Sustainability embraces the entire product lifecycle from raw materials and through all supporting processes to a finished product. This includes all aspects of manufacturing, package and the recyclability of the product. GoEthical encourages everybody to shop sustainably.
Far from being a cost, sustainable shopping is often cost-effective and has many environmental, health and social benefits. It enables conscious buyers to support products and services they ideologically believe in. On GoEthical, buyers can find products and services with a sustainable label and therefore align their shopping to their beliefs.
Benefits of sustainable shopping
The benefits of shopping sustainably include:
- Embracing a healthy lifestyle –
- Reduced toxicity – buy sustainable products, which will have less (if any) additives, chemicals, pesticides and preservatives
- Improved animal welfare – we encourage buyers to learn about the farm produce they eat, ask questions to learn about what you are eating. Much of this information is available when reading GoEthical seller profiles and products. Look for cruelty free agricultural practices, e.g. for animals before and after slaughter, or live a vegan lifestyle
- Improved environmental protection:
- Diversity – encouraging a wide range of plants/animals to be produced (not just homogeneous “cheap to produce” ranges, such as palm oil)
- Raw materials sourcing – ensuring that raw materials are sustainable and not depleting natural resources (e.g. toilet roll companies, which replant trees (lookout for FSC labelled products)
- Reduced (or entire elimination of) chemicals and pesticides
- Reduced use of fossil fuels – e.g. by switching to electric vehicles
- Local prosperity – through buying locally you know what you are buying. There is reduced transport pollution and you can investigate the sustainable practices of the business you are buying from as well as benefit your local community
- Products re-usage – buying pre-loved and second hand products help to achieve sustainability. In particular, clothing can often be bought “as good as new” and real bargains can sometimes be found
- Think before you buy – the world will become a much more sustainable place if everybody thinks before they buy. Ask the question – do you really need that item? An example of this is the “30 Wears Test” – which asks for clothing, “Will you wear the clothing item at least 30 times?” If the answer is Yes, buy it, if the answer is No, don’t buy it. Through adopting this simple test, we can help to reduce clothing waste
The GoEthical ethical marketplace has an extensive range of sustainable products, our retailer app encourages brands to sell sustainable products. Here we list some criteria to look for when buying sustainably.
Principles, which apply to all/most of the products below are:
- Environmental values – check the environmental accreditations of the brand, this includes eco-labels and GoEthical badges, which are clearly visible for all products sold
- Local – buy from local UK Artisans you can find here on GoEthical; this reduces the carbon footprint. Visit GoEthical’s “Made in Britain” section, to view British-produced products, such as ones produced by Micro Breweries
- Packaging – what is the packaging like? Is it excessive, can it be recycled? Wherever possible buy reusable packaging (e.g. sandwich bags, food containers, etc.)
- Raw materials – is the gift made from biodegradable or recycled materials?
Examples of sustainable goods include:
- Fashion – here are some thoughts to buy sustainable fashion:
- Fairtrade – is the clothing Fairtrade (i.e. paying a living wage) and looking after workers’ rights, such as Fair Wear?
- Quality – consider quality, “buy cheap buy twice”. It’s better to buy a quality product, which lasts rather than products which are cheap and “throwaway”
- Synthetic materials – avoid plastics such as acrylic, nylon and polyester. These don’t biodegrade (can take 1,000+ years to degrade) and end up in landfills contaminating water tables
- Food – here are some ideas to buy food sustainably:
- Avoid plastics – when buying groceries avoid one-off plastic bags (use recyclable bags, e.g. cloth), plastic straws (use paper straws instead) and plastic bottles (buy a washable reusable drinking bottle). Wherever you have the choice of plastic or glass, buy the product packaged in glass
- Avoid takeaways – when buying a takeaway, you don’t know the origins of the food. The takeaway is likely to use many “single use” packaging and is even worse if the food is delivered. Wherever possible, cook your own food from known sources (many great foods are available here on GoEthical)
- Embrace organic – buy organic products, for health and environmental reasons
- Grow your own – wherever possible “grow your own” products. The carbon footprint is very low, you also know the origins of what you eat, visit our home and garden section for inspiration!
- Gifts – when buying gifts, also look out for the following to buy sustainably:
- Energy rating – if you are buying electrical goods, check the energy rating is as efficient as it could be
- Handmade – buy handmade crafts and goods (e.g. pottery and glassware) from brands whose eco-friendly policies you know
- Services – Buy services, rather than “yet another” product the recipient may not need
- Pre-loved items – of course, pre-loved or second-hand items are about as sustainable as is possible. Look for products such as books and magazines, collectables, home appliances, jewellery, music (CDs and vinyl, etc.) and toys, etc. which can often available second hand rather than having to buy a more expensive new item.
- Recycled products – to buy recycled goods is to buy sustainably. So, look for recycled products wherever possible (many of which are on GoEthical). Products such as stationery, toilet paper, etc.
GoEthical badges and accreditations
GoEthical helps sustainable brands to stand out from the competition by displaying a badge. Following accreditation, a badge can be added to the seller profile. This is especially ideal for micro sellers who often can’t afford the expense of globally known certification schemes. Lookout for sustainable seller badges when browsing in GoEthical.
GoEthical Eco partnerships
As a practical demonstration of our commitment to environmental sustainability, GoEthical is delighted to be partnered with One Tree Planted and Bees Abroad. GoEthical pledge that 1% of sales commission revenue will be donated to our bees, trees and seas partners.
One Tree Planted
They are a non-profit organisation focused on global reforestation. For every $ donated, they will plant a tree in various regions around the world. One Tree Planted is our “Trees partner”.
GoEthical has partnered with Bees Abroad, a UK-based charity working to relieve poverty through Beekeeping. Bees Abroad establishes and supports sustainable/eco-friendly beekeeping projects in Africa and Asia. GoEthical’s contributions will be used to manage vital beekeeping projects, which support local communities whilst delivering significant environmental benefits through beekeeping. Projects are accessible to all including women groups, vulnerable adults, and youth, etc.
Register with GoEthical to buy and sell sustainable goods
Register with the GoEthical community now and use the inbuilt search functionality to find trending sustainable products. Once you follow brands, their products will also be suggested to you. So, why delay? – register with the GoEthical ethical app market today, it’s a marketplace to buy and sell sustainable products. Why miss out on a chance to live ethically and sustainably?