Companies You Can Feel Good About Using in Your Home
Amid the seemingly endless options for home products, here are a few local businesses with a mission to better the planet as well as support community causes.
As we settle in to the new year, most people are hunkering down to achieve their resolutions, likely aimed at personal betterment. But this year, you may want to consider a new kind of resolution: to take better care of the planet and the people living in it by becoming more conscious consumers. Here are some companies selling home goods that are doing just that.
Stephanie Schuler, founder and owner of Pittsburgh-based Rutz Naturals, comes from a rich background based in beauty and healing. As a young girl, Schuler watched her mother make natural beauty remedies. In the beginning of her career, she worked in the beauty industry, which is where she realized how many chemicals were in the products she was using.
Combining her knowledge from childhood and adulthood, Schuler started Rutz Naturals as a way to make better skincare without anything unnatural. Rutz also sells soy candles as well as natural cleaning and aromatherapy sprays.
What makes her products — which can be purchased at the Inner Rutz storefront in Mt. Lebanon or online — even more special, though, is they are all infused with reiki energy, as Schuler is a reiki master.
Plates with Purpose, a collection by Pittsburgh-based Riverside Design Group, is a collection of plates with each design relating to a different non-profit. The designs, including hearts, sunflowers and stars, may appear to be simple drawings etched onto a square glass plate, but they carry big meaning.
For every plate sold, 15% of the proceeds go to the non-profit that it supports, including the Oncology Nursing Society, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
PPG is a Pittsburgh staple — and for good reason. Not only does the company create products that work well, it also works to better local communities and produce its products, such as paint, in a sustainable way.
Since 2017, the company has engaged in a 5.6% decrease in its waste disposal intensity, uses 7.3% less cubic meters of water per metric ton of production and has a plan to increase renewable energy to 25% of total electricity usage by 2025.
Through its Colorful Communities initiative, employee volunteers at PPG help brighten neighborhoods by adding fresh coats of paint to classrooms, hospital rooms and even playgrounds.
With a storefront in Squirrel Hill and an easy-to-navigate website, Ten Thousand Villages aims to sell fair-trade products at its maker-to-market chain of stores. The company makes a point of working with people with disabilities and others who are often shut out of the global economy. While Ten Thousand Villages take care of citizens living on the planet, it also respects the planet itself.
All of its products, including tableware and home decor, are made from locally sourced and/or recycled and renewable materials. The company also stresses the importance of re-use and energy efficiency to its artisans.
As a nonprofit enterprise of the Pittsburgh section of the National Council of Jewish Women, Thriftique, resells a curated selection of gently used furniture, home decor and more in a boutique-style setting.
Located in Lawrenceville, each purchase at Thriftique helps support community initiatives that improve the lives of women, children and families. One of its initiatives, Project Prom, also provides free prom dresses for those who cannot afford it and would otherwise miss out on the rite of passage.