When our co-founders started The Verticale, it was because they were overwhelmed by the conscious space, specifically the excess greenwashing. Having experience in the fashion and wellness industries, Jaclyn and Michelle stepped in with a goal to create a finite system that would connect consumers with truly conscious brands.
Today we’re looking specifically at what it takes for a brand to be considered “sustainable” by us because it is so much more than a buzzword. The issue with sustainability is that there aren’t many regulations or standards that hold brands accountable, allowing them to claim just about anything as sustainable. So, we’re changing that.
We worked with our sustainability expert and advisor Tabea Soriano, who was previously the Head of Product at Reformation, to create a strict set of sustainability guidelines. For us, those guidelines fall under two categories: Responsible Materials and Reducing Waste.
Brands qualify for the Responsible Materials value by using materials from environmentally responsible sources. We ask for certain standards and certificates that emphasize traceability such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Cotton, Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA), and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Viscose, among others.
Brands qualify for the Reducing Waste value by committing to the reduction of waste beyond packaging and shipping materials. Such as producing in small batches or using recycled materials. An example of a standard we ask for is the Glocal Recycled Standard (GRS) which indicates the quality of recycled material polyester.
Before a brand can join our family we ask for all this information along, making sure we get all the necessary reports and documentation– we definitely don’t take their word for it.
So having said all that, here are 9 brands that passed our sustainability standards with flying colors.
Reducing Waste: Soko makes the most out of their materials: (90%) recycled brass, recycled water during the silver’s electroplating process, local Mount Kenya clay for kazuri, horn, and bone reclaimed from the food industry, and wood pieces taken from unused sources.
MINI BOLD HOOP EARRINGS
The Standard Stitch
Responsible Materials: All garments are made with upcycled cotton or 100% organic cotton.
Reducing Waste: Standard Stitch is dedicated to non-fast fashion, producing garments meant to last. Packing is recyclable, compostable, and helps reduce plastic in landfills.
THE CLASSIC JOGGER
Reducing Waste: The core of bkr is to erase plastic water bottles from the planet. Ditch single-use plastics for their reusable glass water bottles, and work towards a plastic-free environment.
Responsible Materials: Graf Lantz’s products are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton and Merino Wool Felt, a naturally biodegradable fabric, which is exclusively sourced from mulesing-free farms in New Zealand, South Africa, South America, and Europe.
Reducing Waste: Graf Lantz produces their products in small batches and always repurposes leftover materials.
KAWABON TRAY SMALL – GRANITE
Reducing Waste: All of The Arrival’s garments are produced in small batches, in the form of limited collections and drops. Using GRS-certified polyester, they limit and repurpose waste from the fashion industry.
HAELO HOODIE – TERRA
Responsible Materials: All Caraway’s products are made with non-toxic materials and are free of Teflon®, PFOA, Heavy Metals, and PFA’s.
THE COOKWARE SET
Reducing Waste: Amass produces their products only in small batches and never lets leftovers go to waste.
BASILISK BREATH LOTION
Reducing Waste: Oxalis makes all of their products in small batches to reduce excess product waste.
WILDFLOWER CLAY MASK
Reducing Waste: W&P is focused on using leftover products and replacing single-use plastics (bags, utensils, water bottles, straws, etc), allowing for a stylish home and eco-friendly kitchen.
PORTER BAGS – FLAT BUNDLE