Amazon has gone green. Green is the color of money, after all. To be fair, Amazon is just cashing in on the green trend with its new vine.com initiative. Vine.com is Amazon’s answer to the natural life. Currently in beta, this site will sell green products through Amazon. Products ranging from toiletries to food are what Amazon has in mind, and you can even earn fast shipping when you spend a certain amount. I took a spin through the new Vine.com website. Here’s what I discovered:
Amazon is no slouch when it comes to developing slick interfaces. Vine.com sports a similar interface to Amazon’s main site. The difference is that Vine.com has nice touches of nature strewn throughout in the form of graphics. At the top of the screen are some main category selections (Household, Grocery, Beauty…), and a search bar sits to the left hand side of the screen. Amazon’s Vine.com is easy enough to search for, and most of the big “green” products you know and love are available through the Vine site.
There’s no doubt that Amazon is supporting the likes of Clorox and other green product manufacturers. But, there’s also a local section of the site that’s really worth looking at if you want to buy local – you’ll still be buying from the large corporation that is Amazon, but local all the same. After scanning Amazon’s local product selections, I found a few things worthy of note.
Vine’s Shop Local
Amazon offers local products from most major U.S. cities. This might change once the site is no longer in beta. You can scroll through the city selection (to the left of the screen), and make a choice. I chose New York City. Once selected, a page full of NYC made goods appeared. Items from Burt’s Bees and Cucina Antica popped up. In addition to these popular products, smaller retail items from New York also appeared.
But, buyer beware. On the Burt’s Bees website, it states that 95% of the products from this line are actually made in Durham, NC. While Durham, NC, is better than someone across the sea, you might not actually be buying local. My advice is to do your research if you want to buy products that are actually made in your hometown (and want to support local business). Still, the Shop Local section is a nice initiative by Amazon, and a decent way to gain some new consumer confidence.
In the End
Vine.com offers some nice green products. Just don’t associate the word “green” with small business. Many of the products offered on this site come from very large companies with green labels. Amazon offers a wide selection of products at unbeatable prices, but consider shopping on a site like Etsy if you really wan to buy local and earth-friendly. You can test out Vine.com right now by heading to the new Amazon website. If you do order from Vine.com, let me know what you find, and what you think of Amazon’s new service.