Summer is here—which means that barbecues, outdoor dinner celebrations, and neighborhood block parties are in full-effect too. And while few things feel more seasonally relevant than coordinating a quintessential, July table spread, hosting hasn’t always been seen as a “sustainable” activity. Thanks to Shades of Green though, wasteful designing is becoming a thing of the past.
Shades of Green, formerly known as Living Green, is a sustainable shopping platform that aims to educate consumers on the best eco-friendly practices and products currently available on the market.
The brand—which sees CEO and owner, Angela Wade, at the helm of the company’s operations, as well as her godmother, Ellen Strickland, as its Chief Sustainability Officer—relies on a strict, “shaded” evaluation system to assess the true green-ness of a product.
“There are a lot of nonprofits out there, like the Environmental Working Group, that are doing this sort of evaluating, but there isn’t really anyone in the retail space that has taken a stand and decided to go through the process that we’re going through of interviewing and filtering vendors, and following a very refined set of guidelines and questions,” says Wade. “I think that’s really what has set Shades of Green apart.”
The proprietary evaluation system factors in everything from the sourcing and origins of materials, to the manufacturing, shipping, use and performance, and recyclability of a product in order to rate it effectively.
On the shade spectrum, a ONE grade means that the product scores high in one of the brand’s shade category criteria, and is typically healthier and greener than most mainstream products. On the higher end, a FIVE grade means that the product meets all of the brand’s evaluation criteria, and is the epitome of an “earth-friendly design.”
“In really breaking it down and understanding not only the distance of the materials traveled, but the distance the product itself travels, it allows us to get a more in-depth and conclusive understanding of how sustainable and healthy a product is,” says Wade. “So, within the five life stages, we then have 25 variables that we look at. And then within that, there’s over one hundred data points that break it down so that we can get as much information out of the vendor as possible, and then pair that with publicly available information to get the best answer for our customer.”
One of the most appealing elements of Shades of Green is the company’s ability to balance being both sustainably minded and trendy in its product aesthetics—seamlessly blending conscious management with impeccable design judgement.
The company’s summer collection is a prime example of that, with a lineup of products that celebrate late afternoon dinner parties, sun-drenched warm tones, and eco-hosting made simple with materials that are as good for the planet as they are beautiful.
Among some of our favorites are: the Palm Fiber Line Placemats, which boast a five-shade grade and are handmade from Iraca palm fibers in Colombia; the rechargeable candle lighter, which offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional butane lighters with approximately 300 lights per charge; and the New Sun Hurricane with Liner, which also boasts a five-shade grade and adds an unparalleled elegance to any space through its Colombia-based design and production.
At its core, Shades of Green is empowering people to cultivate healthier living spaces through the sourcing and selling of only non-toxic or environmentally-friendly products. The brand also offers conscious design consultation services in an effort to provide the most relevant information and support on green building practices.
“Shades of Green is so unique in the way that we promote this marriage of health and sustainability. I don’t find a lot of other retail companies talking about the two together,” says Wade. “Looking ahead, I can see this being the destination for really creating your whole holistic home. People want to be part of a community that’s doing the right thing—and this is a great place to start.”
For more information on Shades of Green and to shop the collections, visit www.shadesofgreen.com.