Gift giving season is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we stop shopping, and I have just found my new favorite online store to shop at. Branch Home has a ton of great products for just about every need, home decor, toys, gadgets, kitchen, garden and more – but the best part is that its all sustainable. They are a bit different in that they filter all businesses and products for their sustainability, social responsibility, and green manufacturing process. When you shop there, you can be sure that what you are purchasing is well thought out and designed with the environment in mind all steps of the way. Sustainable can mean different things, especially with all the greenwashing out there these days, so here are the main criteria Branch used to determine a products sustainability:
1. The materials used must be environmentally responsible.
2. The manufacturing process must be ecologically sound.
3. The labor employed must be treated fairly and provided safe, healthy conditions in which to work.
Also used to make determinations are the materials (are they sustainable, renewable or recycled), energy used to manufacture the item, transportation of the item, the uses (not a disposable chotchky), and the disposal (readily recyclable, renewable).
If this store looks familiar, you may have seen them reference before in my last post where i featured a vintage belt floor mat from them. They carry some very unique items, many of them handmade in various regions like Nepal and Africa, and even some from San Francisco and Berkeley, CA. Each item has an in-depth description of where it was sourced, the renewable materials composing the product, and a bit about the manufacturing process.
Its not unlike purchacing organic foods in that you will pay a bit of a premium for many of the goods found in their store, but its usually for good reason. Handmade goods, and those sourced from non-standard sources can be limited and expensive. Somebody has to foot the bill for the process until it becomes more efficient with dependable suppliers and manufacturing process. Until then you should feel good about purchasing products that are making a difference, creating change, and if nothing else, are each unique and special.