With five children between them, friends Erica Watson and Jenny Ringland were chatting all things kids one afternoon when they discovered a shared outrage about baby wipes – namely, that the ones they were using from trusted “good for you” brands were actually full of hidden chemicals. “We were both furious, and we felt that if we had made that mistake, then others would have too,” explains Watson.
Their conversation evolved to a broader discussion about sustainability, with the two freelance journalists agreeing there was no one obvious destination where you could access inspiring content, discover the best natural products and learn how to live a simpler, low-tox life.
And so, Green and Simple was born. While the sustainability industry has flourished in the two years since, the duo’s ethos has remained unchanged: “We want to inspire as many people as possible to start making small change,” says Ringland. “We believe that when multiplied, small change can have a profound knock-on effect. If there is enough noise around opting for brands with sustainability initiative - from asking where our clothes are made, to challenging our favourite beauty brands on their ingredients lists - then big brands that actually have the funds and power to make change will start to listen.”
While the popularity of sustainability has also given rise to “greenwashing” (the marketing spin used to deceive the public into thinking a product is environmentally friendly), Green and Simple offers to put in the detective work so we don’t have to. “Unfortunately, there are lots of brands claiming to be sustainable, natural or ethical, but it’s not always 100 per cent the case,” says Watson. “The space can be a minefield of misinformation, so we aim to provide our readers with all the information and product recommendations they need for sustainable, low-tox living.”
As marie claire’s new sustainability experts, they will be looking to keep inspiring change. Each week, they’ll be posting weekly stories on the best green, clean fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, as well as interviewing industry game-changers and experts. The message is simple, says Ringland. “Making one change at a time feels good, and hopefully we can encourage Marie Claire readers to get motivated to make more.”