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We LOVE these eco-friendly companies (and their female founders)

Posted by Jennifer Lewis on

What do luxury clothing brand Encircled, online swag distributor Ethical Swag and period products manufacturer Aisle have in common with Urban Spa? A lot! All four companies pride themselves on sustainability practices, are Certified B Corps. AND were founded by women inspired by a purpose. These women owned eco-friendly companies are making the world (and our planet) a better place. Here’s how.


Encircled / Kristi Soomer, Founder & CEO


Kristi Soomer founded her luxury clothing brand Encircled in 2012 with a commitment to create clothes that “look, feel and do good.” The rupture of an overpacked suitcase forced Kristi to pack a smaller bag and edit her wardrobe for a long overdue vacation, which got her thinking … What if she could create clothing that could be worn in multiple ways and significantly reduce the number of items she needed to pack? Even better, what if she could design beautiful, long-lasting clothes made with sustainable fabrics and manufacturing practices?


Kristi says, “Encircled was created to be the brand I couldn’t find.” Not only did she meet that objective, Kristi has succeeded in creating beautiful, versatile clothing and a company committed to sustainability and inclusiveness. You can learn more about Kristi and shop the Encircled line here.


Ethical Swag / Tara Milburn, Founder, President & CEO


During a recent podcast, Ethical Swag founder Tara Milburn shared her thoughts about green companies and her path to building a sustainable company to serve as a vehicle for change. An accomplished business executive, with decades of experience working with brands in professional sports and tech, Tara was inspired to launch her sustainable swag (logoed merchandise) company when a university she visited gave her swag that didn’t reflect its values or mission. Seeing a problem that needed to be solved, Milburn launched her company with a clear purpose, “Equity for All,” and a focus on people, the planet and profit.


Like many “put your money where your mouth is” eco-friendly companies, Ethical Swag has been audited to a global sustainability standard. Want to see your logo emblazoned on curated swag—apparel, bags, drinkware, tech, plants and seeds, wellness products and more—that reflects your values? You can shop for sustainable swag at Ethical Swag’s online store here.


Aisle / Madeleine Shaw, Co-founder


If you’re looking for “radically comfortable period products that work for you and the planet,” then Aisle (as in the Period Aisle) is for you. Frustrated by the “foreign, extractive and even toxic” tampons she was using—and the bladder infections that came with them—Madeleine Shaw happened upon washable, cloth menstrual pads that she redesigned into a more streamlined, comfortable, reusable product. If you ponder how many disposable tampons and pads we’ve all thrown in the trash, you know reusable period products check many sustainability boxes. Plus, Aisle’s period products have been third-party lab tested to meet the company’s high performance and environmental standards. Nearly 30 years later, Aisle hit a huge milestone in 2019—200 million disposables diverted!


Madeleine was inspired by her own frustration but ended up doing a whole lot of good for people and the planet. The company also strives for inclusivity, offering products for and featuring models of all sizes and ethnicities, and launching a boxer brief for transmasculine customers in 2016. Shop the period Aisle here.


Urban Spa / Jennifer Lewis, Owner and President


On the topic of women owned businesses and eco-friendly companies we love, Urban Spa and founder Jennifer Lewis is (of course) hold a place in our hearts. While we may be a bit prejudiced, Jennifer’s story falls in line with the ladies above. Seeing the plastic pollution strangling the ocean while sailing from the Bahamas to Florida left a mark on Jennifer. Years later when she was pregnant with her daughter, Jennifer was shocked by how many toxins were found in food and personal care products. These experiences, along with genetics (a minister mother and banker father) inspired Jennifer to create social change through business. Through Urban Spa, Jennifer made it Urban Spa’s mission to “empower consumers to eliminate plastic with high-performing natural products.”


With her all-natural haircare and beauty products and innovative, eco-friendly packaging initiatives, Jennifer lives and breathes her commitment to creating “Better beauty for a better planet.” You can shop Urban Spa’s online store here.

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