Published on October 23, 2019

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Courtesy of Goodee

In 2007, Montreal brothers Byron and Dexter Peart founded WANT Les Essentiels—a fashion brand focused on timeless leather goods that are now sold everywhere from Shopbop to Mr. Porter. Ten years later, the duo was getting increasingly frustrated with the industry’s trend-driven throwaway culture and profit-first mentality. 

They knew there was more to be done. “It started with us writing down these three statements on a whiteboard: good people, good design, good impact,” says Dexter. Those six simple words became the mission of their new online shop, Goodee, and inform which brands they source, the collections they design, and the stories they tell with them. Today, the website is filled with playful terrazzo-esque recycled chairs, graphic pillows sewn in Kenya, and rainbow chandeliers made from plastic bottles.

“We strongly believe that most people are good-spirited and well-intentioned,” explains Dexter. “However, we tend to find conversations of sustainability overwhelming and daunting.” With Goodee, they’re looking to change that. Inspired by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, every single item on the site is labeled and graded on various sustainablility factors: poverty reduction, gender advocacy, recycled materials, the list goes on. It’s never been easier to find products that align with the causes you’re passionate about. Here are a few to get you started.

The Cause: Supporting Marginalized Communities

Goodee’s line of pillows is made in Africa in collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, the United Nations’s fair trade division. Woven from striped Burkinabe and Malian textiles by a weaving cooperative in Burkina Faso and sewn in Kenya, each pillow empowers people around the continent. And that’s not all. The organic cotton filling comes from Cece’s Wool, a nonprofit that helps those with developmental disabilities find jobs, training,  and other services.

The Cause: Community Engagement

Colombian artisans displaced by guerrilla warfare choose every color and pattern that goes into these massive 12-pendant light fixtures. Psst: The shades are woven from recycled plastic bottles.

The Cause: Recycled Materials

Ecobirdy is dedicated to making children’s furniture a little more sustainable with its chairs crafted from ecothylene, recycled plastic that’s been sorted by color to create a vibrant, speckled effect.

The Cause: Carbon Reduction

When you combine the rich traditions of American artisanal weaving and energy-efficient methods for production and consumption, you get Viso’s blankets. Each is made entirely in the U.S., getting the company as close to its net-zero carbon goals as possible.

The Cause: Gender Advocacy

There’s more to this natural deodorant than good-for-you ingredients (think: rosemary, tea tree, and beeswax) and pretty packaging. Canadian company Nala, founded by a mother-daughter duo, makes a point to encourage female leadership and provide a safe, equitable work environment for all of its employees.

The Cause: Natural Materials

Crafted by Mexican artisans from soft, pliable palm, this color-blocked hamper offers plenty of space to hold your laundry without using any harmful finishes. 

The Cause: Circular Economy

Artist Agne Kucerenkaite’s Ignorance Is Bliss ceramics are peak eco-friendly. She aims to make the most of every material to create less waste. Fun fact: Instead of traditional dyes, she repurposes industrial metal waste. (Not to worry, the products are tested for food safety!)

The Cause: Water Conservancy

Bear’s Protect supplements harness the power of natural ingredients to help you stand up to the most stubborn of colds (crucial with flu season fast approaching), all the while using water-preservation techniques to reduce their ecological footprint.

The Cause: Poverty Reduction

Aptly named the Wonderland rug, this handwoven wool textile will add a playful touch to your home while supporting communities in Turkey by ensuring a living wage for the artisans and providing opportunities for acceleration, professional development, and leadership.

The Cause: Corporate Reporting

Inspired by the ancient Greek-Egyptian tradition of craftsmanship, Skagerak (the brand behind this terracotta flowerpot) is also committed to carbon reduction, using natural materials, and updating the public annually on its progress. 

That’s something to feel good about.

Discover more ways to be more sustainable:
Could You Go Trash-Free for 24 Hours?
The Best DIY Household Cleaners Include This Ingredient
Branch Basics Cofounder Kelly Love’s Guide to an All-Natural Pregnancy

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