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  • Writer's pictureCassidy Drew

My Sustainability Matrix

I am sure you have seen the lists of most sustainable brands before but have you ever wondered how they have determined to make the brand sustainable? Sustainability has become such a buzzword. I try hard to choose brands that I believe are trying to change how business is being done - are they focusing on community issues, are they using more sustainable materials, do they have a "project" they are donating to? That journey is time-consuming and I have started creating different categories which I put brands into. The list below is the beginning of my breaking down those categories into more actionable categories and using questions to explain my thought process.

When I am doing research for a new item, I will then be able to give each category a rating. Then by combining each rating, there is an overall score for each brand. My goal is to create score charts for different industries (and subindustries) to help make better more informed decisions about what products I purchase in a much more actionable way.

Materials - are the materials more sustainable than conventional (Regenerative Organic Certified, recycled from Post Consumer Waste, is there a change in process that is less wasteful, what is the durability like, is the organization committed to making a quality item to last and is repairable).

Community - how does the brand engage with its immediate community (physical and online and are they transparent about it)?

Mission - what is the goal: does the org use awareness, and education, to help drive their purpose, are they trying to change the niche?

Inclusivity - do they represent a variety of people regardless of size, origin, etc (not as possible depending on the product type)?

Business/Production - does the org share about their production process, explain why things are the way they are, limitations of the industry, and what the organization is doing to combat things out of their control?

Transparency - are they open about development costs, and production conditions (ie wage/location), quick to apologize when things go wrong?

*The list is constantly being updated as I continue to refine the categories.

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