When you’re looking for a frictionless way to buy from businesses that support social justice, racial equity, and climate action — global issues that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated — several big retailers are adding more socially responsible products, making it easier for you to switch to a sustainable option. One prime example is Target, a general merchandise retailer with more than 1,900 locations and extensive reach: 75% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a store.
Target’s financial clout, topping more than $78 billion in annual sales, gives it purchasing power and influence — and it increasingly looks to create positive impact through the brands it partners with and the socially responsible products they bring to its shelves. For years this has included an emphasis on sustainability, through products made to minimize impact on people and the planet and in-store recycling kiosks for plastic bags and small electronics.
More recently, Target has increased its commitment to diversity and inclusion by expanding its offerings of products from Black-owned businesses and spending with Black-owned partner companies, with a goal of topping $2 billion by 2025, as well as adding more items from Latina- and Asian American-owned brands. The company also has reinforced its commitment to inclusion through support of the federal Equality Act that provides protections to LGBT individuals, and by encouraging customers and workers to use restrooms or fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity.
By bringing more on-trend products from diverse suppliers and sustainable manufacturers to its shelves, Target creates positive ripples: More people make planet-friendly shopping swaps, and Black-owned businesses connect with new customers, overcoming market and economic barriers. But Target also realizes the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion and joined others in the industry in signing a climate action charter to address sustainability concerns and carbon emissions, and explore the potential of circular business models.
The eight brands highlighted below offer socially responsible products at Target that build positive impact while boosting your style points or making it easier to keep your home clean and fresh.
Socially Responsible Products You Can Buy at Target
For every product sold, the company gives back through bar soaps, health, and hygiene initiatives in communities both domestically and around the globe. Track your impact with your Hope Code at soapboxsoaps.com/hope.
Soapbox products reach the everyday consumer with the mission to change the world through quality purchases.
Soapbox won NEXTY Editors’ “Choice Award” for Beauty and Natural Living in 2014, “Best Body Wash of the Year” at the 2014 Beauty & Body Awards by Delicious Living, Delicious Living Bathroom Staple 2015, and the “Sherbrooke Capital Entrepreneurship Award” in recognition of Excellence in Innovation. Soapbox’s co-founder was a finalist in 2015 for Entrepreneur of the Year and the company made the list of Most Entrepreneurial Companies, both sponsored by Entrepreneur Magazine. Lastly, the company is also a Game Changers 500 member and certified BCorp.
With its planet-friendly and design-driven home, fabric and personal care products, Method keeps you and your household looking fresh. The company’s San Francisco LEED-certified headquarters also is designed with the environment in mind, and it encourages employees to give back to their communities by giving them three paid days off each year to volunteer.
By developing plant-based cleaning products to protect the health of people and planet, Seventh Generation lives its mission to create a more sustainable and equitable world for the generations to come. The Certified B Corporation’s Thrive Agenda addresses the inequalities exposed by COVID-19 with a focus on creating jobs, averting climate catastrophe, and supporting hard-hit communities.
This skincare brand (with packaging that looks pretty enough to eat!) is committed to working toward a more sustainable future with less pollution and less waste. As a Leaping Bunny certified brand, Yes To does not test products on animals. Its products contain at least 95% natural ingredients (excluding water), and more than 90% of its formulas are vegan. Its SPF products are environmentally friendly and reef-safe.
Ditch the plastic by switching to these disposable products made with natural, renewable and sustainable resins and fibers that compost in a matter of months. Designed to minimize waste, the plates, bowls, bags, and other houseware items require less energy during their production process and contain natural additives that increase their strength and shatter
This Black-owned, Des Moines, Iowa-based specialty coffee and tea roastery and wholesaler donates 5% of profits to support local and national programs for at-risk youths. Add its light or medium roasts or beans to your morning brew options. As a Certified B Corporation, BLK & Bold also meets verified standards for its benefit to community, customers, workers, and the environment.
Made in Korea and inspired by the popular K-Beauty trend of layering serums, Sweet Chef offers a variety of veggie- and vitamin-packed skin care products. The vegan and Leaping Bunny certified line also incorporates sustainable practices, including recyclable packaging and plans to be Carbon Neutral certified by 2022.
After discovering how a grain-free diet reduced her autoimmune symptoms, Veronica Garza began making tortillas for her family — and they urged her to share them with others. Now, the family-owned business creates tortilla chips and dips and pursues its mission to impact the lives of underserved communities through education, entrepreneurship, and wellness. Their grain-free chips, taco shells, and dips work for those who are vegan or paleo.
Jasmin Foster founded Be Rooted so women of color could see themselves in a place they hadn’t been. Her journals and stickers encourage customers to celebrate their sense of self and explore their inner muse.
All images courtesy of Target.
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Susie has more than 25 years of experience in communications, primarily as an editor for national and regional magazines, online news sites, and newspapers. Now she shares the stories of purpose-driven businesses and organizations and finds inspiration daily from the people behind that work.