If we want to encourage change in the world, a good place to look at is where we are spending our money. Just like ourselves, companies can have a good or bad impact on the world. They can choose to be good for the environment, to support animal welfare and human rights. But they can also choice not to. Is it up to us to decide whether we are happy to continue paying into the companies that don’t stand for the values that we do.
There are many things we can do to ensure we are purchasing ethical products from ethical companies. Before purchasing any products, it is important to do some research. Luckily there are websites and apps out there to make this simpler. Ethical Consumer is a top one, providing ethical ratings and profiles on over 40,000 companies and products. You can gain access to the Ethical Consumer’s profiles for just £29.95 a year or sign up for their e:newsletter for free. Ethical Consumer have a A-Z list of companies to completely avoid due to poor ethics. Another good one is The Good Shopping Guide – my personal favourite – which is a free service that compares companies, to make it easier to chose the most ethical, with top companies awarded Ethical Accreditation.
As well as The Good Shopping Guide Ethical Accreditation, there are other certification labels to look out for, such as Fairtrade which ensures workers are paid correctly and Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free International which checks whether products have been tested on animals.
But before all of this, its good to get into the habit of questioning whether you actually need to buy more. If you have a wardrobe full of clothes that you don’t wear – like myself- then you probably don’t. But if you must shop, try second hand first, there are so many amazing items out there and super cheap. Also consider bringing old clothes back to life, get creative.
Something that I had never thought about when it comes to ethical consuming is, my bank. When we save money with our bank, they use it to invest or loan out to make profit. But what do they invest in? I checked mine and I am disappointed to report that I do not use a very ethical bank, this is unfortunate because I have used them my whole life, but I am reconsidering that now. Check here if your bank are using your money ethically.
I am very cautious when purchasing health and beauty products, always checking for the cruelty free logo. But after researching ethical shopping and checking the brands that I use, my eyes have really been opened. The companies I choose because they offer cruelty free products, seem to have a medium or low ethical scoring. The biggest shock is they score low on animal welfare! It would seem I have a lot of work to do and many new products to try.
Have a nice day!