Amazon.com, possibly the biggest shopping hub on the Web, just got a little greener. The e-commerce giant recently unveiled Vine.com, a new site that’s big on sustainability. I love online shopping, and have long looked at Amazon as the place to go for great deals on just about anything. Now, Amazon clearly hopes to harness the pre-existing brand loyalty and eco-consciousness of its base in its attempt to corner the thriving market for environmental-friendly products. Vine.com’s scope is all-encompassing, meaning that almost anyone with even a tangential interest in cleaner, greener living will probably find something they can’t live without. Indeed, the new site is already receiving applause for the “abundant solutions [it offers the] consumer marketplace.”
Looking to reduce your carbon footprint by choosing products that are sustainably manufactured? Do you prefer organic materials? Are you concerned about the level of toxins in the items you buy? I like that I can find anything from cruelty-free cosmetics if that’s my sticking point, or even all-natural dog kibble.
Basically, no matter how you like to go green Vine.com has your number.
The site is has sorting features and filters products by whatever criteria you deem most important. Looking for products made within no more than one hundred miles from your home? You can filter for that! You can also select items that are Fair Trade, made in America, or B Corp, and then customize further by values. I also give them props for going the extra mile when it comes to presentation—products arrive in minimal packaging that was made from recycled materials, naturally.
You can certainly find lots of great products at Vine.com, just don’t expect to score them for rock-bottom prices in the same way you would over at the mother ship. While there is a wide selection of products on all areas of the pricing spectrum, it’s undeniable that most of the offerings are pretty spendy. A lot of people are interested in greener living, but not all of them can afford forty bucks for all-natural shampoo… just sayin’. I know that I can’t justify it when I can buy the nicest salon-quality “normal” shampoo for about half of that.
Another major downside is that, while Vine.com is owned by Amazon.com, the sites are not linked. You will need to complete a new customer sign-up for Vine.com. More importantly, your Amazon Prime benefits like free expedited shipping won’t carry over to Vine.com—although the new site does offer free two-day shipping on purchases over $49. Will that be enough to woo the discount-lovin’ shoppers of the Web? Perhaps. I think I myself will have to limit Vine.com purchases to gifts and special occasion-buys for now. I wish it weren’t the case, but in my personal battle of Green Vs. The Wallet, the latter tends to win out!