Store Spotlight: EarthHero
This week, we’re honored to showcase the incredibly inspiring work of EarthHero, an online marketplace that makes sustainable shopping easy and accessible for all. We’re particularly excited about our new collaboration that allows you to shop for an array of Ecopiggy products among other trusted brands that are doing good for our planet. Below is a conversation with EarthHero’s passionate founder, Ryan Lewis, who truly relishes the natural beauty of Boulder, CO with his family.
1. What is the origin story of EarthHero?
I’ve always been passionate about the environment, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to leave the more traditional world of business and pursue my passion for environmental sustainability. I had worked in the e-commerce industry for two decades, and I wanted to infuse my knowledge of the industry with my desire to make a positive impact on our planet. I soon realized just how hard it was to find easily accessible, affordable sustainable products–without spending hours and hours researching brands. This inspired the concept of EarthHero: a one-stop shop for everything sustainable. Our mission was to make it easy to shop sustainably, offering an eco-friendly solution to the products we use every day.
From our launch in August of 2017 to now, EarthHero has grown to an online community of 100+ truly sustainable brands, with thousands of products that make living a sustainable lifestyle easier. I created EarthHero, well, because I wanted to shop there–and I hope our amazing community of Earth heroes feels the same way.
2. What are three important factors that you consider when selecting brands to feature on your store?
When it comes to selecting the brands and products that make it onto EarthHero, we vet them through a 5-step process we call our Methodology (because 3 factors just isn’t enough!) We start by looking at the Materials & Ingredients that go into a product, searching for non-toxic, renewable, earth-conscious materials that can be composted or recycled at the end of their life. Then, we look at Company Responsibility–what are the companies values? How does the company manufacture their products? We prioritize brands who use renewable energy to power their manufacturing plants, are certified B-Corps, or have met other third-party standards for sustainable production.
Our third step is looking at the “give-back” of a brand. Some brands dedicate time, removing 1 lb of plastic pollution for every product purchased, while others donate a portion of sales towards environmental causes. We not only work with charitable brands, but are committed to giving back ourselves–and are a proud member of both 1% for the Planet, and Carbonfund.org.
The fourth factor we consider is packaging–both product packaging, and shipping packaging. Plastic pollution is an increasingly serious issue, and we aim to work with brands that are utilizing non-plastic materials whenever possible. For products that do come in plastic, like some personal care products, we offer a take back program through TerraCycle–making it easy for our community to reduce the plastic in their home. Finally, after we go through all these steps, we look at what the product can do for the customer–something we call “Sustainable Lifestyle”. Does this product help our customer live a more sustainable, less wasteful lifestyle? These products often fall into the category of “reusables”–replacing single-use products like straws, water bottles, and plastic bags.
We do all this work prior to uploading any brand or product so that our community can feel confident about every purchase they make on EarthHero. We understand how much research is needed to ensure a company isn’t “greenwashing” their products–so we take on that responsibility.
3. How has EarthHero changed the online consumer shopping experience?
The classic online shopping experience has, in many ways, been shaped by platforms like Amazon. This usually means fast, global shipping–and an abundance of plastic packaging. It’s all about convenience for the customer–without consideration to the impacts of a particular purchase. Additionally, there is very little information around materials and manufacturing, with consumers relying mostly on customer reviews and photos to see if a product is right for them. The power is in the hands of the company, and can often be skewed.
We’re changing the online shopping experience by giving the power back to the consumer. We want them to have all the information we have, so they can make conscious decisions that work for their lifestyle. This boils down to our commitment to transparency in everything we do–something that the online e-commerce world often shies away from.
We’re also creating change through the way we ship our packages! By using plastic-free packing & shipping materials whenever possible, not Styrofoam packing peanuts or bubble wrap, we’re putting less waste out into the world. We reuse cardboard shipping boxes we receive from our brands, and implement zero waste office practices. Plus, we offset each shipment through Carbonfund.org–making us a carbon neutral company as well. We want our customers to feel empowered, and we are working to create an online shopping experience that puts their needs, and the needs of the planet, first.
4. Tell us about the Babylist Baby Registry featured on your site. What a great idea!
Being a parent is no easy feat–especially when you’re committed to being an eco-friendly parent. We wanted to make it easy for parents to find the products that work for their lifestyle and sustainability goals–and then share them with friends! From baby showers, to announcement parties, to just preparing the products you know you’ll need, Babylist Registry is a great way to share the earth-friendly products you want and need with friends and family. That way, parents can get you exactly what they need–without spending hours jumping from site to site looking for truly non-toxic products.
5. Do you have a favorite Ecopiggy product?
As a parent to two middle school boys, (that are almost taller than me now), it’s been some time. But, I have to say my favorite product is the Natural Face Paint. I’ve always loved getting creative with my kids, and this is an awesome way to enjoy all the fun of face paint–without worrying they’re going to be harmed by added chemicals or other toxins. I’m not as worried that they’re going to eat the paint… but toxins can also travel through skin, so I love knowing that this face paint won’t harm them in any way (and washes off without having to scrub all day!). Plus, it’s a lot of fun!