10 Brands in the U.S. Working Towards a Plastic-Free Future
Various companies in the USA have introduced sustainable alternatives to everyday products using innovative technologies. Such as plastic-free laundry detergent, coffee makers, footwear, and even plastic-free water bottles — reducing single-use plastic waste.
Unlike other brands depending upon Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), these companies integrate zero waste into their brand's unique value proposition. Like Patagonia, sustainability is their essence, which is how their consumers recognise them. Even for a footwear brand like Po-Zu, the story is similar.
Chances are always high that consumers will purchase a product with a particular social or environmental cause. And to reach these consumers, many companies have shifted their attention and budget to influencers.
A motley collection of influencers promoting sustainability or eco-friendly products have the potential to create genuine interest in your brand. These influencers act as mavens in generating word of mouth and instilling trust. Influencer marketing platforms like affable.ai are equipping D2C brands to reach their target audience.
With the world observing plastic-free July, let's look at some of these purpose-driven brands and their unique concepts.
Unique plastic-free companies in the U.S.A
Founding Year: 2012
California-based Apeel's mission is to reduce plastic over-packaging and food waste. Apeel is a vegan powder made of all plant-derived materials like lipids and glycerolipids extracted from peels, seeds and pulp of fruits and vegetables.
Its coating on the fruits and vegetables locks the moisture inside and reduces oxidation. It helps to keep the product fresh two to three times longer. When mixed with water, the powder appears colourless, and it is odourless and tasteless.
Currently, Apeel avocados are available at major US grocery stores. The company initially started through a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But now, Apeel is developing products for dozens of USDA Organic certified and is regarded as safe by the FDA.
Founding Year: 2014
Allbirds uses plant-based leather made from eucalyptus fibre for footwear and apparel. Their SweetFoam is a shoe sole material made from plant-based leather. It uses castor oil for layering, and merino wool gives a cushiony, moisture-wicking, and odour-reducing sole.
The San Francisco -based company also mixes a certain proportion of recycled synthetic to strengthen natural material content. But the brand is innovating around new technologies to increase the performance and longevity of natural raw materials and become completely plastic-free.
Allbirds has teamed up with Adidas to create ultralight running shoes. As a part of their marketing strategy, they worked with lifestyle influencers and ran a campaign with actress Lindsay Lohan using their products.
Founding Year: 2012
JUSTWater, started by Drew FitzGerald and Jaden Smith, offers spring and flavoured water infused with lemon, watermelon, blackberry, and mint in a plant-based carton. Wondering how they can store water in a carton?
The company, headquartered in NewYork, sources plant-based plastics derived from sugarcane, soy and switchgrass to reduce the carbon footprint released using petroleum oil. Their cartons have 74% less carbon emissions than a plastic bottle of a similar size.
An aluminium layer within the interior of the packaging retains freshness and protects cartons. But as they claim, the coating is thinner than the width of a human hair and can recycle aluminium infinitely.
Going a step ahead, this plastic-free company uses biomass to power its production unit. And also use a scientific method called Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to gauge the environmental benefits of particular packaging.
Founding year: 1973
Save Our Home Planet is the mission of Ryan Gellert, Patagonia’s CEO as he tries to use his business to combat climate change. Outdoor clothing retailer, Patagonia, is vocal about environmental issues.
The company has partnered with Bureo, a California-based company that repurposes discarded fishing nets into NetPlus material.
Patagonia has used over 525 tons of plastic collected in fishing communities in South America to make hat brims, jackets and shorts. It has even replaced neoprene rubber with natural rubber to reduce the use of Petroleum-based oil in its wetsuits by 85%.
It also uses synthetic and natural fibres made from discarded clothes, limiting the dependence on raw materials and reducing carbon emissions. By 2025, the company plans to make its packaging 100% reusable, home compostable, renewable and easily recyclable.
Being in the industry for so long, the company knows how to engage its target audience. Patagonia works with influencers who are into outdoor activities to create brand awareness in some regions.