21 Dec Our ethical year – 2017 in review
Before we all shut down for 2017 (hopefully to enjoy a more meaningful, ethical Christmas), I wanted to share a celebration of this year and it’s ethical successes!
Firstly, a massive thank you for being such a valuable part of our community.
The #EthicalHour tribe has grown incredibly this year, bringing together thousands of ethically-minded people from all over the world to share advice and support each other.
I am continually heartened at the generosity and good will of everyone in the community all year round, and amazed at how engaged everyone continues to be as the community grows.
Seeing the collaborations and friendships grow throughout the community inspires me every day and I have personally learnt so much in my own ethical journey from you all.
It fills me with excitement for the future as #EthicalHour continues to grow!
The most ethical year yet?
It feels like all around the world, consumers are waking up and demanding more from companies and small ethical businesses are rising to the challenge and meeting their demands.
According to Ethical Consumer, who we have been proud to work with and support this year, 2017 was the most ethical year yet!
The Ethical Markets Report 2017 found that the overall value of ethical spending grew by 3.2% this year to £81.3 billion – the highest total so far.
The UK’s ethical spending is in many cases, strengthening despite the fact that many of its market counterparts have faltered.
The world wakes up to plastic problem
Over the past few months, Blue Planet II has raised public awareness about the issue of plastic pollution.
Reports suggest that by 2050 if nothing changes there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
We praise plastic for its durability – but that’s the quality that makes it a dangerous threat to the planet.
Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea every year and it’s washing up in even the remotest places, as well as entering the food chain.
Campaigners called for a tax on single-use plastics and the UK Government are looking into this, Seattle will ban plastic straws and utensils in the city from June 2018 and people around the world are considering ways to cut back on their plastic consumption.
The problem is huge, but it’s not too late and we can all have an impact. It’s great to see ethical concerns like this making headline news and attracting mass attention 0 and it’s the perfect time to inspire people to make a change.
People chose to Shop Ethically Instead
We launched our #ShopEthicalInstead campaign in November to encourage people to support small businesses and ethical companies instead of getting involved in Black Friday and over-consumption during the holiday shopping season.
155 people joined our Thunderclap and our message reached 245,867 people around the world on the morning of Black Friday!
The #ShopEthicalInstead hashtag reached over 2 million impressions around the world and thousands of brands and consumers got involved in the campaign.
Reports are suggesting that Black Friday 2017 wasn’t as successful as big retail brands hoped and although there was a spike in sales, it was nowhere near as big as anticipated. It appears that the #ShopEthicalInstead message is getting through and people are turning away from the tradition of Black Friday!
Highlights from the Tribe
We’ve had a lot to celebrate this year in our campaign to empower people to live and work more ethically. We ran successful campaigns for Fashion Revolution, Fairtrade Month and other major ethical milestones, we’ve raised even more awareness and connected thousands of people to create a worldwide ethical community.
Here’s just a few of our highlights:
In July our Founder Sian was invited to speak on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme about ethical living. The discussion came after a debate about the ethics of the ‘gig economy’, which prompted a debate about how much ethical considerations should affect us as consumers.
Sian spoke about every day ethical living and making ethical choices as a consumer, alongside Professor Johnathan Berman from London Business School.
Website and Podcast
We launched our website and blog at the start of 2017 and our Podcast in the last half of the year. We’re dedicated to providing resources, information and support to help people live and work more ethically, and the blog and podcast give us a platform to do this.
Some fantastic guests have joined us this year to discuss a whole range of topics, and we’re looking forward to recording even more episodes next year!
Have a listen on iTunes and leave us a review if you’ve enjoyed the podcast in 2017!
Rebrand and First Birthday
In April we worked with the very talented Sofi from The Mouse Potato to give #EthicalHour its very own brand identity – and we couldn’t be happier with the beautiful results!
We also celebrated our first birthday in June 2016 with a massive ethical hamper giveaway! Members of the #EthicalHour tribe donated some beautiful prizes:
We’ll have to think of something exciting to do for our second birthday next June. Suggestions welcome!
UK Blog Awards
We are over the moon that we’ve been nominated for the UK Blog Awards in the Green & Eco and Social Influencers categories! Hopefully the awards will raise the profile of #EthicalHour even further and spread the word to even more ethical consumers, business owners and bloggers.
There’s still time to vote for us – we’d really appreciate it!
There were more awards to celebrate last month when Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers, chose #EthicalHour as her WOW Winner of the week. Every week she chooses her 3 favourite women-led businesses to celebrate on Twitter and we were honoured to be chosen!
#EthicalHour on tour
We’ve managed to get out and about and meet several members of the tribe in person this year too! It’s so rewarding to see everyone’s business in real life – and for me, meeting up with someone from the Twitter chat or Facebook group feels like meeting an old friend.
In May we spent a day on the farm with the team at Ted & Bessie, meeting the alpacas, finding out all about how alpaca wool is processed and even seeing shearing day in action! It was a real honour to get stuck in behind the scenes of an ethical fashion brand and find out all about how Catherine cares for her wooly friends.
Blue Patch Awards
I was really pleased that #EthicalHour were able to be media partners for the Blue Patch Business Awards 2017. They hosted an #EthicalHour Twitter chat all about the benefits of applying for business awards and I wrote a blog post for them too all about what it means to be an ethical business, as well as judging the Social Impact Award.
In September I travelled down to London Design Fair to meet the Blue Patch team and I had the honour of presenting the award to the winners, Juta Shoes.
The Ethical Consumer Conference
It was back down to London in August for what has to be the most inspiring day of my year – the Ethical Consumer Conference 2017. There were some incredible speakers and I was really honoured to be invited to give a workshop on ethical blogging too.
It was definitely the largest number of #EthicalHour members we’ve ever had in one room! We even hijacked the stage (during the lunch break) for a quick Facebook Live!
And of course there were drinks afterwards…
I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference and getting even more of us there!
Our Year in Numbers
What an incredible year it’s been!
We’ve connected over 25,548 ethically-minded people online across our social media community.
We’ve directly supported 77 ethically-focused brands to grow through our sponsorship programme, campaign collaborations and bespoke marketing consultancy (that’s more than 1 per week!), and even more through our free resources.
A percentage of our profits has been reinvested into Lend With Care loans for 2 entrepreneurs in developing countries and 2 Stand For Trees projects to preserve our precious rainforests.
We’re on a mission to empower and support 20,000 change makers by 2020, so our first full year has got us off to a flying start!
The support from the community has definitely helped me live and work more ethically this year and I hope it’s done the same for you. It even gave me the courage to leave my job and become full-time self employed, working as a marketing consultant and focusing my time on growing the #EthicalHour network and supporting ethical businesses. I can’t thank you all enough for being part of this incredible journey.
I’m looking forward to working with you all in 2018 but for now, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Don’t forget to tell me your 2017 ethical highlights too.
The next #EthicalHour Twitter Chat will be on Monday 1st January 2018 at 8pm UK time – see you then!