Sustainable living is getting increasingly important in our world, and it is just as crucial to support brands that promote sustainability efforts. Companies can create impact by advancing economic, environmental and social sustainability factors. Check out the what these three Colorado-based small businesses are doing to be more eco-conscious.
1. THE SUSTAINABLE BABY CO. makes handcrafted nursing pillows and loungers for babies and toddlers. It operates fully out of a space that is under 1,200 square feet in Pagosa Springs. Founded in 2014 by Jamie Bowman, this company’s core principles have always been committed to sustainability, renewable products, biodegradable materials, regenerative organic farming, ethical practices and a social responsibility to give back. Materials are sourced locally when possible and the company uses zero-waste packaging. For every purchase, the company donates 3% of their sales profit to new mothers in need, birthing centers, midwives, doulas lactation consultants and hospitals. In 2021, they were able to donate over 100 pillows in the United States. Sustainable Baby Co. products are 100% free from chemicals and toxins. Textiles are made from hand-dyed botanical cotton, hemp and linen. Additionally, the Sustainable Baby Co. team recognizes that textile waste is a large issue worldwide. To combat their own fabric consumption, a portion of their scraps goes to the local quilt club and the rest to sustainable pet beds, along with donations to the humane society. thesustainablebabyco.com
2. SHERPANI in Boulder is an eco-friendly company that designs sustainable bags. Founders Ed and Maria Ruzic created Sherpani in 2002.
The name comes from the Nepalese word for a female Sherpa. Sherpas live on the high slopes of the Himalayas and guide adventurers on mountain expeditions. These bags are made with non-toxic materials and labor friendly practices, making them ethical. The factories are regularly certified by Elevate Limited, and they hold their vendors to strict codes of conduct. Sherpani also has an internal nonprofit organization6 called the Blue Verve Project. The project works to inspire individuals and organizations to eliminate ocean plastic pollution at the source by raising consciousness, providing educational resources and supporting meaningful action. They sponsor the Trash the Runway event that encourages middle school students to be resourceful and creative by producing clothing made 100% from recyclable trash. Sherpani’s primary mission is to empower women; however, their products can be enjoyed regardless of one’s gender identity. From purses and backpacks to luggage and tote-bags, Sherpani sells items built for style and functionality. sherpani.com
3. BAMBOOL THERMICS makes sustainable and environmentally conscious activewear. Founders Jessica and Craig Woods were inspired by a set of bamboo viscose bed sheets. After some experimentation, they emerged with a fabric made of a bamboo-Merino wool blend. Bamboo is more water-efficient than cotton and can be re-harvested without damage to the surroundings. Similar to the bamboo, Merino wool is a naturally renewable and self-sustaining textile as the wool of the sheep it comes from never stops growing. The bamboo viscose combined with Merino wool and elastane is perfect for people whose skin gets irritated from pure Merino wool and suits athletic pursuits. Every purchase made at Bambool will support local outdoor nonprofits. As a local business itself, Bambool is setting an example for showing encouragement of other businesses and engaging in their Vail Valley community. From baselayer leggings to cozy pullovers and neck gaiters, the Colorado-made outdoor clothing pieces are ready to be worn and loved. bamboolthermics.com
It is never too late to start purchasing items from sustainable brands! Keep in mind, these three local brands are just a few from Colorado. When you support a sustainable company, you also support causes they believe in. Think before you purchase, and do your research on what goes into making the products you are buying.
Originally published in Winter + Spring 2022-23 issue.