Building to Better from the Ground Up: A Conversation with Dr. Bronner's

| By Guest Post
Dr. Bronner's is known for their iconic labels and socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality--including products made through regenerative practices. This Earth Month, we’re asking Astarae Metcalf, Dr. Bronner’s Senior Marketing Manager, about all things greenwashing, transparency, and what to look for when shopping regeneratively.
Building to Better from the Ground Up: A Conversation with Dr. Bronner's

What words first come to mind when you think of greenwashing?

Astarae:  Meaningless marketing claims; lack of integrity, transparency, and accountability; or lacking foundational knowledge and/or authentic care of the issues.

 

How do you do your best to provide transparent sustainability information to your customers? 

Astarae: Dr.  Bronner’s labels are the first place to look for our commitment to transparency and sustainability. Here you will find only the highest quality pronounceable plant-based, vitamin, mineral, and saponifying ingredients certified to the highest standards. What are saponifying ingredients? These are strong alkalis, or compounds with a very high pH, that are used to make soap, and none remain after the saponifying process

Dr. Bronner’s believes that sustainability goes beyond what we make, to include how we make it, and how we treat the people and places all along the way. Our annual All-One Report and All-One Blog are both resources that tell these stories through narrative and statistical frames. The All-One Report breaks out our environmental footprint, agricultural and fair trade impact, financial stewardship and charitable giving, employee and compensation statistics, B Impact Score, and so much more. The All-One Blog dives deeper into individual stories and the causes Dr. Bronner’s gets behind.

 

What does "regenerative" mean in layman’s terms and how does it play a part in your mission and business?

Astarae: “Regenerative” describes the outcome of actions that restore systems to a healthy, balanced, thriving state - unlike “sustainable”, which describes actions that maintain the current status of a system. Exploitative industrial practices have long been degrading our water, soil, and ecosystems. To be only “sustainable” means to accept our ailing environment without making improvements that aid in the healing of land, air, water, and the more-than-human kin who cohabitate within these systems. This is why regeneration is so important to Dr. Bronner’s. It’s time we work together to give back to the Earth, people, and places from where our goods come–to support the healing of broken systems and act in reciprocity. 

To Dr. Bronner’s, “regenerative” drives the way we do business. We are working with our farmer partners to implement regenerative organic agricultural practices around the world. We are working with our producers to ensure fair and regenerative trading relationships. We evaluate ourselves to ensure we continuously improve at doing right by our customers and treating employees like family. And we are involved in our communities at home and abroad to fight for social and environmental justice.  

 

What do you wish shoppers better understood about your mission and about sustainability in general?

Astarae: We hope customers will take the dive with us on learning about the importance of regenerative organic agriculture and its ability to mitigate the effects of climate change. We hope customers will support brands working to certify their products under the Regenerative Organic Certified™ standards. We are concerned that without strong, verifiable standards, the term “regenerative” can, and already has, fallen prey to “regen-washing”.

 

What would you tell shoppers to look for while trying to support more sustainable practices?

Astarae: First and foremost, look for Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) products and brands who support this standard. Because ROC is such a rigorous, 3rd party verified standard that launched only a few years ago and follows USDA organic labeling guidelines, there are currently few products on the market that carry the ROC seal. Therefore we recommend supporting brands working toward ROC, such as Dr. Bronner’s, Farmer Direct Organic, Lotus Foods, Nature’s Path, SIMPLi, Sol Simple, among others.

Dr. Bronner's proves you can create quality products without making a negative impact along the way. For more earth-friendly finds, explore our Regenerative Shop.

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