It’s commonplace to carry your reusable water bottle around with you and buy natural beauty and cleaning products, but do you know what to look for when shopping ethically? Our handy guide explains the top six things to consider when you’re making your next purchase.
Try to find out more about the company
Are they open about the way in which their products are made? Do they talk about their manufacturing process and how they treat their workers? A good place to start with this is on their ‘About Us’ page on their website or check their social media. Look for companies who are open, transparent and treat their workers well. Companies demonstrate ethical practices in many ways, from essential things like paying a fair wage, to providing healthcare, family support and childcare and providing communities with renewable electricity sources. Be curious about companies ethics and ask questions. Drop them an email, call them or DM them on social media!
Look for trusted labels
Can you read what other customers think of the brand? These can be a good indicator of how other people view the brand, not just how they want to be viewed. Many people are very honest when submitting a review and demonstrate what they like (or dislike) about the brand. If a company has plenty of 5-star reviews and its customers are impressed by the quality and business ethics, this is a great sign!
Less is more
We all know that one way to shop ethically and sustainably is to simply buy less. In the past, consumers have become overloaded with items in their home, however, in recent years many shoppers are consciously buying better quality and less. It’s also ok to buy online if you are trying to shop ethically; it gives you an opportunity to research a product and company and subsequently make a more informed and thoughtful purchase.
Consider the cost
If you can buy a set of 3 tea towels for £5, it’s unlikely they are being made with ethical practices in mind, both from an environmental aspect or in their business ethics. On the flip side, don’t always assume that because an item carries a high price point that it is ethically made. This is where quickly researching a company pays off.
Avoid synthetic fabrics
These are essentially made from plastic thread and can shed microfibres into waterways during production. Polyester, Nylon and other made-made fabrics are often harsh on the environment to make. Try to buy natural fabrics, such as cotton or bamboo, which are not only less toxic, they often perform much better and feel nicer for home textile products.
Look for certifications
Read the labels of products or if you are shopping online, read the product description and try to find out if the product is Organic, OEKO-TEX® 100 or if it’s leather look for vegetable tanned products. OEKO-TEX® 100 certifications encourage businesses to act responsibly through making more sustainable purchasing decisions, offering ethical working conditions and ensuring products are free from harmful substances. All textiles holding the OEKO-TEX® 100 certifications have been tested for harmful substances, from yarn to the finished product.
We would love to hear your tips for shopping ethically, comment below or send us a message. Share this blog with your friends so we can all be better equipped and informed on how to make better purchasing decisions!
Interested to know how Sticky Toffee ensures our products are ethically made? Read our About Us page to find out what we stand for, from providing childcare for our workers, not using child workers, providing healthcare and renewable energy for communities.
Shop our range of ethically made Tea Towels, made from OEKO-TEX® 100 cotton here.
Hi , hope you are having a good day, thank you for the tips.
Is it expensive to ship to the USA,
I like you always try and buy cotton everything, I started it back in the late 70s I lived in California and I got tired of sweating in polyester slacks and tops, as they are not breathable.
Have a great day