Our 5 Pillars of Sustainable Sourcing

Sourcing Pillar

Materials and Ingredients

When we look for new products to add to EarthHero, we search for the most sustainable and “best-in-class” ingredients and materials in the category. After all, what makes a t-shirt sustainable is very different from what you look for in shampoo!

Primarily, we prioritize organically-grown materials and ingredients. From natural, renewable fibers in our apparel to plant-based ingredients without artificial fragrances or colors, chemical sunscreens, or petroleum-derived sulfates in our clean beauty category, you can shop confidently knowing that our products are gentle on both you and the planet.

When it makes sense, we do source synthetic materials for items like clothing, but any synthetic material on our site must be made from at least 70% recycled materials. From backpacks and workout leggings made from rpET to skateboards made from recovered fishing nets, we love giving new life to landfill-bound plastics.

We believe it’s deeply important that the materials and ingredients that our partners use preserve and protect the planet for future generations.

Brand Highlights

Terra Thread

Terra Thread’s commitment to sustainability and ethical practices starts in the field. Using exclusively Fairtrade America Certified Organic Cotton, Terra Thread ensures that their farmers have access to a safe working environment, gender equality, a living wage (plus a Fairtrade Premium), and much more. Terra Thread’s cotton is not only GMO-free but is also organically grown using practices that are conscious of the environment and safe for surrounding ecosystems.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen is a family- and employee-owned company that builds each product with love for people and planet. They use their business as a force for good and are always working to find new ways to reduce their environmental footprint as a brand. In 2022, they made the bold move to convert all their products to be certified 90% post-consumer recycled stainless steel. By making this change, they are able to reduce the impact each bottle has on the planet.

Earth Harbor

Earth Harbor offers personalized, synthetic-free skincare that checks all of the eco-boxes. With an ethical supply chain as the main focus, Earth Harbor sources each ingredient using fair trade, organic, non-GMO, or wildcrafted sources. Plus, each product is vegan and certified cruelty-free through Leaping Bunny.

Logos to Look For

Low Impact Dyes or Inks
Low impact dyes and inks can include vegetable, soy, or water-based alternatives and generally do not contain toxins such as heavy metals, plasticizers, flurocarbons, and fomaldehyde. They typically also use less water than conventional dyes and inks.

Low Impact Dyes or Inks

OEKO TEX
The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is a global independent certification system that regulates the use of harmful chemicals for yarns, fabrics, and finished textiles. Products with this certification meet rigorous environmentally friendly standards, as well as human-ecological health standards. OEKO-TEX® also creates standards based on the item’s proximity and sensitivity of the skin. For example, OEKO-TEX® holds baby clothing to a higher standard than an outer coat. For a product to earn this certification, all parts of the product must meet the criteria, including parts of clothing such as buttons, linings, threads, etc.

OEKO TEX

Paraben Free
Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives, commonly used in beauty products like shampoo, lotion, and deodorants. Parabens can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to hormonal disruption and reproductive problems. In studies of breast cancer patients, parabens have been found in the tissue of cancerous tumors. If you want to avoid Parabens in your beauty products, keep an eye out for methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben in the ingredients list.

Paraben Free

Phthalate Free
Phthalates are found in toys, electronics, personal care products, plastic wraps, containers, and more. These petroleum based chemicals help soften plastics, and bind fragrances to perfumes, deodorants, creams, and other personal care products. Phthalates are are not chemically bound, meaning they can easily get released into the air, water, or your body, just by using the products as intended. Phthalates have been found to disrupt the endocrine system, which can cause reproductive damage, hormonal imbalances, infertility, mood changes, metabolism changes, and more.

Phthalate Free

Sulfate Free
Sulfates are synthetic chemical ingredients commonly used in beauty products and household cleaners, like shampoos and dish soaps. You can usually identify sulfates in an ingredients list by looking out for the most common types: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLC) and Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLES). These chemicals, often derived from petroleum, are used to help form the “lather” we’re used to seeing in our beauty and cleaning products. When used in the shower or sink, these chemicals can flow through the pipes and into our waterways. Synthetic sulfates have been linked to allergic reactions, eye and skin irritation, and hair loss, and some studies suggest they contain carcinogenic ingredients.

Sulfate Free

Organic Content
Organic materials and ingredients are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, farm workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Choosing organic materials eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

Organic Content

USDA Certified Organic
Organic materials and ingredients are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, farm workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Choosing organic materials eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet! Products labeled as USDA certified organic contain ingredients that are produced without pesticides, petrochemicals, ionizing radiation, or synthetic preservetives. USDA certified products are categorized into three classifications. Items labeled as "100% Organic" with the USDA seal must only include organic ingredients. Items labeled as "Organic" with the USDA seal must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients, and cannot contain any of the USDA excluded methods or ingredients. Products labeled as "Made with Organic Ingredients" must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

USDA Certified Organic

GOTS Certified
The Global Organic Textile Standard is an international processing standard for organic fibers that covers everything from processing, packaging, and distributing organic fibers. GOTS certified products are labeled organic if they contain 95% or more certified organic fibers, and are labeled as "made with organic" if they contain at least 70% organic fibers. GOTS assures that textiles are produced with socially responsible labor and environmentally conscious manufacturing. Certified textiles must follow guidelines on chemical use, energy and water consumption, safety and living standards for employees, waste produced throughout the manufacture process, and more. Organic materials and ingredients are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, promoting a healthier use of land and decreasing harmful agricultural runoff. By steering clear of toxic chemicals, farm workers experience less exposure to hazardous conditions, promoting social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. Choosing organic materials eliminates the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals, promotes efficient resource use, and results in a safer products and a cleaner planet!

GOTS Certified

Recycled PET Fabric
Recycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and cleaning, sorting, and breaking it down into its basic form (such as fibers or pellets). This material is then used to produce new items. Recycling keeps useful materials from being discarded in landfills, prevents resource extraction due to the creation of new materials, and provides a new life for used items. Recycling can utilize both pre-consumer waste (materials left over from production) or post-consumer materials (used clothing, empty water bottles, etc). Recycled PET utilizes salvaged post-industrial PET scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers. These plastics are dried, crushed, and spun into yarn in order to create recycled PET fabric, or polyester. By providing a use for recycled plastics, companies encourage recycling programs worldwide, while adding new value to discarded items. Currently, over half of virgin PET production goes towards making textiles, so by utilizing recycled PET, post-consumer materials are both diverting waste while taking the place of raw materials. This helps to reduce the demand for the extraction of oil, as well as energy used to produce new synthetic fibers.

Recycled PET Fabric

Recycled Plastic
Recycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and cleaning, sorting, and breaking it down into its basic form (such as fibers or pellets). This material is then used to produce new items. Recycling keeps useful materials from being discarded in landfills, prevents resource extraction due to the creation of new materials, and provides a new life for used items. Recycling can utilize both pre-consumer waste (materials left over from production) or post-consumer materials (used clothing, empty water bottles, etc). Recycled plastic utilizes salvaged post-industrial plastic scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers, and transforms them into new products. The containers are sorted, crushed, and then heated to form resins, which are liquid plastics that can harden into new shapes. These resins can be molded and used to create anything from carpet to outdoor furniture. Recycling plastic lowers the amount of petroleum extracted and the production of greenhouse gasses associated with first-time plastic production. Plus, by using these existing materials, we're benefiting from the original energy and resources spent to create them in the first place, while diverting waste from the landfill.

Recycled Plastic

Recycled Content
Recycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and cleaning, sorting, and breaking it down into its basic form (such as fibers or pellets). This material is then used to produce new items. Recycling keeps useful materials from being discarded in landfills, prevents resource extraction due to the creation of new materials, and provides a new life for used items. Recycling can utilize both pre-consumer waste (materials left over from production) or post-consumer materials (used clothing, empty water bottles, etc).

Recycled Content

Sustainably Harvested Rubber
Natural rubber is harvested by tapping the Havea tree and collecting the sap. Sustainably harvested rubber comes from forests that are carefully managed to avoid over-tapping, ensuring healthy rubber trees for the future. Some sustainable rubber tree management prohibits clear cutting to plant rubber plantations, and ensures the livelihoods of native peoples and local workers.

Sustainably Harvested Rubber

Bamboo
As a member of the grass family, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. It requires no irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers to grow, and can be harvested within 3-5 years, as compared to approximately 30+ years for traditional hardwoods. Bamboo is extremely adaptable and produces more oxygen per acre than large tree species, while using a fraction of the water to grow. Its durable and lightweight qualities make bamboo a great alternative for hard wood products!

Bamboo

Wool
Wool is a natural and renewable resource that can be harvested annually from sheep. Sheep are relatively low impact animals, but can overgraze land if not raised properly. Wool production can also be insecticide and water intensive, but the finished yarn is absorbent and requires little dye during processing. Untreated wool is biodegradable.

Wool