Containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW), amounting to 82.2 million tons of generation in 2018 (28.1 percent of total generation).
-the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
These numbers are staggering. Most packaging is created just for marketing purposes, so as soon as you open the package, it becomes waste. Of the 80+ million tons of packaging waste, 34 million tons is plastic, and only 9% gets recycled, leaving 91% of plastic ending up in our landfills, oceans, and waterways.
We know that as a small business or a single family, we can't solve it all. But, we surely can do our best to ensure that we keep as much out of the landfill as possible.
That's why at Simple Good we take packaging very seriously. While we are not perfect, we choose to carry makers that share our vision of a world with less plastic. The vendors you find on our shelves make an effort to ship plastic-free, or, they reuse packaging materials. We in turn reuse their packaging in our shipping and hope that our customers reuse, compost or recycle these materials as well.
You'll find that all our self-care is zero or low waste and is sold in recyclable, reusable containers (glass or aluminum). Our home goods are typically package free. Our baby goods are in cardboard packaging and our jewelry is sold in small reusable cotton pouches if required.
For full transparency, there are instances where clothing is shipped to us in polybags. Some makers choose to use compostable polybags which can be composted at special facilities. Any plastic we receive numbered 2 or 5 is recycled curbside and number 5 is taken to special recycling drop-off points.
In addition to reducing plastic, we favor cleaning products in bar form to save water. Water makes up 90% of most cleaning solutions you'll find in supermarkets and big box stores. Not only is the water in these products totally unnecessary, but the resources it takes to transport them are extensive. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions.
Our ever-expanding Refillery provides self-care and household cleaning supplies in bulk, package free. The Refillery provides another means by which we can reduce plastic by allowing our customers to bring their own containers and purchase only what they need by the ounce.
Any apparel we sell is cut to order and our brands have two seasons - that's it - two seasons! If you know anything about fast fashion, these brands can have literally hundreds of seasons. They produce new styles daily and throw out whatever doesn't sell which amounts to millions of tons of textiles winding up in the landfills each year. Simple Good also hosts regular clothing swaps where you can give your unwanted clothes a second life and get new-to-you clothes for free!
Being a sustainable business goes far beyond the products we sell. Sustainability is something that our team thinks about in our daily routines as we strive to find new and better ways to be less wasteful and kinder to the planet.
ABOUT OUR VENDORS
As passionate as we are about sustainability, we are equally proud of the makers you'll find on our shelves.
At Simple Good, every brand has been carefully curated. With more than 1200 products now in our inventory, this is no small feat! Countless hours have been spent finding these beautiful stories that deserve to be told.
In addition to sharing our passion for sustainable practices, our brands show dedication to their own social causes, so when you buy from us, you are supporting not only our small business but their small biz and the wonderful work they do to make their communities better.
Here are just a few of our favorites:
Nina Designs has been determined to create a company that had a positive impact on the world since 1983. This commitment informs every aspect of Nina Designs, from their dedication to fair trade, their micro-loan program, and efforts to care for the planet, to their carefully crafted company culture. Most of their jewelry is made from recycled silver. Their skilled artisans are a treasured part of their jewelry community and are treated with the respect they deserve.
Marley's Monsters launched in January of 2013 while owner and founder Sarah Dooley was on maternity leave awaiting the arrival of her first child, Marley. She always had a passion for craft and design and wanted to make Marley something special before she was born. So she pulled her dusty sewing machine out of the closet and created a stuffed monster doll out of fabric scraps she'd collected for years. Throughout cloth diapering and the baby years, she designed and developed many products, and learned what worked, and what didn't. Every recommendation or new product request from their customers has helped them to grow into what Marley's Monsters is today. All Marley's Monsters products are designed and crafted in Eugene, Oregon.
Queer Candle Company
I met Ab and Al, founders of Queer Candle Company, when I started Simple Good at the Artists and Fleas flea market in Brooklyn in 2019. They had come to my booth and bought so many zero waste products from me, I just had to go and check them out. At the time, I was making and selling my own candles, but from the moment I saw how their candles were artfully topped with homegrown petals and smelled their gorgeous fragrances I was absolutely hooked. I swore I'd never make candles again! Simple Good was the first retail location their candles were sold, and today Queer Candle Company can be found in hundreds of boutiques across the US. They are true advocates for LGBTQ rights and give back a whopping 10% of their profits to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project which works to "guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race."
At Simple Good, we are truly down to Earth. Although we are a business, we are trying to do things differently by putting people and our planet above profits. We take a consultative approach to retail, and only sell goods that have value. A lot of love and care goes into everything we do, and we hope you're able to stop in and let us show you how we live our version of sustainability.