Mission
Our mission is to make available innovative products that provide a solution, tell a great story, and are enjoyable to use. To-Go Ware seeks to stimulate positive practices for the way people live in relationship with themselves, their neighbors and the planet. We hope to empower people to participate in the process of changing the world they live in by providing them the tools to do so.

To-Go Ware offers solutions for a world with life on-the-go. Life is moving fast for everyone these days, and sometimes that can cause us difficulty in making conscious lifestyle choices-especially when it comes to food! With the explosion of "to-go" culture, there is no shortage of disposable containers and utensils crossing our paths everywhere we go, and we've all started to feed the landfill more than we may realize. How many plastic forks and spoons do we toss away each week? How many plates, to-go boxes, napkins and cups? Start to do the math and see what that adds up to per year-you may be surprised at the impact you are having.

If we cannot abandon our need for "to-go" convenience as we move through our busy lives, we can certainly integrate ways of being more mindful and conscious of the impact our lifestyle has upon the planet... our hope is that To-Go Ware can provide you the tools to make that difference, allowing you to be a Solutionary in these to-go times.

TO-GO WARE'S COMMITMENT TO ETHICS
Human rights | environment | sustainable economies | quality | transparency

As a business, To-Go Ware seeks to implement a triple bottom line — people, planet and profit — in meaningful and sincere ways. We are very proud of the practices we' ve been able to implement in order to realize this vision.

We understand the interconnected and interdependent issues of social, economic and environmental justice - this understanding guides all of our business decisions. We seek to continually examine the resources and privileges we have as a company operating in the Global North and how our business practices impact the lives of people around the world. We are committed to creating equitable and respectful business relationships with companies locally and abroad. We give preference to business partnerships with companies owned and operated by women or other traditionally marginalized groups, as well as small businesses.

Additionally, we believe in and support the Principles of Environmental Justice adopted by the delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991), as well as the Bali Principles of Climate Justice developed by an international coalition of groups gathered in Johannesburg for the Earth Summit (2002).

Human Rights
To-Go Ware is committed to the following human rights with respect to employees in the United States, as well as our business partners abroad:

  • Treat all employees with respect, dignity, and justice;
  • Prevention of child or forced labor
  • Prevention of sweatshop conditions in the workplace, including coercive birth control, limited ventilation and restricted bathroom breaks;
  • Pay employees a living wage and offer health benefits to full time employees;
  • Comply with applicable state and municipal labor laws that protect employees from working more than 48 hours per week, with at least one day off for every seven day period;
  • Prevention of exposure to hazardous working conditions, such as circumstances that increase the risk of bodily harm or exposure to chemicals known to be highly toxic to people and the environment;
  • Freedom of association, the right to organize and collective bargaining;
  • Prevention of sexual harassment of all employees;
  • Prevention of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse;
  • Provide childcare for parents, or provide flexibility with regard to work hours so that parents can provide adequate childcare;
  • Refusal to cross labor picket lines unless no alternative is available and there is no way to avoid the task;
  • Refusal to partner with any companies under boycott by social or human rights groups that share To-Go Ware's values and goals for a just society;
  • Refusal to work with partners who lobby against human rights;
  • Because labor regulations are different in every country, when working with companies abroad, we seek out businesses that are certified with at least the minimum protections for employees set by the International Labor Organization, opting for those that seek to go above and beyond these minimum requirements; additionally, we have shared our code of conduct with all of our partners and require our third party auditors to measure our partners against this code;
  • Lastly, we do not discriminate against qualified applicants based on the basis of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, physical or mental ability, marital status, national origin, creed, ancestry, family care status, age, class or any other identity protected by law.

Our commitment in action...
We are honored to support the work of our business partners at WEAVE and CONSERVE. Women's Education for Advancement and Empowerment, or WEAVE, is an amazing organization of women living in a Burmese refugee camp that conceived of a business that would allow them self-determination, pride, income to provide for their families, as well as highlighting their incredible talent for weaving and embroidery. CONSERVE is an NGO located in India, that has created a unique and innovative business that not only is able to employ traditionally marginalized folks at a fair living wage, but is removing millions of plastic bags from New Delhi's landfills every year. CONSERVE uses it's profits to build schools, provide meal programs for local worker and families in need, as well as paying three to four times the local wage to the employees, to provide a better living wage and opportunity. We are proud to partner with these companies, as they are the very epitome of the values and mission of To-Go Ware.

Environment
To-Go Ware was conceived in response to the wasteful to-go culture our societies have increasingly become dependent upon. We are committed to providing our customers with a high quality product that offers a sustainable, hip alternative that has a positive impact on people and the planet. We are committed to the following environmental protections with respect to our office in the United States, as well as our business partners abroad:

  • Refusal to partner with companies that lobby or campaign against environmental conservation and protections;
  • Refusal to partner with any companies under boycott by environmental justice groups that share To-Go Ware's values and goals for a sustainable society;
  • Use of post consumer products- 100% post consumer when available- instead of those produced from virgin materials, as well as prioritizing the use of second-hand and compostable products;
  • Commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in the workplace by instituting such practices as minimizing carbon-intensive travel when possible, encouraging the use of public transportation, utilizing virtual communication tools such as conference calling, email and video conferencing;
  • Commitment to conservation and reduction of harmful workplace emissions through participation in curb-side recycling programs, use of CFL lighting, skylights, efficient use of heating system, double-sided printing, reduction of non-recyclable/non-compostable waste, utilizing fully bio-degradable cleaning and toiletry products, and when appropriate, buying products in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging per unit and fossil fuels used in transport;
  • Commitment to work with a carbon offset organization to educate our customers about how to reduce carbon intensive activities, as well as sharing in the responsibility of meaningfully offsetting the carbon footprint of To-Go Ware;
  • Adhere to all state and federal regulations related to land, water and air pollution, certified by third party auditors;
  • Because environmental regulations are different in every country, suppliers must be certified (when financially feasible) or strictly uphold at least the minimum protections for environment set by the International Labor Organization (ISO 14001); To-Go Ware will opt for business relationships with those suppliers that seek to go above and beyond these minimum requirements.

Our commitment in action...
One environmental challenge we face is the carbon impact of having our items manufactured abroad. To face this challenge head on, we have begun investigating the most impactful partnership around offsetting the footprint of our shipping. We will not only utilize this partnership as an offset method, but also use it as an opportunity to educate and engage our customers to share the responsibility that comes with enjoying products manufactured abroad. We'll keep you posted!

The issue of accessibility within the modern sustainability movement is also something that concerns us, as we have witnessed the privilege that has turned "sustainability" into a luxury not everyone can afford. This is why we have chosen to source our manufacturing abroad. Currently the grade of stainless we require for our food carriers is not available for manufacturing in the United States at a price that would allow us to sell the food carrier at an affordable price point. We also believe that the more accessible our product is, the wider the audience and the greater shift in consciousness around our society's wasteful throw-away culture. In doing so, we have sought out international partners that are doing well by their employees and the environment.

Sustainable Economies
To-Go Ware is committed to participating in creating sustainable, local economies. As such, we implement the following business practices that strengthen our own local economy, as well as the economies of our partners abroad:

  • Collaborate with and source products from local, small businesses when available, to support local communities and the building of long-term economic empowerment and justice, small business ownership, cultural diversity and prosperity;
  • Purchase fair trade and/or organic products to ensure fair prices to family farmers and fair wages to farm workers and protection of people and the environment during production processes.

Our commitment in action...
We are very proud of our local partners we work with here in the Bay Area. We use a local printer that is 100% wind-powered via Renewable Energy Credits (REC's), and exclusively uses New Leaf paper that has a high post consumer waste and recycled materials content. We source our shipping materials from a local supplier that has a great post consumer waste and recycled materials content in their shipping boxes. We have also sought out local business partners for our website, utilizing a service that is 100% wind powered, as well as sourcing office supplies from a local company that is certified green and donates nearly half a million dollars annually to California non-profits.

Our partnership with WEAVE, a Fair Trade Federation member, supports women living in a Thai-Burmese refugee camp with the right to self-determination when it comes to income generation and providing for their families. Our partnership with CONSERVE is providing support to an organization dedicated to the rights of traditionally marginalized people, known as 'rag pickers' who have historically been relegated to the periphery of New Delhi society. But no more - CONSERVE is paying these folks several times more than the average pay so that they can support their families with the necessities of life with pride and joy.

 

Quality
To-Go Ware is committed to providing our customers with a safe and convenient, non-plastic alternative for maintaining a healthy on-the-go lifestyle. We are committed to creating our products using the safest ingredients.

  • We only use a 200 grade stainless that is appropriate for food storage; it has been lab tested and proven to show no radiation, contains less than 14% chromium (which prohibits corrosion) and less then 1% of nickel;
  • Stainless steel has a natural corrosion resistance, therefore it is not required to apply a seal or coating to the metal that could potentially be toxic to people or the environment;
  • Stainless steel does not leach any materials into food stuffs, nor does it absorb flavors or stains;
  • Because of the hygienic qualities of stainless steel, no harsh chemicals are needed to get a clean surface;
  • Stainless steel's durability ensures it's long life, but if it should need to be disposed of, it is 100% recyclable! In fact, over 50% of new stainless steel comes from recycled stainless steel scrap;
  • We use sustainably harvested bamboo for our utensils; we chose bamboo because it's incredibly durable, beautiful, long lasting and does not stain or absorb food flavors;
  • Our CONSERVE recycled plastic utensil wraps, are incredibly durable, easy to clean, do not absorb and pass on food flavors, nor do they leach chemicals; additionally, their durability ensures an extended life cycle, further lessening their overall impact on the Earth;
  • Our food carrier bags are now made by WEAVE, but will soon be made of reclaimed cotton by a company in India.

Our commitment in action...
Recently, we began a relationship with CONSERVE, who makes our recycled utensils wraps, and we really started to think about the impact of using reclaimed materials. We did some calculations and realized that if we were to sell as many CONSERVE wraps as we project for this year, we will be able to reclaim nearly 1 million plastic bags from the landfill! So this has now become our goal for the next year — to provide a product that is not only convenient and cool, but helps to prevent nearly 1 million plastic bags from trashing the Earth in a landfill!

We are so excited by this idea and think this really fits with our vision of reducing the amount of energy to create products of virgin material — no matter how green they may be — and the toll this process takes on the Earth. Our society has for decades produced virgin-material consumer goods, and now we are left with landfills full of cast away objects. We are so excited by the newest technologies that are allowing us to reclaim unwanted items and turn them into "new" high quality goods that can be used over and over again! To this end, we are pleased to have found a company that now can provide us with a food carrier bag that is of a high craftsmanship and is made of reclaimed cotton. We will continue to seek out reclaimed materials to create hip, safe, convenient alternatives for our life-on-the-go!

Transparency and Accountability
We are excited to share the details of our commitment to being a thriving business by respecting human rights and the Earth, as well as providing a high quality product that offers consumers an immediate way to effect positive change to our current to-go culture.

We are accountable to our customers, our partners and the Earth, therefore we make every effort to ensure that all labor, environmental and safety protections are followed by every member of our supply chain, requiring evidence of their compliance with all local and international labor and environmental regulations.

We also are clearly aware that we are not experts in every aspect of the sustainability movement and therefore welcome suggestions, new information and feedback from our customers and other members of the sustainability movement. Sharing the wealth of new information and evolution of technologies is surely the only way to expand this growing, successful movement for sustainability, respect and love of the Earth.

Stay in touch! Let us know what you think! Sign up for our newsletter, which not only features the latest and greatest about To-Go Ware, but also highlights the amazing work of some of our friends in the larger sustainability movement. Or, if you have comments or questions, you can write to us at info@to-goware.com.

 

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Take a journey with To-Go Ware’s founder Stephanie Bernstein as she visits WEAVE on the Thai-Burma border. Watch video!

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Julia Butterfly Hill

"I do not use disposables because I do not believe
our planet, our lives, or our future is disposable."
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