Have you ever seen products marked “ethically made” or “ethically sourced”? Were you confused as to what that meant?
Consumers these days are becoming more conscious and aware of the things they are buying and where they are coming from. This means considering that product’s impact on the environment, animals, and other people.
What does it mean?
When a product is marked “ethically made”, “ethically sourced”, or even “ethically manufactured”, it means that it was made with the utmost regard to ensure that it has the least impact on the environment and the community.
This means that the product was produced with good working conditions (no sweatshops or severely underpaid workers), no harmful chemicals, environmentally-friendly materials and practices (no dyes in the river!), and no animal testing, among other things.
The marker also means that the product can be all-natural, organic, or vegan.
Ethical consumerism, or shopping ethically, additionally refers to avoiding products that you as a consumer know are bad. Say, for example, makeup brands that are known to practice animal testing. You can choose to take your business elsewhere.
Why it’s good
When you shop ethically, you are choosing to support a progressive business that does not take advantage of their employees, cares about their impact on the environment, and does something about the people in their community.
We can’t avoid buying things altogether, but it’s better to buy recognize our purchasing power and buy products that are aligned with what we want to achieve for the world.
When we use our purchasing power for this good, we are not only providing business to those that deserve it, but also pressuring other businesses to get with the times.
Where can we buy?
There are a number of brands nowadays that are trying to switch to the ethical agenda. While it’s hard to be 100% perfect, they are still taking steps towards the right direction.
A couple beauty brands like Aesop, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Derma E are all certified cruelty-free and completely safe from animal testing.
As for fashion brands, we see companies like Patagonia and Levi’s taking charge. Patagonia has been known to be more vocal about the environment, making sure to produce their clothes with recycled materials and organic material while also donating 1% of all sales to environmental nonprofits.
Levi’s has also used recyclable materials for their denim, as well as employed innovative new practices to reduce water waste.
There are tons more brands out there that care about what you care about, and it’s worth knowing so you know where your money will go. Don’t be afraid to do your research and shop wisely!