How to Shop for Items with Sustainable Features

When searching for items on Etsy, you may see a Sustainable features badge on some listings. This means the item meets one or both of the following criteria:

  • The seller attests that the item contains at least one material that has fewer specific environmental impacts compared to commonly-used alternatives.
  • The item was designed to be reusable to help reduce waste.

If you have specific questions about an item, including sustainability certifications that may apply, reach out to the seller for more information.

Sustainable materials

Below is a glossary of more sustainable materials you may see on Etsy listings.

Hemp: The item is made from 100% hemp fibre, with the possible exception of thread or fasteners. Hemp requires less water to grow than common alternatives like cotton. It’s naturally pest resistant, which reduces the need for pesticides. Hemp growth has been shown to improve aspects of soil health.

Linen: The item is made from 100% linen fibre from the flax plant, with the possible exception of thread or fasteners. Flax is a fast-growing plant that requires less water than common alternatives like cotton. It is typically also durable and biodegradable.

Reusable: Items designed to be reusable aren’t necessarily made from more sustainable materials, but they can contribute to a lower-impact lifestyle if used repeatedly in place of a disposable alternative. You’ll only see “reusable” on items that are otherwise commonly created to be disposable.

Upcycled : This is an item that has been transformed from its original form into something new or of higher value. Choosing an upcycled item helps materials stay in use longer before being discarded.

Vegan: The item doesn’t contain any animal products or byproducts. Currently, you’ll only see “vegan” on consumable products, like candles, food, cleaning products, or cosmetics that commonly include animal-based ingredients. Shopping vegan is an ethical choice for some buyers, and may be more sustainable by avoiding the environmental impacts of industrial animal farming.

Vintage: The item is at least 20 years old. Shopping vintage keeps items in use and helps avoid the creation of new items using new resources.

Vintage gemstones: All gemstones in or on the item, including diamonds, are at least 20 years old. Like vintage items, vintage gemstones stay in use longer and make continued use of a valuable material.

Recycled content

Recycled content means that the materials have been recovered or diverted from waste during the manufacturing process or after consumer use. For all recycled content claims, sellers must pledge that the item is made up of at least 50% recycled content.

Contains Recycled Glass: The glass used in the item is 100% recycled, and makes up at least half of the total item.

Contains Recycled Metal: The metal used in the item is 100% recycled, and makes up at least half of the total item.

Contains Recycled Polyester: At least half of the item consists of 100% post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET). If the item uses a blended textile, it contains at least 50% post-consumer recycled polyester in the blend, and recycled polyester still makes up at least half of the overall item.

Descriptions of the environmental qualities of any items on Etsy are based solely on the seller’s listing information. Any sustainability-related badges or identifying terms represent only one quality out of many that may describe a product, and is not representative of the entire ecological footprint of a product. Etsy may expand definitions or add additional sustainability features in the future, and will update the Etsy community.

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