How do you know if a Product is Ethical?
Living an ethical lifestyle is advantageous and rewarding but also has its challenges too. One area in particular that many people struggle with is how to know if the products they are buying are ethical or not – or in what ways are they are not ethical. GoEthical is here to help; we have created this article which explores “how do you know if a product is ethical?”
Look for ethical accreditations or values held by the brand
When shopping for ethical products it is always advisable to look for ethical accreditations. The accreditation varies according to the product you are buying. In fashion, for example, look for Fairtrade, Fair Wear and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) accreditations.
Other accreditations include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Leaping Bunny, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Rainforest Alliance, Soil Association and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).
The following links may also help:
- Ethical Consumer accreditations: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/research-hub/ethical-accreditation-schemes
- UK: http://www.ecolabelindex.com/ecolabels/?st=country,gb
- Europe: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/eu-ecolabel-for-consumers.html
- USA: http://www.ecolabelindex.com/ecolabels/?st=country,us
Research the product
The only way to verify whether a product is ethical or sustainable is through research. This is very time-consuming we know, but it’s the only way to establish the fundamental values which lie behind a business and its products.
Be sure to look for accreditations like the ones mentioned above. Look for transparency and openness, in general, if a business is ethical it will “shout it from the rooftops”! This is an area, which is covered when new brands apply to sell on GoEthical, using our registration form.
For smaller lesser-known brands look for their core values and brand story. Due to the expense of attaining certifications some smaller brands and manufacturers may not have received industry recognition but have adhered to the standards as outlined in their information, descriptions and specifications.
Whenever you buy a product look at areas such as the product label, description and specifications, also examine is the packaging recyclable?
Research can take hours or even days, trawling through websites. This is one of the main reasons we established GoEthical, which we explore next.
GoEthical ethical products all under one roof
GoEthical was established to deliver a new shopping user experience that saves time trawling and researching the internet. The app connects ethical buyers and sellers all under one roof in a vibrant community.
The research you would complete yourself has already been done when you use GoEthical. The app provides access to curated & vetted sellers. All sellers are screened and are asked to self-certify their ethical, eco or sustainable values as a part of their application process.
Read detailed product descriptions, which will give you what you need to know and also look for GoEthical badges, formal accreditations and third party certified logos.
GoEthical ethical criteria – badge guide
GoEthical provides a detailed ethical criteria guide here. Once verified, GoEthical will allocate a pro-seller badge to accredited sellers. Each of these sellers can have additional badges displayed for the following ethical criteria (read the guide for detailed descriptions) – Biodegradable, Cruelty free, Cycled (recycled or upcycled), Eco-friendly, Fair Wear, Farmers Market, Made in Britain, Natural, Organic, Plant based, Social impact, Sustainable, Third party certified and Vegan.
This means that GoEthical app users can save much of the “legwork” by knowing that sellers and products have been screened for their ethical values. Also see the sellers own brand story video to know more about what you are buying into.
Research is time-consuming, often complex and it may prove impossible to find the information or products you want. GoEthical is so much more than a shopping app – it combines lifestyle with access to the ethical and eco products that encourage a positive sustainable life change and also enable you to save money.
We are only a phone call away when you call us on 020 8337 2175. We are always delighted to help buyers and sellers alike and can also be contacted through our contact page.
GoEthical – The Ethical Life Marketplace App is available to download via the following links:
Image Credit: Morning Brew