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People of Planet Earth v. Amazon

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Amazon.com has grown into a massive corporation. But with a history of unsustainable practices and recent workers’ rights violations brought to light, many people have begun to seek an alternative. Amazon seems to be reasonably self-aware, too, as they’re now attempting to rebrand themselves as more eco-friendly. Still, even recent actions say otherwise. 

Other media outlets have even tried to investigate Amazon’s sustainability record, but the problem is – there is none. The internet giant has such a poor record of sustainability that it just doesn’t exist. As far as anyone can tell, Amazon has made little or no effort to measure, disclose, or improve its performance regarding both environmental and workplace issues.

Here’s what we do know about Amazon.

Both products and packaging matter. As a distraction, Amazon now advertises justification for having plastic packaging by comparing the envelopes to their smallest cardboard boxes, indicating zero actual environmental or ethical standards, no matter how it’s packaged or what’s in it. Granted, weight reduces fuel used and delivery costs, but this is a “small change” compared to more pressing issues at hand; Amazon’s marketing campaign only draws away from what’s inside the envelope or the box.

There’s even irony in the name of the company. Their structure contributes to the deforestation of the actual Amazon rainforest. Amazon does this by: 

  • Selling leather. A recent study has shown that the most significant contributor to the deforestation of the Amazon is the leather industry.
  • Amazon sells brands whose supply chains have been directly linked to the largest Brazilian leather exporter JBS, which engages in Amazon deforestation. 
  • A report linked many brands to this exporter such as Prada, Coach, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG, and Fendi, all of which are sold on Amazon.

Amazon is the 2nd largest employer in the United States, and there has been a nationwide effort to unionize, but Amazon has a goal to eliminate a certain number of employees each year. It’s a practice called unregretted attrition. They also have a coaching plan employees are placed under who are underperforming. Former employees have complained about this micromanagement as well as safety concerns.  

Chris Smalls, the organizer of the Staten Island walk-out, was fired by Amazon. He complained that while workers perform and act like machines, Jeff Bezos makes billions of dollars. Those same human “machines” were allegedly instructed to remain onsite at an Illinois warehouse as a tornado ripped through, causing the roof to collapse, leaving six dead and many injured.

Perhaps symbolically, the warehouse disaster was very the same day as Blue Origin’s launch. As worker safety seemingly went without, the CEO’s side endeavors spotlighted all that’s wrong with Amazon and its environmental impact. 

So, with no sustainability record, concern for worker rights, or regard for the business of the brands they promote on their website, the time is past overdue for consumers to move toward a better alternative.  

Listen to what people are saying.

Most consumers actually want to buy products made ethically and sustainably and most people don’t want to buy a product that’s a product of labor and social injustices or the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. 

At Verte Mode, you can buy healthy, organic, artisan, and crafted products from sustainable small businesses. You will be at ease knowing you are putting your money back into the community and to artisans and ethical companies, not toward products that do not harm the planet and its inhabitants.

Sônia Guajajara, the executive coordinator of the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance (APIB), said brands have “the moral responsibility, the influence, and the economic resources” to stop working with suppliers contributing to deforestation in the Amazon. Today, “not in 10 years, not in 2025.”

Many consumers underestimate the power of their money. If buyers deny brands and corporations like Amazon purchases, the market will force these big businesses to change their ways.  

At Verte Mode, there’s no more planned obsolescence just to make a buck. And unlike companies that shift with the needs of consumer demand, they’re a company that puts the interests of people and the planet before profit. 

Now, there’s an option to ditch Amazon for good.

Verte Mode is a new first-of-its-kind marketplace with the ethical and environmental standards the future requires. They inspire change and ecological action, advocating for people + planet + prosperity, which is the very definition of sustainability. In a world filled with consciousness and informed people, Verte Mode is the sustainable solution for those who prefer a company that:

  • Educates consumers to make more informed choices
  • Holds products to the highest environmental standards 
  • Fosters and uplifts relationships with vendors
  • Restores the principle of humanity behind a company 

In stark contrast to Amazon, Verte Mode not only believes in transparency, but the entire Verte ethos, albeit disruptively, promotes slower shipping because getting something from a warehouse to your doorstep overnight is environmentally taxing. Think about it. What does it cost to get you that book? Or shirt? The Amazon way is entirely unsustainable. 

What you won’t find from Verte Mode is that “get it now” shopping philosophy that is interested in removing your choice to instead rely heavily on your impulse buying. At Verte Mode, you’re deciding to buy something because you need it; it works for you and your family and is made with quality in mind. 

In addition, through Verte Mode, you’ll find locally-made artisan-crafted goods. You can even shop by an impact like supporting women-owned businesses, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ advocacy, or choose plastic-free, low waste, vegan, organic, and even upcycled products. Verte Mode brings transparency to your spending dollars, so you can decide who benefits – not who loses or what gets destroyed.

 

Further Reading:

Business Insider. “Insiders reveal what it’s really like working at Amazon when it comes to hiring, firing, performance reviews, and more,” Business Insider, 24 January 2022 www.businessinsider.com/work-at-amazon-jobs-performance-reviews-hiring-firing-interviews-warehouses-delivery-drivers

Fung, Brian. “Amazon Fires Warehouse Worker Who Led Staten Island Warehouse Walkout.” CNN Business. 31 March 2021,  www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/tech/amazon-worker-fired-staten-island-warehouse/index.html

Pitcher, Laura. New Study Links Major Fashion Brands to Amazon Deforestation. The Guardian,11/29/2021www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/29/fashion-industry-amazon-rainforest-deforestation

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