Safe * High Quality * Ethically-Sourced * Earth-Friendly
Our products reflect our values. Wondering what that means? Check out our VISION page for more details on what drives, inspires, and guides us.
Product Quality and Materials
We go to great lengths to offer only products that are safe, high quality, ethically-sourced and Earth-friendly. So if you are looking for peace of mind in your purchases, you have come to the right place. Helping you find that peace is an integral part of our QUEST.
We call it confident, educated, attentive shopping, where we do the legwork in researching, designing, creating, finding, sourcing, testing and offering only the best alternatives to plastics. And you let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your shopping experience with us.
Our products are made of high quality natural materials including glass, wood, stainless steel, bamboo, hemp, cotton, wool, khadi, cellulose, recycled paper.
In a world so dependent on plastic, it is a challenge to find certain products with no plastic components. Therefore, some of our products do feature plastic parts, but these parts are made of high quality, stable plastic and will have little or no contact with your food or beverage. We work with our suppliers constantly to progressively develop new products with no plastic at all.
Our products are priced fairly and competitively. By purchasing from us you help us find and develop new products, which reduces the overall amount of plastic being produced. The world does not need more plastic, because every single molecule of plastic ever created is still with us in some form or another somewhere on Earth.
Our Life Without Plastic and Sanctus Mundo branded products are increasingly recognized as the gold standard for non-plastic products of superb quality. You can be confident that we use our products in our everyday lives constantly - and that 'we' includes our 11-year old son, his friends, our families, our staff, our friends, our partners, our communities!
We are good listeners and we love feedback - so let us know what you're thinking, whether it's positive or negative. Feel free to contact us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or by whatever means suits you best. You allow us to do what we do, and we love what we do - so, thanks! We have the greatest respect for you and the choices you make in your life. We hope we can help you shop, learn, act and live with greater confidence!
Product quality is crucial to us. If we can't trust the quality, how can you? We choose products made of safe materials free of known toxins such as bisphenol A (BPA), polyvinyl choloride (PVC), phthalates, and lead. We build trust relationships with our suppliers. We ensure our products meet Canadian and U.S. government standards - they tend to far exceed them. This includes regulations set out in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which require us to have testing done for lead and phthalates in a third party accredited laboratory.
Health and Environment are two of our Guiding Principles, which is why they factor into every decision we make about carrying or designing a product. This is described in greater detail below in the Green America and Ethical Sourcing sections.
In each product description, under the tab labelled "Additional Information" you will find health and environmental information regarding the product. For example, the fact that products are free of bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and lead (as is the case with all our products). As well, we indicate if the product is recyclable and/or compostable.
Life Without Plastic and Sanctus Mundo have gone through a rigorous screening process and have been granted Green America's top tier Gold Seal of Approval. Green America is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of harnessing economic power - the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace - to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
The Green America Seal of Approval that we sport indicates we have been comprehnsively screened by the Green America Screening Team to ensure we are:
- Actively using our business as a tool for positive social change;
- Operating a "values-driven" enterprise according to principles of social justice and environmental sustainability;
- Environmentally responsible in the way we source, manufacture, and market our products and run our operations and facilities;
- Socially equitable and committed to extraordinary practices that benefit workers, customers, communities, and the environment; and
- Accountable for our work by continually improving and tracking our progress, and operating with radical transparency in every facet of their business.
What is Ethical Sourcing?
Ethical sourcing means ensuring that the products being sourced are created in safe facilities by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages to work legal hours. It also implies that the supplier is respecting the environment during the production and manufacture of the products.
This is an issue we take very seriously. We go to great lengths to ensure our products are ethically sourced, whether the product is one of our own Life Without Plastic or Sanctus Mundo products, or from another supplier. Some of the key details of our sourcing policies are laid out below with respect to environmental and labour criteria we consider when sourcing products. You could say that ethical sourcing is in our DNA.
When considering a new product, we look at it from several environmentally-related angles and ask the questions laid out below, which also have health-related criteria mixed in. We consider both positive screening criteria – i.e., desirable attributes – and negative screening criteria – i.e., undesirable attributes. We verify these criteria through discussions with the supplier in question, ideally in person with high level company representatives, and when possible during an on-site visit to the supplier's facilities. We seek to develop long-term trust relationships with suppliers who are actively and openly interested in helping the environment and who consider environmental criteria in the manufacture of their product(s).
For products sourced from Canadian and U.S. suppliers, but manufactured elsewhere, we rely heavily on discussions with, and representations of, the Canadian or U.S. supplier because it is generally not possible to contact the actual manufacturing facility directly (confidential business information). Again, we seek to develop long-term trust relationships with our Canadian and U.S. suppliers, and we choose suppliers who are actively and openly interested in helping the environment and who consider environmental criteria in the manufacture of their product(s).
For our Canadian-made products, we have met most of the suppliers and have close trust relationships with all of them. For the ones close to us, we have visited their facilities.
Here are the environmentally-related questions we ask when deciding whether or not to source a product from a particular supplier:
Material and Process
What is the environmental impact of the material and process used to make the product? (e.g., Are toxins released into the environment during manufacture? Is energy efficiency considered?)
What is the quality of the material and the final product? (e.g., Is it high quality food grade stainless steel, ideally 300 series, such as 304?; if 200 series, do the independent test results meet our quality standards?)
Do the independent test results meet our quality standards? (e.g., re lead, endocrine disruptors)
Does the product contain any plastic? What kind of plastic? Does it contain phthalates or bisphenol A? For food and drink containers, does the plastic come into contact with the conent of the container?
Is there paint? If so, what type of paint is used? For food and drink containers, does the paint come into contact with the conent of the container?
Is the product durable and well made? What is the level of quality of workmanship?
Can it be recycled at the end of it's functional life?
Does the supplier follow all applicable environmental regulations in the country of operation?
Can the supplier meet our requirements for environmentally-friendly product packaging?
What environmental measures does the supplier, including the manufacturing facility, have in place (e.g., recycling, waste management, pollution control measures, emissions control measures)?
Does the supplier have an environmental management and/or quality management system in place (e.g., ISO14000, ISO9000) or any other environmental certifications?
Is the supplier interested in helping the environment? If so, how?
When considering a new product, we look at it from several labour-related angles and ask the questions laid out below. We consider both positive screening criteria – i.e., desirable attributes – and negative screening criteria – i.e., undesirable attributes. We verify these criteria through discussions with the supplier in question, ideally in person with high level company representatives, and when possible during an on-site visit to the supplier's facilities. We seek to develop long-term trust relationships with suppliers who respect their workers and provide safe, fair working conditions.
For products sourced from Canadian and U.S. suppliers, but manufactured elsewhere, we rely heavily on discussions with, and representations of, the Canadian or U.S. supplier because it is generally not possible to contact the actual manufacturing facility directly (confidential business information). Again, we seek to develop long-term trust relationships with our Canadian and U.S. suppliers, and we choose suppliers who respect their workers and provide safe, fair working conditions.
Here are the labour-related questions we ask when deciding whether or not to source a product from a particular supplier:
Does the supplier employ children to work at any of its facilities?
Is the workers freedom of movement unreasonably constrained by the supplier (e.g., is prison or “sweatshop” labour used)?
Do employees receive a fair wage for their work (at or above the national minimum wage)?
Do employees have reasonable work hours? What are the average work hours?
Are there safety precautions in place for workers? If so, what?
Are health benefits available for employees? If so, what?
What policies and/or management systems are in place to ensure worker health and safety?
What is the supplier's health and safety record?
Has the supplier been involved in any legal actions related to discrimination in the workplace or employment equity issues?
Do workers receive paid leave?
Are workers free to express their opinions and make suggestions to management?
Is there a profit-sharing program in place?
Does the supplier have any labour-related certifications (e.g. fair trade, social accountability, unionized)?
Is there anything else the supplier does to make the employees working conditions positive?
We are often asked if any of our products come from China. [Note: The country of origin/manufacture for every single product we sell is clearly indicated in each product description.]
First off, it is important to note that just because a product is made in China does not mean it is a low quality or unsafe product. China is home to some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities and expertise in the world, and some of the highest quality products in the world are made in China.
We have made a conscious decision to be extremely careful about sourcing anything from China. This decision is based on environmental, labour and human rights reasons, and also for trust-related reasons flowing from previous experiences we have had with a former Chinese supplier and interactions with other Chinese suppliers.
Regarding the former supplier, we had ordered a particular type of food container made of 100% food grade, 304 stainless steel and when we tested the initial sample we received, it was fine. All seemed to be in order. When the actual shipment arrived and we began selling the containers, we started getting complaints from customers that the clips holding on the lid of the container were rusting. Clearly, the clips were not made of stainless steel – or at least not the same quality as the rest of the container. The company did send us replacements for one detachable part of the clip, but they never really acknowledged the problem or admitted any wrongdoing.
We have deep respect and admiration for the Chinese people and their rich culture and history. Our main problem is with the repressive dictatorship that is the Chinese government, and its sometimes questionable environmental, labour and human rights records. There are many examples to choose from to illustrate the problems, but a few big ones include the widespread ongoing use of coal-fired energy, the invasion of Tibet, the continuing oppression of the Tibetan people and the ongoing persecution of other minorities in China, such as the Uyghur people and practitioners of the Falun Gong/Falun Dafa belief system.
Life Without Plastic does sell some carefully chosen products made in China, such as the Klean Kanteens and Lunchbots, but these products and the facilities where they are made are closely monitored by the manufacturers. From the health perspective, we may test the Chinese products ourselves for toxins, even if the manufacturer has done their own testing.
We like to know where our products come from, and we assume you do too. Where a product is made can be an indication of quality and price. And for various reasons, one might wish to avoid purchasing products from a particular country.
The country of origin/manufacture for every single product we sell is indicated in the product description under the tab labelled "Additional Information".
All new materials used to pack your order are made of non-plastic packing materials - paper, cellulose, cornstarch. There may be some plastic in the packaging of a particular product, and this is because it was packaged that way by the manufacturer, not by us. We work closely with our manufacturers to decrease and eliminate all plastic packaging. This is an ongoing task. We do our best to indicate any plastic packaging in the 'Additional Information' section of every product description.
In keeping with our mission to help clean up the planet and minimize waste however possible, we reuse boxes and packing materials that come into our warehouse and office. Some of these materials may have residual plastic on them, or we may reuse plastic packing materials we receive. We encourage you to reuse packing materials as well.
New boxes and mailing envelopes we use are made of recycled material. Our packing materials are primarily paper-based, including the tape (we sometimes use cellulose tape where a clear tape is required). We also sometimes use cornstarch peanuts which are reusable and compostable, but not recyclable. While we strive to use packing materials that are 100% recycled, this is not always possible, in which case we use the highest recycled content available at the time of shipment.
We encourage you to give the packing materials another life by reusing them for your own packing needs, or as a last resort, recycling them.
Please note that some of our products require special care - for example, they may not be appropriate for the dishwasher. Please read each product description carefully because not following the product care instructions voids the warranty and may cause damage to the product. The care instructions are clearly described in each product description under the tab labelled "Additional Information".
All Life Without Plastic products have at least a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. The one year is calculated from the date our records indicate you have successfully received your order.
Normal wear and tear, such as scratches and dents, are not covered under the Life Without Plastic warranty.
Some products may have a longer warranty, and this will be indicated in the specific product description under the tab labelled "Additional Information".
If you have a warrantly claim, please see the Warranty and Returns page for details on how to proceed.
Products are described as accurately and appropriately as possible in order to ensure that a customer understands the product she or he is ordering. Although we try to offer the best quality possible, if the quality of the material used is lower than other products we carry, this will be indicated. The price you pay would then be a reflection of such quality. The descriptions, data, pictures, and information on our website are intended to be accurate at time of upload to our site. All information is subject to change without notice.
Colours are represented as realistically as possible, but colour variations of product images or colour swatches are outside of our control because software, hardware and Internet connections can alter the appearance of colours.
Catalog Mail Order
If you are ordering from our Catalog, please follow the ordering instructions laid out in the Catalog on the Order Form. Please note that where there are differences between the Catalog and this website regarding product line, availability and pricing, this website supersedes any information presented in the Catalog. This website is the most up-to-date representation of our products and prices at all times.
While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of product and price information, errors can occur. We reserve the right to correct any errors or inaccuracies at any time without prior notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.