While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Our Place #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Our Place
While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Made Trade #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Made Trade
While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Caraway #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Caraway

7 Eco Friendly Cookware Brands That Won’t Cook Our Planet

*This post contains affilate links


We love to cook something tasty—ideally without warming up our planet too much. 

When it comes to kitchen-related sustainability considerations, most of us are quick to think of the impact of the food and drink we consume. At least those who have seen the ground-beef-breaking environmental documentary Cowspiracy.

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact.

The environmental footprint of conventional cookware varies depending on what materials were mined, what chemicals were used to coat, and how durable the pot or pan is. As a general rule of thumb, nonstick pans are the worst—not just because they can release byproducts and toxic chemicals when heated but because their lifespan of three to five years is unimpressive.

In the immortal words of Chef Gordon Ramsey, nonstick can “get the f*ck out of my kitchen”.

You can read more about that during dessert (aka at the bottom of the article). For now, just know we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware

Here are our specials for the evening’s article:

When we’re cooking for the planet, less is more—which is why we love the 8-in-1 Always Pan from Our Place. Milo Cookware’s sustainable pots and pans come with a lifetime guarantee of their durability. Sustainable cookware also means sustainable materials, like the recycled copper used by Amoretti Brothers

The orders are in so let’s get cooking!

1. CARAWAY

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Caraway #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Caraway
About Caraway

Caraway is all about clean cooking.

Even if you’re a boxed-mac-n-cheese kind of chef, their eco friendly nonstick cookware will make your daily lunch a little healthier. 

With frying pans, saute pans, saucepans, and Dutch ovens (availability individually or part of eco friendly cookware sets) it’s easy to get carried away with Caraway.

Caraway’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

A ceramic coating is how Caraway starts making cooking healthier. They use a non-toxic, mineral-based coating that doesn’t leach toxic materials. It requires less oil or butter for coating (again, contributing to a healthier meal) and less scrubbing with your zero waste dish soap to clean. 

The aluminum cookware (with a stainless steel base and handles) is free of PTFE, lead, cadmium, and other dangerous materials commonly leached into food. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

All Caraway eco friendly cookware is designed in New York and produced in factories in India and China committed to ethical manufacturing. Using BSCI- and SMETA-certified manufacturing partners, they partner only with those proud to support safe working environments, fair pay, benefits, and regulated work hours. 

Because they cut out middlemen, they’ve also cut out some unnecessary retail markups. 

Green business practices:

In addition to using a coating that releases 60% less CO2 during manufacturing (compared to conventional non-stick coatings), Caraway also uses recycled cardboard, low-impact dyes, 100% biodegradable cork trivets, and zero plastic bags!

Available: Caraway

2. XTREMA

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Xtrema #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Xtrema
About Xtrema

Xtrema wants us to not only think about the ingredients and foods we’re putting into our bodies, but also the pots and pans we’re putting our food into. 

Is healthy food still healthy after being cooked in toxic materials? 

Xtrema provides peace of mind with its line of safe and sustainable cookware made entirely of ceramic. This means skillets, saucepans, stockpots, dutch ovens, bakeware, teapots, lids, and cookware sets all free of metals and chemicals. 

Bring these non-toxic pots to boil, cover, and simmer your way to a more sustainable supper!

Xtrema’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Xtrema is xtremely uncomplicated with their single-substance eco friendly ceramic cookware. Being 100% natural ceramic (a mix of minerals, clay, and water), these pots and pans are nonreactive and free of PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, dyes, and coatings. 

Additionally, the eco friendly nontoxic cookware from Xtrema won’t change the taste of the food or leach chemicals, lead, cadmium, or metal. All pieces meet California Prop 65 standards being free of more than 800 dangerous chemicals.    

Supply chain & labor practices:

Xtrema is family-owned and operated in the U.S. For manufacturing, however, they partner with skilled artisans in China—a country ranked #1 for ceramic manufacturing in the world. 

Each piece takes 20 days to make from start to finish. 

Green business practices:

The dedication to quality and 5,000 years of ceramic innovation mean this cookware is durable enough to handle any cooking method.  They’re so confident in this, they provide a 10-year warranty.

Available: Xtrema

3. MILO COOKWARE

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Kana #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Kana
About Milo Cookware

Kana is the brand behind Milo Cookware. They’re committed to taking the things we use around the house every day, and making them better. 

Using beautiful designs and responsible manufacturing, Kana is king when it comes to ethical kitchen companions. 

Transform your kitchen with their Milo Cookware line of nontoxic sustainable cookware. Meal prep like the pros using their Dutch ovens, spacious skillets, and cookware sets.

Milo Cookware’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The Classic Dutch oven is our favorite piece, as it’s made with 40% recycled cast iron and sprayed with TOMATEC™ enamel to enhance performance and durability. This makes it naturally non-stick, easy to clean, and still manages to remain free of PFOA and PTFE.

All Milo Cookware products have been tested and are California Prop 65 compliant (i.e. free of 800 dangerous chemicals).  

The other cast iron pieces are not made with recycled materials.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Every piece of cookware from Kana is French-inspired and California-designed. We’ll be reaching out to learn more about their manufacturing specifics. 

Green business practices:

Milo Cookware is meant to last. In fact, every piece is guaranteed for life. Think of it like “a hundred-year investment in your food and kitchen.

It’s an affordable investment, too, because Kana cuts out the middlemen to make Milo Cookware more accessible for more people. 

Community & charitable giving:

Kana is a proud fellow member of 1% for the Planet and every purchase supports One Tree Planted, an organization committed to reforestation. 

Available: Kana

4. OUR PLACE

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Our Place #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Our Place
About Our Place

Our Place believes in the power of a home-cooked meal—and that what we equip our kitchen with can help support our collective place on Earth. 

While their collection of cookware and eco friendly dinnerware is small, it’s quite the display. 

The star of the show is the best-selling Always Pan, which takes the questions out of cooking. It can be used for braising, searing, steaming, straining, boiling, frying, sautéing, and serving! All in all, it’s compatible with all cooktops and replaces eight pieces of cookware all while weighing under three pounds 

 If you’re a fan of minimalistic eco friendly cookware, look no further.

Our Place’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The Always Pan is made from non-toxic, non-stick ceramic, and comes along with a beechwood spatula and a sturdy aluminum bottom for even heat distribution. It’s free from toxic materials like nanoparticles, cadmium, lead, PTFEs, PFOAs, and PFAs. 

They didn’t forget the stainless steel steamer basket for your organic veggies!

Supply chain & labor practices:  

Our Place may want to minimize the number of items we have in our kitchens, but they’re going the extra step to ensure those items have been produced ethically. 

Their partner factories proudly boast certifications from SEDEX, SA8000, ISO, and BSCI. 

Even better, their Always Pan is made in a female-owned factory in China that has an excellent commitment to craftsmanship and ethics. 

Green business practices:

In addition to transforming several pieces of cookware into just one (less materials = less manufacturing), Our Place sends it in recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials. 

Why bubblewrap when you can bubble fondue?

Community & charitable giving:

Our Place’s main philanthropic project is a partnership with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. They’re currently in the process of helping to establish a locally-owned mini market, which will help provide access to fresh and healthy food in South LA.  

They also regularly donate to organizations like Feeding America. 

Available: Our Place

5. GREAT JONES

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Great Jones #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Great Jones
About Great Jones

Great Jones wasn’t just started with great food in mind, but was actually inspired by some of the biggest names in American food (like Momofuku’s David Chang!). 

The sustainable cookware brand is relatively new, but they’ve already helped thousands of people revamp their kitchens with quality cookware products that are designed for deliciousness. 

In addition to quality design, superior ergonomics, and aesthetics that will make you proud to display your Great Jones pots and pans, they offer a quality selection. Their healthy eco friendly cookware and bakeware includes Dutch ovens, stockpots, sauté pans, warming dishes, bread pans, skillets, sauciers, and sets. 

Like a good chef can satisfy (almost) any taste, they satisfy any kitchen, cook, and budget.  

Great Jones’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Many of Great Jones’ cookware is made of nonreactive stainless steel (that won’t impact flavor), trace amounts of nickel, and an aluminum core to distribute heat evenly. They also have stainless steel handles and knobs that dissipate heat 

Some pans/sheets have a nonstick coating but it’s non-Teflon and nontoxic. 

Similarly, the enamel-coated cast-iron prevents sticking in a sage way. It cooks evenly but doesn’t require seasoning like traditional cast iron. 

Ceramic (specifically, stoneware) is also used in some of the bakeware, allowing them to withstand heat up to 450°F. 

Most pieces are PTFE and/or PFOA-free. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Great Jones partners with vetted cookware factories all over the world (Guangdong, China; Tianjin, China; and the USA). We’re hoping they’ll give us more details about specific labor practices and worker protections. 

Green business practices:

Ever wondered what happens to a non-stick pan when it becomes… a stick pan? It ends up in a landfill and stays there forever. 

Great Jones stands out for one big reason—all of their returned cookware is recycled, some through a partnership with Hot Bread Kitchen in New York. They also provide resources to help users to recycle their old non-GJ pots. 

Don’t take this as a sign that Great Jones products need to be replaced often though. One of the main reasons their sustainable ethical cookware is sustainable is that it’s designed to last and covered by warranty

Available: Great Jones

6. AMORETTI BROTHERS

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Made Trade #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Made Trade
About Amoretti Brothers

We’d be more than happy to welcome the Amoretti Brothers into our kitchens. This brand ticks all the boxes when it comes to satisfying our hunger and keeping our consciences happy. 

Their ethical sustainable cookware, crafted using “the art of metal transformation”, is unlike most. And their commitment to sustainable materials will put a smile on any vegan chef’s face. 

If you’ve been looking for motivation to get back into the kitchen, leave it to the Amoretti Brothers selection—saucepans, frying pans, woks, paella pans, sauté pans, roasting pans, Dutch ovens, stockpots, and cookware sets—to inspire new culinary creations.

Amoretti Brothers’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Here’s the first way Amoretti Brothers gets 4 Michelin stars of the best eco friendly cookware: their use of high-quality 100% recycled copper and cast-bronze. 

The copper will naturally patina over time, giving it a unique and natural beauty. However, it cannot be put in the dishwasher and will not work on induction cooktops. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

While based in Turin, Italy with an office in New York, Amoretti Brothers produces their line by partnering with talented artisans in Tlalpujahua, Michoacan, Mexico. Each piece is hand-forged by local artisans, 50% of whom are women and 100% of whom are paid fairly. 

Amoretti Brothers is committed to investing in whole artisan communities: “We generate jobs that don’t benefit us alone but also help employees provide for their families in a meaningful way.”

Green business practices:

In addition to using recycled materials, each piece from Amoretti Brothers is designed to last several lifetimes. 

Available: Amoretti Brothers

7. ETSY VINTAGE COOKWARE

While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Laura's Last Ditch #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle
Image by Laura’s Last Ditch
About Etsy Vintage Cookware

Etsy is a treasure trove for vintage cookware (and one of the best all-around alternatives to Amazon!). 

It is THE PLACE to find unique, vintage, and one-of-a-kind cookware.  You could easily spend weeks getting lost in all of the goodies offered by the platform’s thousands of independent sellers. 

Vintage or secondhand is the most eco-friendly option when looking for cookware (or anything else for that matter) so we love that Etsy has such a vibrant offering of incredible pieces, from the famous Rival Crockpots to beautiful floral Pyrex casserole dishes. 

We’ll spare you hours (days?) of scrolling by mentioning one of our favorite kitchen-focused Etsy sellers (though there are hundreds more worth giving a taste-test). 

Laura’s Last Ditch is dedicated to helping find the unfindable, and with 12,500 sales and, with an average five-star rating, it seems she’s pretty good at it. This Michigan-based store specializes in antique housewares, food photography props, small appliances, bakeware, and vintage pots and pans.

Etsy Vintage Cookware’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Expect to see some of the usual materials used for the vintage eco friendly cookware—namely aluminum, pyrex, ceramics and other metals. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

This obviously varies by store but in Laura’s case, Laura’s Last Ditch is “like grandma’s kitchen, only bigger!” In other words, owner Laura does it all herself. She enjoys frugal pursuits which is why she dedicates her time to thrifting and reselling hard-to-find kitchen treasures. 

Green business practices:

Laura wants her finds to encourage others to be good stewards of resources. Not only does vintage cookware mean less precious resources required, but everything is also shipped with reclaimed packaging materials to further save natural resources. 

Additionally, all Etsy shipping is 100% carbon offset. 

Available: Etsy

WHY COOK WITH NON TOXIC COOKWARE

Hopefully, this one is a no brainer, but in case it’s not, we can boil the answer down with one other question that can no longer be put on the back burner:

Is nonstick cookware environmentally friendly?

Is nonstick cookware even safe to come in contact with food?

According to research by the Environmental Working Group, many of the chemicals found in nonstick pans (i.e. polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE) are considered “forever chemicals”. That means they take decades to leave our bodies (ew) and never break down in the environment (double ew).

Per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of thousands of chemicals used to coat consumer goods. The two most notorious of the bunch are PFOA (Teflon) and PFOS, which have been banned in the U.S. after being linked to serious health and environmental problems.

Unfortunately for those wanting to “whip something up for dinner,” the chemicals that commonly replace these two are just as dangerous. 

Ceramic-coated cookware generally doesn’t contain harmful PFAS chemicals, but the use of nanoparticles and PTFE to coat such cookware hasn’t been studied thoroughly in a long term capacity—meaning the environmental and health impacts are unknown

This study looked at various coatings (like PTFE, PFOA, and GenX) and concluded that many times toxic chemicals are replaced by chemicals just as toxic. 

So is nonstick cookware eco friendly? Most of the time, nope. A good rule of thumb is to avoid nonstick cookware unless a brand is transparent about exactly what it is and what it’s free of. 

We can eat organic kale and season out food with turmeric all we want, but the health benefits are all for naught if it’s exposed to dangerous chemicals along the way to our bellies.  

Eco friendly cookware is definitely better for the environment if it ever goes to landfill (which it should do less often). But it’s also way better for us, and that’s a benefit we can reap instantly every time we do something as simple as fry an egg.


HOW WE FOUND THE BEST ECO FRIENDLY COOKWARE

We’ve been tearing our homes apart to find the most eco friendly items to decorate, furnish, cook, and clean. This has all been inspired by the criteria we came up with in our cornerstone sustainable and ethical fashion article. 

No, we’re not planning on wearing a cast iron pot anytime soon, but the ingredients for a sustainable wardrobe are the same things that make a sustainable kitchen, right? Think of it as an (almost) perfect recipe for conscious consumerism on the whole.

Here are the main ingredients:

Materials:

Sustainability starts with materials and, when it comes to sustainable cookware, each comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. 

Ceramic is generally free of some toxins found in other types of materials, though be wary of potentially toxic coatings. It’s also made with natural, renewable materials (like clay and sand). 

Aluminum is lightweight, which means easier carrying for you (and whatever fossil fuel-guzzling vehicle got it to your house). However, aluminum is not as durable as some of the other options, though it’s very easy to recycle without downgrading the material. It also poses a risk of leaching toxic metals into food (especially if it’s uncoated/recycled). 

Stainless steel is highly durable and resistant to scratches, dents, corrosion, and rust. However, excess exposure to acid has been shown to contribute to heavy metal leaching

Copper is great when it comes to cooking. It’s highly thermally conductive, so very little heat gets lost as it’s transferred from your stovetop to your spicy tofu stir fry. On the other end of the spectrum, stainless steel is the least conductive. Copper is another easily recyclable material, too, so it’s not uncommon to find recycled copper cookware.

Cast iron is generally considered the most durable of materials. Taken care of properly (meaning regular seasoning, either with oil or a natural cast iron seasoning), it can last several generations. It has the added benefit of even cooking and extremely good heat retention—meaning it can continue cooking even after your stove/oven is turned off. 

Ultimately, when it comes to the mining and manufacturing of these materials, cast iron can be considered the most eco-friendly given it lasts a lifetime (especially when it’s recycled cast iron!). 

Supply chain and labor practices:

Supply chains aren’t like secret recipes. We want to know every single ingredient! Especially since cookware is often made of metals and minerals that may result from damaging mining and refining practices.

Unfortunately, the push toward transparent supply chains seems yet to have really hit the cookware world. Still, there are some brands that are incorporating fair wages, safe and respectful working conditions, and methods to improve gender equality. Some are even backed up by certifications!   

  • Certifications: BSCI, SMETA, SEDEX, SA800, ISO9001

Green business practices:

The best way eco friendly cookware can be, well… eco friendly, is by being minimal and long-lasting! These brands are doing durability right, and most have the warranties to back it up. 

On top of that, it’s great to see the use of environmentally conscious packaging, earth-friendly manufacturing practices, and carbon offsets. 

Community & charitable giving:

Some brands are understandably still warming up to the idea of charitable giving, but some have already jumped on board with direct donations and memberships to organizations like 1% for the Planet.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ECO FRIENDLY COOKWARE

Dinner’s served—and with some of this eco friendly cookware, it can be served sustainably. 

Why do Stir-Friday when you can do Sustainable Stir-everyday!?

If there’s one trick to living a more eco friendly lifestyle, it’s examining all of our actions and the products that make them possible. Most of us don’t spend any time thinking about our cookware because meal planning and grocery shopping are more than enough to think about, thank you. 

However, it’s good to realize that just a small change—say, a once in a lifetime purchase of recycled cast iron pan or vintage eco friendly stainless steel cookware—can have a big impact. 

Fortunately, more and more brands are making this easier and more affordable. We’d love to know more of them! Help us build our collective recipe book of brands and share any sustainable cookware favorites in the comments below.


While the impact of animal products is certainly the most dangerous part of our dinner plate, what we cook our meals in also has an impact. So we’re scrambling like an egg to find eco friendly cookware. Image by Caraway #ecofriendlycookware #sustainablejungle

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