Sustainable Tea Brands
This article highlights tea brands that commit to the triple bottom line - people, planet, and profit.
- Adagio Teas
- Bigelow Tea
- Choice Organic
- Clipper Tea
- Equal Exchange
- Pukka Herbs
- Rishi Tea & Botanicals
- Stash Tea
- Tea Rebellion
- Traditional Medicinals
For tea lovers who want to use their purchasing power to affect change, Adagio Teas products provide various forms of virtue. Because Adagio’s product line offers high-quality tea and constructive actions, it’s for customers who want to feel good about themselves.
Some actions Adagio Teas takes to highlight their commitment to sustainability include:
- Carbon Offset program (622.4 tons since 2019)
- Roots Campaign connects customers with the rich stories and the farmers behind some of Adagio’s popular teas
- An extensive product line; some products are Organic and Fair Trade
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For tea lovers who want to support a family-owned business that does the right thing, Bigelow Tea provides a range of products and reasons to trust the brand. Because Bigelow Tea is a family-owned business, and the brand features a quote from the company leader, Cindi Bigelow, visitors feel like Bigelow’s commitment to sustainability reflects personal integrity, not a marketing ploy.
Some actions Bigelow Tea takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Features a prominent sustainability section on their website, showcasing proof of impact (e.g., 95% of waste diverted from landfills, 347 acres of protected land, 2,000,000 kWh of electricity saved since 2007)
- Highlights the brand community involvement (e.g., volunteer, support our troops)
- Showcases third-party certifications (e.g., B Corp)
“Being responsible is not something my family does because we can do good things, but because we strongly believe that we should and need to do good things, whether for the community, our employees, or the environment.”
For tea lovers who want their purchases to create a positive impact, Choice Organic provides beautifully packaged teas that benefit people and the planet. Because third-party certifications verify Choice Organic claims, customers can trust the legitimacy of the brand’s social and environmental impact.
Some actions Choice Organic takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Actively collaborates with industry NGOs (e.g., Ethical Tea Partnership)
- Attains third-party certifications (e.g., Fair Trade, B Corp, USDA Organic, Non-GMO) testifying to their impact
- Their facility is the first LEED-certified tea plant in North America, considering key sustainability metrics
For tea lovers who want to create a positive impact, Clipper Tea commits to supporting people and the planet with tea purchased. Because Clipper Tea’s sustainability commitments are part of the brand’s DNA (e.g., natural, fair, delicious), customers can trust the company to act with integrity.
Some actions Clipper Tea takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Highlighting their brand DNA (e.g., natural, fair, delicious) on their website homepage, and expanding on each element (e.g., “We fill our bags with organic ingredients.” “We’re the world’s largest Fairtrade tea brand.” “We source the best quality teas to ensure that every cup is special.”)
- Showcasing content that addresses fears of tea drinkers (e.g., plastic-free tea bags)
- Educating visitors on the value of their product attributes (e.g., “Why is fair trade tea better”, “why make the switch to organic tea”)
For tea, coffee and chocolate lovers who want to feel part of a constructive commercial rebellion, Equal Exchange provides a range of products that help customers to feel like they are driving change. Because Equal Exchange highlights its sustainability commitments on its About page attribute, customers feel inclined to trust the brand.
Some actions Equal Exchange takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Showcases product origin with storytelling techniques (“This blend includes tea grown by the small-scale farmers of the Potong Tea Garden in Darjeeling.”)
- Uses copy that signals virtue on product pages (“A satisfying, delicate green tea with a social conscience” “Fair Trade”)
- Displays trust badges that imply some benefit to consumers (e.g., USDA Organic)
For tea lovers who appreciate herbal infusions and environmental stewardship, Guayakí takes meaningful actions to protect yerba mate’s cultural and ecological heritage. Because Guayakí’s website educates visitors on the benefits of yerba mate (e.g., “Awaken the mind”) and the brand’s position in the market (e.g., “We are change-makers fuelling the regenerative movement”), customers quickly sense the depth of the brand’s sustainability commitment.
Some actions Equal Exchange takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Clear vision (e.g., “We believe yerba mate culture is an invitation to life.” “Come to life is an invitation to personal, social, ecological, and cultural regeneration.”)
- Highlights the intangible value of the product (e.g., Yerba Mate: Rich in Nutrients and History)
- Invests in regenerative agriculture
For tea lovers who value high-quality tea at an accessible price point, without sacrificing their conscience, Lipton proves that the company is acting to uphold people and the planet. Because of Lipton’s commitment to sustainability through internal policies and third-party certifications, customers can feel confident the brand operates ethically, at scale. They play a vital role in exemplifying sustainable tea.
Some actions Lipton takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Sustainable tea at Unilever is regulated by the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code and externally validated by third-party certifications. All Lipton tea estates are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
- All the raw materials for Lipton tea are sourced sustainably, reducing the reliance on pesticides and considers the environment and farmers’ health.
- Lipton carefully selects tea suppliers; they must show Unilever how they have reduced pesticide use in the past and how they plan to reduce pesticide use in the future.
- Educating tea farmers on the importance of sustainability within the tea industry.
Numi affirms that purchasing from their brand helps make the world better for tea lovers who want to solve complex global problems. Because Numi sustainable tea highlights a commitment to regenerating the planet and fair wages, customers feel good about purchasing from the brand.
Some of Numi Tea’s sustainability commitments are:
- Provides reasons to purchase from the brand (e.g., “Choosing Numi is about more than delicious tea—it helps fight global warming, reduce plastic waste, and empowers tea farming communities around the world.”)
- Responsibility for the treatment of producers and suppliers (e.g., Fair Trade Certified, Verified Fair Labour, Certified B Corp)
- Responsibility for environmental stewardship (e.g., USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Climate Neutral Certified, use of carbon offsets)
- Eco-friendly tea packaging (e.g., 310,000 lbs of landfill conserved each year)
Pukka Herbs provides clear communication to tea lovers who appreciate knowing that the brand they buy from is environmentally and socially conscious. Because Pukka Herbs’ commitment to sustainability is verified with certifications, communicated in copy and content, and evidenced in their sustainable packaging, it inspires customers to believe in the brand.
Some actions Pukka Herbs takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Prominently showcases third party certifications in the website footer (e.g., 1% for the Planet, Organic Soil Association, FairWild, Fair For Life, Certified B Corp)
- Communicating sustainability as a core business value (e.g., “These are the values that Pukka Herbs was built upon: organic farming, fair trade, and conservation through commerce.”)
- Expressing a commitment to regenerative agriculture (e.g., “Our regenerative organic agriculture vision.”)
Rishi Tea & Botanicals
Rishi Tea communicates how the brand acts sustainability for tea lovers who appreciate refined infusions and a clear conscience. Because Rishi Tea’s commitment to sustainability touches on product purity, sourcing practises, and packaging, it’s for customers who appreciate social responsibility in high-impact areas.
Some actions Rishi Tea takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Sourcing directly from tea origin
- Communicating product purity with third-party certifications (e.g., USDA Organic) and knowledge of the producer’s cultivation practises
- Highlighting consumer safety (e.g., A Safer Eco-Friendly Sachet)
For tea lovers who want to buy products and feel good about themselves, Stash Tea takes several steps to show how it does the right thing. Because Stash Tea’s commitment to sustainability mainly deals with people and packaging, it’s for tea drinkers who want a general sense of virtue.
Some actions Stash Tea takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Sustainable tea packaging (e.g., their tea boxes are 100% recyclable and printed with vegetable-based inks, and tea bags are compostable)
- Third-party certification (e.g., B Corp certification)
- Ensuring fair treatment of tea garden workers by using a Supplier Code of Conduct
For tea lovers who want to feel connected to tea’s origin, Tea Rebellion provides a range of products that highlight the producers. Because Tea Rebellion’s commitment to sustainability hinges on social empowerment, it’s for customers who want to ensure their purchases benefit farmers and other tea producers.
Some actions Tea Rebellion takes to highlight its commitment to social sustainability include:
- Demonstrating radical supply chain transparency by highlighting the farms from which they source their tea (e.g., Satemwa, Malawi)
- Positioning their brand as a challenger (e.g., “Tea Rebellion is here to shake up the tea industry” “Stand for change” “Join the rebellion. Stand for change.”)
- Engaging in discussions of the merits of certifications (e.g., Is Certification Still The Gold Standard For Tea?)
Tealeaves provides products that cater to decadent tastes and clear consciences for tea lovers who appreciate premium loose leaf tea. Because Tealeaves’ commitment to sustainability feels like it touches the entire value chain, it appeals to customers.
Some actions Tealeaves takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Sustainable tea packaging that uses plant-based materials which are home compostable
- Sourcing from gardens that use sustainable growing practices
- Collaborating with leading organisations (e.g., Partnership With United Nations Biodiversity)
For tea lovers who appreciate herbal medicine, Traditional Medicinals provides a range of products that imply wellness benefits to the consumer and the planet. Because Traditional Medicinals expresses a commitment to sustainability in its imagery and content, it’s for customers who want a brand that “feels” good.
Some actions Traditional Medicinals takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Using lots of plant photos to imply a connection with nature, and reinforcing this inference with copy on their website homepage (e.g., “We have a responsibility to the earth, to the growers and wild collectors of our plants, and to you.")
- Uses certified organic and non-GMO ingredients and voices a commitment to renewable energy
- Making their impact transparent with annual reporting (e.g., Highlights of Our Annual 2020 Impact Report)
For tea lovers who appreciate an established brand that acts in the interest of people and the planet, Twinings provides programs (e.g., Sourced with Care) that work towards positive outcomes. Because Twinings’ commitment to sustainability is based on procedures, it’s for customers who value constructive change at scale.
Some actions Twinings takes to highlight its commitment to sustainability include:
- Implementing programs aimed at community bettering (e.g., Sourced with Care is Twinings responsible sourcing program that seeks to improve the lives of communities from which Twinings sources products)
- Communicating impact transparently (e.g., Twinings Social Impact Report) and tackling significant issues (e.g., child labor)
- Working towards sustainable crop production (e.g., Sustainable Species Initiative)
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