With the launch of our new organic cotton dish towels and bamboo dish brush, many people are asking why these newest additions to our product line are manufactured in the People’s Republic of China. (And it just so happens that when we were upgrading our wipes, we address similar questions – read that post here.) We respect that you’re savvy enough to care (we’d ask, too!) and appreciate the opportunity to explain and educate you about our decision-making process and what it all means. So, let’s get honest!
1. We believe in providing our customers with the very best. That’s why we carefully select premier manufacturing partners with pristine safety records, who not only have the capabilities to meticulously craft the exceptional products we create, but also share our vision of creating a better world. We’ve learned very quickly that having these very comprehensive, high standards means exploring within and beyond our borders to find best-in-class partners.
2. You may already know, but bamboo is an amazing natural resource that is one of the fastest growing grasses on Earth. It’s actually been clocked growing as fast as 47.6 inches in a 24-hour period. It’s naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. These features, along with the fact that it’s durable and biodegradable, made it an ideal choice for our dish brushes. There is an abundance of bamboo growing in China, as our bamboo is sourced on the managed farms/plantations in southern China. And, while some U.S. farmers are exploring bamboo as an agricultural product domestically, it’s actually an invasive plant species for the U.S. and could potentially harm local ecosystems. So, getting it from its natural, native source made the most sense to us.
Here are some great bamboo facts:
And quick tip: To keep your bamboo products looking beautiful avoid prolonged soaking and try applying a cooking oil every once in awhile to renew its luster.
3. While bamboo is great for hard products like our dish brush, the exhaustive processing it has to undergo to become a textile can be energy and chemical intensive—that’s why we opted for organic cotton for our dish towels. And, while we could certainly be manufacturing those in the U.S., it just so happened that the facility we chose for making the bamboo brushes was already equipped to do the towels too. We decided to streamline things and have the whole suite of products made by the same team because efficiency equals reductions in environmental impacts AND lower prices for you.
Moreover, if we were to make this domestically, they would be far more expensive (for us both), and while we take our commitment to local jobs and carbon emissions very seriously, at the end of the day, we have an equal commitment to ensure that these types of eco-friendly, healthy products aren’t prohibitively expensive for you. In this case, we decided that lower cost would mean greater access, and a larger overall environmental benefit from more people being able to purchase an organic towel versus one whose fibers were grown using pesticides. (Did you know conventionally grown cotton accounts for 25% of all agricultural pesticides used in the U.S.?)
4. As mentioned above, we ask A LOT from our partners. They, like us, have to go the extra mile when it comes to things like safety, sustainability, labor practices, and more. Our team on the ground in China is VERY hands-on to ensure every part of the process lives up to Honest standards. For example:
Also, they have a comprehensive audit system in place to closely monitor quality control, fair labor practices, health and safety, compensation and work hours, environmental impacts, and more.
The final piece of the puzzle we’re working on is fulfilling our own commitment to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint of importing goods that have to travel longer distances. To bridge that gap, we’re hard at work currently reviewing efforts for fully off-setting our impact…and we’ll keep you posted.
Is it the perfect system? No, but we don’t ever claim to be perfect — just to try our best to do things better. And, after weighing all of the attributes we are committed to (health, design, performance, affordability, and sustainability) and examining our options for manufacturing this product line, these partners and this process rose to the top as the obvious choice.
We don’t make any of these decisions lightly — our responsibility to you, your children, our children, and our children’s children is at the heart of everything we do and we take that very seriously.
Want to know anything else about these new products? Please let us know! And we promise to further demonstrate our commitment to deeply showcase our efforts and product innovation approach, and be utterly transparent.
Thank you for asking!
We love remembering special moments with family, friends, and the Honest community —which is why we want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with an Anna Bee jewelry giveaway. We’re sharing our love by giving one Honest friend this necklace that can be personalized to commemorate special dates near and dear to your heart.
To enter to win this handmade necklace, simply enter a comment by using the Rafflecopter entry form below telling us how you’re honestly celebrating Valentine’s Day. You also have the option (although not required) to earn two bonus entries by liking our Facebook page and subscribing to our blog. No purchase is necessary to enter to win. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents 18 years and older. The giveaway will run until 11:59 pm PST Wednesday, February 6th. One winner will be chosen at random. Read the complete giveaway rules here to participate.
And so everyone can enjoy Anna Bee jewelry, the company has sweetly offered the Honest community 20% off a purchase through February 11th at 11:59 pm PST when you use the code HONESTBEE.
Instagram combines creativity and community, allowing us to share visual inspiration for all aspects of our lives from food to family to fun. These 10 Instagrammers to follow in 2013 take stunning photographs of the everyday that tell great personal stories and spark our imagination. What Instagram accounts do you follow that we should too?
@bleubird. Miss James of Bleubird Blog captures the dreamy, fun, and delightfully messy state of childhood while showcasing her love for her family of six.
@designmomblog. Design Mom Gabrielle Blair invites you to take a peek into what it’s like to live abroad in France with children.
@girlsgonechild. Rebecca Woolf of Girls’ Gone Child is a self-taught photographer who doesn’t use any fancy camera equipment, but nevertheless snaps beyond beautiful pics that truly capture her kids’ individual personalities and sibling love for each other.
@kristinrogers. It’s good to be a kid. Photographer Kristin Rogers’s photos of her young family carry us back to the best of childhood, which includes dancing, imaginary play, and the occasional live chicken.
@mommasgonecity. Jessica Shyba of Momma’s Gone City shows what city living is like from a child’s point of view—one big adventure.
@ryanmarshall__. Blogger turned Instagrammer Ryan Marshall gives us a glimpse of his family’s adventures in Florida, their enviable home garden, and what life with Smith-Magenis Syndrome looks like for his son (not much is known about this syndrome so Ryan hopes to help others learn about it and find community).
@smallfryblog. The Small Fry Blog trio delivers the best of children’s lifestyle from fashion, to modern home design, to clever DIYs.
@taza. Love Taza | Rockstar Diaries blogger Naomi looks on the brighter side, sharing the joy she finds in food, family (including her a dog), and travel.
@yanpalmer. Photographer Yan Palmer’s shots are magic thanks to her dancing light and sweet children at play.
And see what Honest is up to by following @Honest!
We love a good conversation, so we turn to Twitter for news, education, and entertainment—and we appreciate that we can learn a lot from 140 characters thanks to these 10 tweeters to follow in 2013. What feeds are your favorites?
@designmilk. Get inspired by modern design. Design Milk thinks outside the traditional design box. Expect to see lots of fun designer features with a balance of eco-friendly elements.
@DrGreene. Pediatrician Alan Greene helps parents and kids thrive by sharing insight into childhood development, health, and living “green” to avoid harmful environmental exposures—all with a caring voice.
@GOOD. Good represents the true definition of the word community by asking questions and actively responding to followers. These LA neighbors share eco-friendly inspirations, including DIYs, tips, infographics, and more.
@HuffPostParents. Educational, informative, entertaining, and downright funny tweets about all things parent related—it’s the HuffPo way. Expect to see lots of adorable videos.
@mashable. Stay up to date on everything in the ad, tech, and social media worlds—especially because Mashable never misses an announcement or beat. They tackle tough subjects and link to their well-written opinion pieces, too.
@NickKristof. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof shares brilliant, critical thinking on life, society, culture, and food politics—all contributing to a great discussion.
@unhealthytruth. Robyn O’Brien—former analyst turned author, mother, and founder of AllergyKids—is dedicated to reforming (and restoring) the integrity of the food system and health policy by educating about and advocating for families’ health. She tweets facts and practical steps to keep us well. (Watch her Ted Talk, too!)
@WebMD. Timely food, health, and wellness news from one trusted source—WebMD’s feed is like the online equivalent of “an apple a day….”
@weelicious. Find great recipes that are as kid-friendly as they are healthy. Perfect for when you need on-the-spot inspiration at the grocery store.