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Sustainable Substitutions in Capitalism

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SPU chapter.

As a college student who is part of the next generation of leaders, I often hear conversations surrounding climate change issues and how we are hurting the Earth with many of our simple lifestyle choices. Solutions that are thrown around can seem unattainable and unrealistic for the average person, which begs the question of how can one help at a simpler level than buying electric cars and having solar panels power their home? 

A great first step to being part of the solution is educating yourself. To do so, I have come up with a few different company substitutions for our daily consumption that all have models of sustainability and clear goals listed on their websites. Just having these company’s names in the back of our minds can help us choose to support organizations that have similar global aspirations that we do. 

  1. Clif Bars (Protein Bars)

Clif Bars are a well-known name in the Pacific Northwest as a protein bar company. What you may not have known is that they use organic and sustainable ingredients, use green power for their facilities, and they divert their waste from landfills. Check out more on their “Who We Are” section of their website!

Clif Bar’s 5 Aspirations | Clif Bar

  1. Vital Farms (Dairy)

With pesticides having a huge impact on the health of our land, Vital Farms is a dairy company that believes in a pasture rotation that doesn’t use pesticides in their pastures. They have many goals and results from past years on how they’ve been a sustainable company!

About Ethically Produced Food | Vital Farms Eggs & Butter

Impact – Vital Farms

  1. Ethique (Shampoo)

Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars pride themselves on their ecological impact with their sustainable products and packaging, saving lots of plastic shampoo bottles from harming our waters and land. 

Better for the planet (ethique.com)

  1. Patagonia (Outdoor Gear)

If you are an outdoorsy person, chances are you’ve heard of Patagonia and may even have your own items from them. Patagonia is a prime example of a company with the climate in mind, acting against drilling for oil and having lots of resources available on their website for how to help against these climate issues. 

Environmental Activism – Patagonia

  1. Eileen Fisher (Clothes)

Fast-fashion is nothing new to the world of consumerism, especially with short-lived fashion trends that lead to inevitable waste. While I always recommend thrifting as an amazing economic choice, there are clothing companies that have goals towards becoming sustainable. Eileen Fisher is one of the few that has a model for clothing designing that involves sustainable fabrics that can be recycled if discarded. 

First Life: Sustainably Designed Clothing | Eileen Fisher | EILEEN FISHER

  1. Nisolo (Shoes)

Nisolo shoes are a climate neutral certified organization that have sustainability fact labels on all of their products for the customer!

Nisolo Shoes | Sustainability

  1. Athleta (Athletic Wear)

Athleta is a popular athletic clothes brand part of the bigger corporation of GAP. Both companies are certified in using materials that are more responsible compared to other materials. 

Sustainability Standards | Athleta (gap.com)

  1. Chipotle (Fast-Food)

This one is a personal favorite of mine. Famously on their takeout bags, they will have 53 easy to pronounce (meaning fresh and not as artificial) ingredients listed that make up ALL their different food items, which aligns with their values on saving the planet, especially with their sustainable packaging.

Our Values (chipotle.com)

  1. Ilia Beauty (Cosmetics) 

Ilia Beauty is a makeup brand that has goals in donating to reforestation efforts with a partnership with One Tree Planted. They have tons of information on their website about their efforts and how we can get involved besides supporting their business. 

1 Percent for the Planet | ILIA Beauty

I’ve found so much inspiration from all this research into why companies achieve sustainability and feel inspired to do my part by switching to more sustainable options in my daily life. There are tons of other ways to help too, I thoroughly encourage others to do research into good habits to get into to help reduce our carbon footprint.


10 Sustainable Food Companies to Support in 2023 | Earth.Org

Eat For The Earth With 13 Sustainable Food Brands (sustainablejungle.com)

13 Zero Waste Shampoo & Conditioners For A Plastic Free Do (sustainablejungle.com)

13 Best Sustainable Clothing Manufacturers In The USA (thecleverbusiness.com)

15 best sustainable clothing brands to shop in 2024 | CNN Underscored

10 Fast Food Restaurants with Sustainability Goals [2024] (rd.com)

Karissa Brown is a first-year new author and is very excited to be a part of Her Campus! She is currently dual majoring in Political Science and Liberal Arts at Seattle Pacific University. She has loved writing and researching since she was little and writing her own stories. Along with Her Campus, she is part of the SPU Sustainability Club and the Urban Involvement Club which help her learn more about our ever-growing world. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, crafting, walking, writing, exploring and trying new things!