Terra Ties Hairties

overall rating:



Marisa Rodriguez
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Terra ties are a sustainable alternative to your average hair tie. Made with 100% biodegradable, organic materials, Terra ties pave the way toward a plastic-free hair product market. However, there are many aspects to consider aside from environmentally conscious materials, such as labor practices, costs, and manufacturing processes. Terra Ties provides minimal information on these correlating categories, which is a major transparency issue for consumers. For one, a pack of 27 Terra ties is $14.95, while regular hair ties cost approximately $4 for a pack of 200. That’s over 90x more expensive per hair tie! Because they are so easy to misplace or break, people turn to cheap hair ties, making Terra Ties inaccessible to many. To make this product more equitable and accessible for all, the company must find a way to lower the cost and update their information on all sustainability components. 

What it's made of:


The sustainability of a product is based on its life cycle--from cradle to grave. This is something Terra Ties are exceptionally successful with, as they are composed of organic cotton and natural rubber, and dyed with natural dyes. All these materials are biodegradable and far more sustainable than other leading hair tie brands, which make their ties out of synthetic rubber, polyester, and artificial dyes. An interesting component to Terra Ties is the use of natural dyes, which are made from plants, invertebrates, insects, fungi, and minerals. Because they come from many renewable sources, natural dyes produce no waste, and are nontoxic and non allergenic. For these reasons, natural dyes are safer and favorable for a greater population. Unfortunately, these materials are unreasonably expensive, which makes for an overall inaccessible product.

Terra Ties packaging is 100% biodegradable and avoids manufacturing plastic by utilizing recycled material. This form of packaging echoes the idea of redesigning resource life cycles so that all products are reused—also known as zero waste. The EPA defines zero waste as the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. This practice has become more apparent in company and lifestyle choices, so let’s hope it continues to grow and thrive in these environments. 

How it's made:


The downside of Terra Ties lies in the following two sections, as they are unclear on any of the hair tie manufacturing processes and labor practices. They provide the following sentence on their About Us page: Product is made sustainably in China. What does that mean exactly? The manufacturing facilities emit minimal carbon emissions? The workers get paid fair wages? Not sure. Likewise, because we don’t know where Terra Ties receives their materials, it is not certain how localized the production is and the impact of transportation emissions. 

Who makes it:


Again, Terra Ties needs to be much more transparent on how the hair ties are manufactured. They provide no information regarding labor practices and fair wages for employees, aside from the fact that they are “sustainably made in China.” If this is true, Terra Ties should have no problem opening up to their consumers. The company’s only focus seems to be the materials used for the hair ties, and neglects to communicate about all other aspects of a sustainable business. This makes it difficult to validate their successes as a “planet first” company.