed” product is one that has been completely produced within a geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. An example of this might be a dress that is made entirely within 150 mi radius-- from seed, to fiber, to processing, to design, to manufacturing, to finished product. Awareness of this bioregional designation engenders appreciation, connectivity, and sensitivity for the life-giving resources within our homelands. To learn more about the non-profit organization, Fibershed, or find producers near you, visit Fibershed.com.
This tag may apply to such items as: apparel, accessories, home goods, materials, yarns, buttons, fabric, etc.
A “Handmade” product is one that is made by hand rather than by a factory machine and is not mass-produced. Handmade products are generally produced in small batches. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is entirely handmade without the assistance of factory machinery.
This tag may apply to such items as: all products made by hand
Products with a low carbon footprint are more eco-friendly because their distribution and manufacturing does not significantly contribute to global warming. One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint as a consumer is to buy products that are locally sourced and made. Sellers using this tag claim that their product causes minimal environmental impact through either production and/or distribution.
A “Made in USA” product is one that’s materials, labor and/or finishing is entirely made in the United States. When using this tag, sellers will specify which parts and services are made in the United States. This tag helps indicate that products were made under fair working conditions and may minimize environmental impact by reducing shipping distance. Products with this label must also demonstrate eco-friendly characteristics.
This tag may apply to such items as: all products made in the USA
A product labeled as containing “Natural Materials” are those produced from plant, animal, mineral, metal, or other naturally derived materials. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is made with natural materials and are required to specify which parts of the product is made with natural materials and what those materials are. Examples of natural materials include cotton, wool, linen, hemp, bamboo, cork, metals, stone, clay, etc.
This tag may apply to such items as: jewelry, furniture, clothing, accessories, etc.
A “GMO Free” product or ingredient is one that has not been created in a laboratory using genetic modification and/or engineering techniques. Scientists have reported many health and environmental risks associated with ingredients or materials that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). A Non GMO product most likely contains natural and/or organic components that have not been altered by a synthetic material and/or process. Sellers using this tag claim that their product was not created using genetic modification.
This tag may apply to such items as: household cleaning products, personal care items, cosmetics, fine foods, etc.
A “Non-toxic” product is one that is free of harmful chemicals and/or ingredients that may commonly be used in that product. For example, non-toxic nail polish may be free of formaldehyde. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is free of potentially harmful chemicals and/or ingredients and are required to specify the product’s uses and how the product qualifies as non-toxic. Note: “Non toxic” does not mean a product is fit for consumption or use other than as specified.
This tag may apply to such items as: those products that are free of parabens, PVCs, BPAs, PFCs, pesticides, or fragrances, etc.
Products labeled “Organic” are made of at least 70% organic materials and may or may not be officially organic certified. Generally, organic products are those that are grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers and are free of antibiotics and hormones. These products are not genetically engineered and should be grown and harvested in a way that replenishes the soil it came from. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is organic and are required to disclose which materials or ingredients are organic as well as list any organic certifications obtained. Note: Some products are truly organic although not certified organic.
This tag may apply to items such as: all products meeting “organic” criteria
Products labeled “Profit sharing” denote to the business model of that product in which a donation is made to a community in need for every consumer purchase. Donations may be in the form of free products (ie. one 4 one), or other necessities such as clean water or funding education. Sellers using this tag claim that their products are committed to profit sharing and are required to specify the percentage of proceeds and/or number of products donated per purchase. Products with this tag must also have other eco-friendly characteristics.
This tag may apply to such items as: products produced by a business that participates in or manages a profit sharing program
“Recycled” products are those made up of materials that would have otherwise been disposed of as waste such as fabric scraps, newspapers, magazines, mason jars, aluminum cans or other recycled materials. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is made with recycled materials and are required to disclose the materials used.
This tag may apply to such items as: all products comprised of recycled materials
A “Sustainable Innovation” is one that takes the environment and society into consideration. It shifts the way we produce, process, distribute and/or consume products - creating new tools, materials and solutions for a cleaner future. An example of this might be using an innovative fiber, or material that is a by product of another industry, with the goal of harmonization and the reduction of waste. Additionally, sustainable innovation can be a technology that provides a more effective way of manufacturing or processing without damaging the environment. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is made using a sustainable material or process.
This tag may apply to such items as: home goods, apparel, tech products, etc.
Sweatshops are commonly characterized by low pay, poor working conditions, safety violations, and generally inhumane treatment of workers. Sellers using this tag claim that their product was not made in a sweatshop and are required to disclose where their product was made and by whom.
This tag may apply to such items as: shoes, apparel, rugs, ceramics, toys
“Upcycled” products are those that are made by taking an existing product and transforming it into something of greater or different use or value. Sellers using this tag claim that their product was made with an existing, rather than a new product, but put to new use. Sellers are required to disclose what part of the product is upcycled and from what.
This tag may apply to such items as: all products made using an existing finished product for a new or modified use
Sellers claiming their product to be “Vegan” abstain from using any animal-based products in their product’s design, materials and/or ingredients. Additionally, a vegan product is one that is most likely plant-based or utilizes a sustainable animal alternative (such as an environmentally friendly leather substitute). Vegan products are never tested on animals.
This tag may apply to items such as: household products, cosmetics, apparel, fine foods, furniture, etc.
“Vintage” refers to products that are not new but are collectibles in good condition, which may be valued for their design, rarity, or the fact that the product is no longer being produced as new. As a rule of thumb, items are considered vintage if they are at least 20 years old. Buying vintage items offers a new use for an older product, which is a form of reuse and recycling. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is not newly made and are required to specify the year in which the product was originally produced.
This tag may apply to items such as: housewares, apparel, jewelry, decor, etc.
“Wild Harvesting” is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural habitat for food, medicine, or other purposes. In most cases, only the flowers or branches are harvested and the plant is left alive. If the entire plant is removed, then seeds are placed in the resultant hole from which the plant was taken to grow a new plant. Sellers using this tag claim that their product is made with wild harvested material(s).
This tag may apply to such items as: herbs, personal care items containing wild harvested ingredients
“Zero Waste” design results in a product or material that is produced with minimal to no waste. This requires managing product development and processes to efficiently utilize materials and ingredients in a way that avoids any waste. If any waste is developed, it is diverted from the landfill by reuse. Zero Waste can apply to a product’s life cycle such as in cradle-to-cradle (c2c) design where a product is recycled into a new product at the end of its life. The absence of packaging in a product in addition to products available in reusable packaging or bulk also support the zero waste philosophy.
This tag may apply to such items as: apparel, accessories, goods with reusable packing, products available in bulk, etc
Please note that all product footprints are submitted by their respective seller. We encourage consumers who have questions about a seller’s sustainable impact to contact that seller directly. While Ecohabitude will do its best to respond to concerns of false labeling, and remove products where applicable, we unfortunately cannot guarantee the veracity of the labels nor can we warrant the quality of any of the products listed.If you would like to suggest a product footprint, please contact us at Support@Ecohabitude.com.