When the pandemic started—counts on fingers—more than two years ago, I, like many folks, began to look for no- or low-contact delivery options for my pantry staples, personal care items, and cleaning products. After trying a slew of options, I crowned myself the Queen of Online Marketplaces and decided the best one for me is Hive, a newish, eco-conscious multi-brand retailer that caters to folks who like to “shop their values.” During Earth Month, it’s especially important to spotlight startups and brands doing their part to tackle climate change and take care of communities. We’ve broken down our Hive Brands review, including how it works, what kinds of brands you can shop, how it backs up its sustainability claims, and more.
Wide Variety of Brands and Products
Hive has a solid assortment of sweet and savory snacks, an abundance of spreads, plenty of cleaning supplies, and enough rave-worthy pantry staples to keep you stocked for decades. One thing that kept me coming back is that they stock some of my favorite brands like Tony’s Chocoloney, Pipcorn, and Dr. Bronner’s. For my first box, I stocked up on unsweetened tart cherries, peanut and pecan butter, buffalo ranch chips, sourdough sea salt crackers, parmesan rosemary microwave popcorn, dried strawberries and pears, peanut butter-filled pretzels, two chocolate bars, and my favorite toothpaste tablets from Huppy. Beyond the impressive amount of options, everything in my first box was legitimately delicious. This was, in part, due to my impeccable taste, but it’s also a nod to the quality of brands Hive chooses to promote.
Beyond run-of-the-mill pantry goods, Hive also stocks baby products, pet food, items based on dietary guidelines (like gluten-free and peanut-free options), supplements and adaptogens, laundry products, and kitchen tools like containers and utensils. Which, for me, meant that I could all but cut ties with my monthly Amazon order.
Spotlight on Eco-Conscious, Women-Owned, and Community-Oriented Brands
Hive gives you the option to shop your values through designated tabs for Women-Owned Businesses, Direct/Fair Trade, and “Sustainable” Solutions*. As someone who does a hefty amount of research on sustainable products, I have a keen eye for greenwashing. Hive goes a step further than most by explaining how each product stocked meets its responsibility and ethical standards, so you know you’re not falling for empty promises. Hive also has a drop-down tab for brands that give back through education, poverty and hunger, human and animal rights, and community and economic development. These spotlights give me the opportunity to buy products I already use from businesses that align with causes I care about. They also make me feel empowered about my shopping decisions, knowing that I’m giving money to brands with social good and the environment in mind.
*The word “sustainable” is in quotes because it is an unregulated term with no clear, unified definition.
Low-Waste Recyclable Packaging and TerraCycle Partnership
These days, I keep climate change and sustainability at the forefront when making shopping decisions. In a perfect world, I would grow or trade everything and never need to buy packaged goods. But I live in an imperfect world (and love my pre-packaged snacks too much to let them go), so Hive is the next best thing. The company has a page devoted to teaching consumers how to recycle properly, as well as a deep dive into the Hive Five, which are the criteria a product must meet in order to be sold at Hive. You’ll also find stats about Hive’s impact and low carbon footprint, including carbon neutrality, carbon offset, fair and direct trade practices, and more.