If you’re looking to source products you purchase from ethical companies, it can be difficult to know where to start. The information can be confusing, and it’s not always easy to find. We’ve got a few tips to help answer your burning question: how do I know if I’m buying from an ethical brand.
Look at the brand website
You can learn a lot about a company by looking at their “About Us” page. An ethical company should want to tell all about their policies and code of ethics through brand transparency. One company with a great example is SATVA. Check out their story – they highlight their values and ethics and also their production process and the people who make their products.
Look at what they’re saying
A transparent company with honest and ethical practices will be proud of their values and processes. Undoubtedly, they will be sharing this information online, specifically through their social media platforms. We encourage you to read up on the day to day to find out if a brand’s values align with your own.
Look for brand certifications
There are certifications you can look for to tell you about a company’s values. While this is not an complete list, here are a few that we look for:
- Fair Trade – To be Fair Trade certified means “it was made according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards.” From the producers to their suppliers, “the people making Fair Trade Certified goods work in safe conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods, and earn additional money to empower and uplift their communities.”
- Cruelty Free – Leaping Bunny is the internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free brands. It requires independent audits to verify the cruelty-free claims are true. It is considered the gold standard in cruelty-free certification for personal care and household product companies and indicates no animal testing at any stage of development.
- Certified Vegan – “The Certified Vegan Logo is a registered trademark, similar in nature to the kosher mark, for products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals.” You can find the certified vegan logo (which began in 1995) on thousands of products by over 1000 companies.
- USDA Organic – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.
- Certified B Corporations – Businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose can become Certified B Corporations. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Look at independent third party ratings
Consumer watchdog groups provide tools and resources you need to help you make informed buying choices. Online ratings systems such as Ethical Consumer and Good on You give you the power to make better choices as an informed shopper – choices that reflect your commitment to doing better by the planet, people and animals.
Contact the company
If you don’t find the information you need to make an informed decision, you can always take the old-fashioned approach and just ask. Don’t hesitate to ask for the information you are looking for. Go ahead; click on that “Contact Us” button. Don’t be shy!
What if I don’t have time to do the research?
At Gone to Green Market, we love doing the research (so you don’t have to). Our goal is to help you find natural products from ethical, authentic suppliers, who provide clothing, personal care items, cosmetics, household, and lifestyle products. Our values uphold everything we do. We’re here to offer and recommend conscionable products that match what research tells us about health, animal safety and the environment. Gone to Green has taken its first step toward building a platform that will include a wide variety of products designed to enhance your life and your environment. Learn more about us and how we’re helping take the guesswork out of conscionable shopping.
Want more tips on becoming an ethical shopper? Check out our Step-by-Step Guide To Building A Sustainable Wardrobe.