Brands Who Walk the Talk

Thanks to leaders who ascribe to a socially responsible philosophy, Santa Barbara’s business community is committed to sustainability. Whether they contribute one percent of their profits to the planet or have earned a green business certification to attest to their clean operations, supporting any of these Santa Barbara-based brands comes with a feel-good factor.

Deckers Brands is the multi-billion-dollar footwear and fashion lifestyle powerhouse behind Ugg, Hoka One One, Teva and Sanuk. The Goleta-headquartered company is committed to conducting business with the utmost respect for “universal principles around human rights, labor standards, responsible environmental practices and anti-corruption.” In addition to conservation volunteer efforts and charitable giving to environmental causes, Deckers’ operations are tailored to consume fewer natural resources and leave a lighter footprint. They pride themselves on continuing to innovate to reduce their environmental impact, be it implementing returned and post-consumer shoe repurposing partnerships or measuring the emissions of inbound and outbound shipping carriers. So, when you buy a pair of sandals, boots or sneakers from one of their lines, you’ll be championing the planet with your purchase.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Toad & Co. clothing brand. The organic men’s and women’s fashion line participates in global partnerships dedicated to cleaning up the apparel industry. Plus, they foster zero-waste relationships with their customers through reusable shipping pouches and a renewal workshop that extends the lifespan of clothing. How’s this for impressive? In 2018, Toad & Co reduced their emissions by 51 tons of CO2 (the equivalent of driving 150,000 miles) by using organic cotton, recycled fibers and other materials known for low-impact growing and clean manufacturing. Toad & Co has been named one of Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” seven years in a row and they are always giving back and doing good locally and globally.

Seavees is another laid-back lifestyle footwear brand headquartered in Santa Barbara. They donate one percent of all annual revenue to environmental causes in partnership with 1% For The Planet. This April, they are celebrating Earth Month by giving $5 from every purchase to one of three non-profits working to make a difference for the environment: Algalita (fighting plastic pollution), Santa Barbara Channelkeeper (protecting water resources) and SeaTrees (combatting climate change). Customers get to decide where their donation goes during the checkout process. It couldn’t be a better time to buy a pair of their classic men’s and women’s sneakers!

Sonos, of wireless sound system fame, is equally committed to ethical and sustainable practices. The Santa Barbara headquartered company manufactures one of the world’s leading smart speakers. Their passion for the planet rivals that of elevating the form and function of their sleek audio systems. Sonos designs products and packaging to minimize the environmental impact, from the amount of energy they consume to the materials that go into them and their ability to be recycled at end-of-life. They are also working towards using 100% renewable energy to power their global offices and retail stores as well as offset all air travel through carbon offsets. Given we are all spending a lot more time at home these days and streaming more content, it’s an ideal time to upgrade your home sound system.

Known for their healthy açai bowls, it’s no surprise that Backyard Bowls’ fast-casual mini-chain of eateries makes sustainability a priority. Since opening their first café in Santa Barbara, they’ve expanded to six locations in Santa Barbara County (downtown, La Cumbre and Goleta) and Los Angeles (Santa Monica, DTLA and Beverly Grove). The plant-based menu featuring organic and thoughtfully sourced ingredients has a very small footprint in general, and they minimize their operation’s impact in myriad other ways, earning them a Green Business Certification. Backyard Bowls is also a 100% clean energy company that’s powered by wind energy. You can order their bowls directly online for curbside pick-up and they are also on apps like Caviar and DoorDash.

Green Star Coffee is passionate about sourcing the best Certified Organic Fair Trade green coffee beans and fine teas from villages and importers that are “committed to fair trade and working towards better economic opportunity, improved environment and health for coffee farmers and their families.” In addition to being certified organic and fair trade, Green Star is a member of the Smithsonian Institute “Bird Friendly” Program and Rainforest Alliance. They also decaffeinate their coffee in the cleanest, chemical-free way using the SWISS WATER® Process. Their Goleta roastery remains open for pick-ups Monday through Friday and you can also order their Earth-friendly beans and teas online.

Riviera Towel Company is a local small business that specializes in colorful, stylish Turkish towels that can be used as scarves, wraps and beach towels. Their smaller hand towels are perfect for the kitchen or bathroom, too. Riviera Towel is on a mission to heal and protect the ocean, and they donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each towel to marine agencies like Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Channel Islands Park Foundation, Coral Restoration Foundation, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Surfrider Foundation, National Marine Sanctuaries, Wild Oceans and others. In total, five percent of their net profits go to such organizations fighting the good fight for Mother Earth. Check out their collections online and treat yourself (or a loved one!) to a chic new bath or beach accessory that comes with a soulful backstory.