What's Lurking In Your Products? Looking Beyond The Packaging.
#WhatsInMyProducts Twitter chat & Ethical Brand Resource list (below)
Encouraged by the recent discussions about #WhoMadeMyClothes, we decided to tackle the equally important topic of what's in the products we use everyday. Last evening, Sept 18th, we hosted an exciting #EthicalHour Twitter chat and had a lively debate about ethical business practices, including manufacturing processes, product ingredients and advertising techniques.
Twitter chats move quickly, and last night was no exception! There were some great points and observations, as well as some interesting reads and links.
Congratulations to our winner @TheBeautyBankuk for making excellent points throughout and for keeping the chat going!
#WhatsInMyProducts: The Highlights
How do we incentivize consumers to buy from ethical brands?
The price of ethical goods has always been a bit of a hurdle. Many ethical products will tend to cost more, because buying high-quality, eco-friendly materials and paying a workforce fair wages means that the end price is inevitably going to be higher. If conscious consumers are always paying a higher price it can be more difficult to persuade new customers to choose ethical products.
This is where we would hope that we could rely on the government to encourage and reward ethical business practices and tax businesses who don't adhere to criteria.
Jackie, @GreenAspiration, made an excellent point on this matter:
In an ideal world there would be a polluter (eg businesses rather than end users) pays tax system then people would buy green as cheaper.— Jackie Elton (@GreenAspiration) September 18, 2017
Consumers aren't solely lead by price, however. Often consumers will buy from a brand that is making a positive impact. @em_pact made a great suggestion:
I always find that sharing the impact of the purchase is exciting enough (10 trees were saved, 1 child's education funded)! #EthicalHour— em-pact (@em_pact) September 18, 2017
As consumers we should be active in asking difficult questions. Our winner, @TheBeautyBankuk summed this up:
For beauty: how long is the ingredients list? Can I understand it? What are the packaging materials? How was it sourced? #ethicalhour— TheBeautyBank (@TheBeautyBankuk) September 18, 2017
Should their be standard ethical business practices?
With businesses setting their own standards on ethical practices is it harder for conscious consumers to monitor? There are ethical bodies that provide recognition for businesses who adhere to strict ethical standards but these can often be unattainable for small businesses just starting out with little start up capital.
Kate, @SOBrightGreen, and SE_Mark discuss:
Yes that is the challenge with the big brands setting their own standards - could lead to watered down version? #ethicalhour— SE Mark CIC (@SE_Mark) September 18, 2017
How do we tackle 'Green-washing'?
With a trend of consumers considering ethical options many businesses haven chosen to use questionable marketing techniques to make their brand or product appear more 'green'. Brands will use lose terms such as 'natural' or 'fresh' to give the illusion that their product is good for you, while often times they are not. This process is called 'Green-washing' and it is making it more difficult for consumer's to decipher what is ethically made and what is a marketing ploy.
@WhereDoesItCome, points out that a definitions table would be a great way to make it more clear what certain words really mean:
@QuaintGeorgiana offered up some useful definitions:
#WhatsInMyProducts: Ethical Resource List
We asked the #EthicalHour community, who their favourite ethical brands were. We have included these in a list below.
We would love for you to share this list with your friends, and help promote ethical businesses:
Beauty & Wellness:
@ - The Skin Stylist, helping women to love their skin.
@ - Aromatic sensory skincare blends created to awaken the skin and enlighten your senses.
@ - Handmade, 100% natural moisturiser and perfume
#organic, #vegan, no added water.
@ - 100% natural beauty & wellness products that help you
#sleepbeautifully and wake up looking gorgeous.
@ - home of multi-award-winning eco-luxe beauty.
@ - Gentle organic plant oils blended for powerful results without preservatives or synthetics
@ - Lily Lolo offers an expertly formulated range of high-performance, high quality mineral makeup must-haves to help you achieve flawless beauty, naturally.
@ - Mineral makeup and pure cosmetics.
@ - We are a luxury cosmetics brand, passionate about creating world class natural and organic products. Certified Vegan, Halal & Cruelty Free.
@LushLtd - Cosmetics can save the world - if we do it right. We live for discovering the finest ingredients, campaigning constantly and protecting Mother Nature.
@grace_and_green - Socially motivated lifestyle brand connecting women with sustainable hygiene options. Join us for a chance to win year’s free subscription
@thepipbox - The
#CrueltyFree & #Vegan Beauty Box. Shipping to UK & Europe.
@WhiteRabbitSC - Luxury, eco-friendly skincare proudly handmade in Scotland. Registered with The Vegan Society, cruelty free certified by PETA & Naturewatch endorsed.
@BlueHenSoap - Be kind to the Earth while you are kind to your skin. Vegan.
@BlueLabelleUK - Natural skin care, organic beauty. All of our products are blended & bottled by hand, & registered by the Vegan Society
@ethos_mag - Good Stories. Good People. Good Business. A magazine for and about ethical entrepreneurs, innovation and sustainability.
@SelinaJuul - Founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark
@parleyxxx - Where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for our oceans & collaborate to end their destruction.
@UKGBC - We are the UK Green Building Council - join our campaign for a sustainable built environment
@byesupermarkets - Journalist | Author | Speaker.
@RavenAndLily - Raven + Lily is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through design.
@PurnaaNepal - Ethical cut and sew manufacturer in Kathmandu Nepal, committed to empowering fresh starts and fulfilled lives for those marginalized by society.
@brmstudio - Stand out clothing that doesn't cost the Earth - eco & ethical womenswear designed & made in Britain.
@CorkNature - Eco-friendly fashion accessories made of cork. Sustainable. Sophisticated. Unique.
@bellamodaent - ATL fashion,beauty,health blog focused on sustainableðical brands.
@WhereDoesItCome - Cool Clothes that Tell Tales..... beautiful, unique and each garment comes with its creation story.
@TollyDollyPosh - 17yo' Fashion Designer & Ethical Blogger
@LaPM_quest - Cool streetwear in ridiculously soft organic fibers // Sustainable brand Peruvian born, Paris based
@intheraw - We've been making delicious, wholesome sweeteners since 1970, so your baking and drinks are naturally a sweet success.
@FabFudge_UK - We make a range of over 40 Luxurious Artisan Fudge flavours including a growing Vegan selection.
@lowtoxbox - Your Ethical Subscription Box to live a Greener Healthier Lifestyle Plus we Plant a Tree for every box sold offsetting our Carbon Footprint
@coromcoast - Putting Indian coffee on the world map ¦ Hand roasted in small batches ¦ Great taste & rich heritage in every cup ¦ UK's only co. specialising in Indian coffee
@SeventhGen - A clean world starts with a clean home. We’ve been helping safely clean yours for over 28 years.
@TheArtTiffin - Unique Art+Mindfulness
#socent with #vegan #sustainable #crueltyfree #artboxes for #mentalhealth
Ethical Business Support:
@em_pact - em-pact's mission is to empower + support socially-conscious businesses to maximize their impact, through events, marketing, + communications services.
@SianEConway - Marketing | PR | Business Mentor |
#EthicalHour Helping good businesses grow online.
@feeshackleton - Freelance
#socialmediamanager, living and loving life in #Yorkshire.
@make_hay - Website design and green web hosting making a positive difference for charities, businesses and ethical orgs
@Makerble - Beautifully designed
#impact #monitoring #tool that #staff, #volunteers, #campaigners love using.
@scratch_posts - Support, on. Customer support consultancy for ethical & creative businesses, run by uanrah. Writing • Training • Ideas — auf Deutsch and in English
@SE_Mark - Display your
#socent credentials with pride! Prove you trade for people & planet with an independent externally assessed guarantee
Ethical Product Suppliers:
@miiglers - Automatically discover social good and sustainable brands when shopping online.
@secretsofgreen - Welcome to the Secrets of Green. A destination for urbanists. A new online lifestyle store & community. Inspired by nature.
@BluePatchTeam - Online directory showcasing sustainable British products & services with an ethical business community for UK makers.
@Ethicalution - I'm Sam & I bring you offers from ethical brands, helping you save money when shopping with a conscience.
@Earth_Changers_ - Find & book trips that change the world. Extraordinary Experiences, Life Changing Places. Transformative Travel: sustainable tourism
@ZealSusty - Pursuing
#SustainableLiving Global community. All about #ethical & #sustainable choices!
@eleanorclaudie - i love fashion and write about it sometimes
@TheGoodLife_Co - The Sustainable Living Blog. We're a couple on a mission to live a more sustainable life and share our journey along the way.
@PennysGreenLife - I blog about how we find ways to live a more sustainable & ethical life - my own thoughts and views.
@GreenAspiration - Loves Eco living, organics, sustainability, nature, Ethical Gifts, Salsa Dancing, Social Media esp Pinterest
@MummyGourmand - Believer in slow, ethical & sustainable fashion.
@ThegreeneryLDN - Harriet Whiting gives chic eco-tips on where to shop, eat, travel Sustainable living with style Bringing more green into your life. Positive news stories
@TheBeautyBankuk - Seeking beauty, the natural way.
@anujasaw - Sustainability Professional
Join our circle for your chance to WIN one more year's supply of organic period products.
Share this list an encourage ethical choices:
If you would like your ethical brand or product to be featured on this list, comment below.