5 Brands that go to Extreme Lengths to Source Their Products

We discovered a handful of inspiring companies that aren’t afraid of going to extreme lengths in order to create wonderful, unique products!

Responsible Sourcing- Dagoba organic chocolate

Frederick Schilling became intrigued by chocolate’s rich history, and started making his own organic chocolate. His ingredients of choice were, among others, Chai tea spices, dried rosehips and chilies. His love for chocolate and for the environment eventually led him towards founding his own company, with a mission in mind; to craft delicious, decadent chocolate in a socially responsible way. The Sanskrit word for ‘temple’ inspired him to name his business ‘Dagoba’.

Dagoba organic chocolate

Dagoba organic chocolate

Dagoba has partnered with organic cacao growing communities, and in 2011 it teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance, which is a non-profit organisation that strives to conserve biodiversity while protecting the rights of the workers and their communities. By 2012 all of Dagoba’s cacao was organic and sustainably-grown, and came from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.

The company’s factory works on reduced energy, their products are using recyclable packaging and Dagoba is aiming towards a zero waste product from the farm to your home.

Digs through trash- Hipcycle

Hipcycle is a very interesting online store that sells upcycled home decor, jewelry and fashion goods. The products they sell are beautiful, durable and quite inexpensive, compared to their mainstream counterparts. Hipcycle’s goal is to discover the best in upcycled items, in an effort to address the global waste problem by creating an online haven for upcycled items- products that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Hipcycle - upcycled products

This for-profit brand works with many small-scale businesses all around the globe, and urges everyone to join the upcycling movement and help make the world -and our homes- a better, cleaner, more beautiful place!

Hunts down historic textiles- Forestbound

Forestbound was founded by Alice Saunders in 2008. Alice is a history aficionado, so it comes as no surprise that she would take an interest in historic hardware and fabrics, which she hunts down in flea markets and antique shops. Her encyclopedic knowledge of wars and armies has helped her befriend military collectors who often provide her with authentic military articles, such as laundry bags, army tents and salvaged hardware.Forestbound

Alice uses these items to create gorgeous unique, utilitarian totes. She gathers the materials she wants to repurpose, assesses them, soaks them and washes them thoroughly, so that she can create her totes using vintage cowhide, cotton duck and canvas, as well as denim. The bags are often reinforced with interesting details made of authentic bits of hardware in antique brass or polished nickel finish.

Levi’s promotes Saunder’s work and sells her bags, which are tagged with their own makers’ tag, in order to support the ‘maker’ movement.

Details every material used in product- Extreme Transparency- Helpsy

Helpsy was founded by Rachel Kibbe, a freelance fashion writer and social media nerd, who believes that design-forward, cutting-edge fashion can have a positive social impact—100% of the time. She created Helpsy in an effort to prove that the internet can help spread social awareness and to ignite change, and show the world that ethical fashion can also be beautiful, exciting and design-forward!

Helpsy - ethical fashion that's dope!

Rachel wants Helpsy to become a unique platform that will promote a positive change in the fashion industry by creating a central marketplace that offers unique, ethical pieces and products, which features various resources that aim at answering customers’ questions regarding ethical fashion and guiding people towards more ethical -and yet still very stylish- purchasing decisions.

According to Helpsy, a product can generally be considered ethical if it is well-made and non-disposable, using cruelty-free, eco-friendly materials and design techniques, if it’s made from recycled and upcycled materials, if it is handmade by people who are paid fair wages, if it’s locally produced in small quantities using locally sourced materials, or if, finally, it is vintage or second-hand.

Every material used in each product (as well as any Helpsy qualities they may possess) are attributed to all of the site’s goods, so that the customers will get to know exactly what they are buying and how it helps the ethical fashion movement.

If a company’s products fulfill some of the above criteria, Helpsy can post a link to the company’s business on their site.

Chewed corn to make chicha- Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head was founded in the summer of 1995, and since then they have been brewing, cooking, selling and talking everything beer-related -with a passion! They strive to bring original beer, great food and local music to the Rehoboth area. In two years’ time they expanded to a larger brewhouse, where they are still housed. The Rehoboth Brewhouse features a distillery, in order to make vodka, rum and gin, whereas the entire production brewery was eventually moved to Milton, Delaware.

One of the most interesting products of Dogfish Head is chicha, a traditional Latin American corn beer which is traditionally produced using a unique method; the corn must be chewed by the brewer, in order for the natural enzymes in their saliva to convert the starch in corn into sugar, so it will ferment! It is then spat out (eek!) and boiled for over an hour, which makes it sterile.

Would you like some?


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