Amazon Moves Towards Conscious Consumption With Its Aware Launch

While the notion of lower-impact shopping habits and Amazon may not go hand-in-hand for most consumers, we know from experience that the endless e-tailer is nothing if not full of surprises — and the latest hidden gem to emerge from its virtual depths deserves much more hype than its viral-status pink stuff. As of yesterday, Amazon launched Aware: a massive multi-category shop containing carbon-neutral goods with certifications from third-party environmental agencies and industry watchdogs from OEKO-TEX to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Recycled Standard. In addition to a selection of Amazon’s signature fashion essentials for men and women, the new storefront also offers bedding, bath linens, beauty, skin-care products, along with a collection of cleaning and paper goods — all of which customers can shop through the easily navigable landing pages organized by organic and/or recycled materials.

While the best way to reduce our collective environmental impact is to buy less stuff, there's no denying Amazon’s massive size and purchasing power for legions of consumers across the globe — meaning any small step towards sustainability is a noticeable one. “We are committed to creating programs that contribute toward a more sustainable future,” Amazon’s vice president of private brands, Matt Taddy, expressed in a press release. Taddy describes Amazon Aware as “another step that continues in our commitment to test, learn, and innovate, while offering low-priced, everyday essentials to our customers, all with third-party certifications featured in our Climate Pledge Friendly program.” According to the retailer, the carbon footprint of each product is calculated by ClimatePartner (an external certifier) and “covers emissions from [a product’s] materials, production, distribution, and end-of-life." (For anyone who’s not clear on the exact promise behind the carbon-neutral qualifier: Amazon Aware’s FAQ section provides an additional level of insight.)

Below, discover a few product highlights from the virtual behemoth's refreshing assortment — including the likes of a recycled-polyester sherpa shacket and a milky avocado-oil face cleanser that already has reviewers raving.

Jersey Ruched Dress, $36.10

Amazon’s array of “aware” apparel is populated with easy, inoffensively-hued separates that recall the monochromatic, gender-neutral offerings of its buzzier fashion brethren. This assortment boasts a group of what the retailer is calling “perfect basics” — tees and tanks in Organic Content Standard-certified materials like organic cotton and modal — along with organic cotton loungewear, dresses made from renewable Tencel, and denim blended with both recycled cotton and polyester. The inclusive size range extends from XXS to 7X (with denim clocking in from sizes 0 - 40).

100% Organic Cotton Duvet Cover Set, $64.99

A harmonious blend of gray and blush pink round out Amazon Aware’s organic cotton bed and bath offerings, all of which are vetted by OEKO-TEX — the Zurich-based environmental group that tests for harmful substances in apparel and household goods. Each product comes with the agency’s Made in Green certification, indicating a reduced environmental impact and socially responsible manufacturing conditions.

Hydrating Face Cleanser With Avocado and Sandalwood Oils, $16.99

The retailer’s beauty efforts consist of a tightly edited skin-care cluster, formulated with workhorse natural ingredients like vitamin C, avocado oil, and shea butter, along with extracts of arnica and calendula. In an effort to reduce the presence of single-use plastics, the pared-down packaging is fabricated primarily with aluminum and glass. (There are also plastic-free refill bottles available for purchase.) Amazon has ensured that the products are free of “chemicals of concern,” a list of potentially toxic ingredients classified by the Environmental Working Group.
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