It’s that time of year again – retailers are spending millions on heartwarming ads to grab our attention and whip us up into a spending frenzy.
Black Friday is filling our newsfeeds with bargain deals and this year many retailers have stretched out their sales for a whole week or more!
The biggest spending marathon of the year is about to start and in the UK alone we’ll spend around £5.4bn – an average of £165 per household.
54% of shoppers admitted to feeling stressed, anxious and even argumentative when doing their Christmas shopping, and 2 out of 3 said they would snatch the last item from the shelf, even if another shopper was reaching for it.
All this bargain hunting might be bringing out the worst in shoppers, but it’s also having a toxic impact on the planet too.
Brits have wasted a staggering £3.9bn on Black Friday purchases they haven’t used or don’t even remember buying and of those who had a Black Friday regret, only 43% returned the item back to the retailer, resulting in items left redundant across the country or destined for landfill.
A study in 2015 found that household consumption is responsible for more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions and as people prepare to start spending on more stuff they don’t need, it’s time for eco-conscious shoppers to raise awareness of the alternatives.
For many small businesses sales at this time of year can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a retailer’s annual turnover, so it really is a crucial time for their survival.
Shopping locally and supporting small businesses helps to boost communities too. For every £1 spent with small or medium-sized businesses, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with larger businesses.
Plus we all know that buying ethically is good for people and planet, but it could actually be good for your own wellbeing too.
That’s why we created our #ShopEthicalInstead campaign – to put a positive alternative across and encourage people to support small, ethical businesses this holiday season.
Inside the Ethical Hour community on Facebook we’ve already started exchanging ethical gift ideas and set the challenge of buying all our Christmas shopping from Ethical Hour members.
Last year our #ShopEthicalInstead campaign reached millions of people online and this year we’re hoping to make it even bigger.
We partnered with Natural Mumma Magazine to feature a range of ethical brands and raise awareness of the campaign in their November issue ahead of Black Friday:
And on Monday 19th November we will be hosting an #EthicalHour Twitter chat dedicated to ethical shopping and gifting, to help smaller ethical brands raise awareness of the products they have on offer and to encourage people to #ShopEthicalInstead this Black Friday and beyond.
Helping us spread the word are a range of ethical brands from the #EthicalHour community who all feel passionately about the message behind the campaign.
Meet our #ShopEthicalInstead sponsors and find out why supporting ethical business is important to them:
A Circle Back
I’m Melissa & I started A Circle Back to promote, design-led, small brands with a conscience. It is a place to find gifts that give back. Products are ethical, sustainable & have a social impact.
We need to take care of the world & each other and #ShopEthicalInstead this Christmas.
Astor + Orion
Designed in Seattle, ASTOR + ORION crafts stunning fashion jewelry from recycled metals. We pair a high tech design process with ethical manufacturing to create original designs you can feel good about wearing.
Each piece is hand sculpted in a 3D environment, which allows us to create modern designs that retain a handcrafted charm. The longer you look at our earrings, the more you will appreciate them.
Blue Labelle natural skincare is handmade on the Isle of Wight. Founder Pascale says:
The majority of the ingredients we use are certified organic, that’s not just for our customers’ benefit but also for the ingredient farmers and farm wildlife. All of our products are registered by The Vegan Society and most come in glass, wrapped in recycled paper when shipped.
I want people to shop ethically because we’ve reached a tipping point environmentally. We can’t continue to buy plastic disposable gifts wrapped in unrecyclable paper for the sake of giving.
Instead, by supporting local independent businesses & giving ethical gifts that people will use / keep / love, we might go someway to making our time on this planet last a little longer.
Here at Earth Conscious we make Natural Deodorant products that are kind to both the body and the environment. Handmade in the UK using natural and organic ingredients the Earth Conscious range is Palm Oil Free, Cruelty Free, Plastic Free and Vegan.
The festive season is a time where consumption increases and in turn creates excessive waste. Plastic pollution is just one of the issues facing our planet but it needs addressing.
This year we’re encouraging thoughtful consumption and asking people to #ShopEthicalInstead. The choices we make, how and where we spend our money can help to make a positive impact on our planet and all that rely on it now and in the future.
Fferal is a PETA vegan approved, unisex clothing brand that uses responsibly sourced and organic cotton. We make children’s pyjamas, adults loungewear, kids printed tee-shirts (mainly vegan slogans) and adults’ essential tees, beanies and neck gaiters. We also offer duvet cover sets in luxury finished organic cotton.
All our products are ethically made in Portugal. We do not use plastic packaging – all our PJs and duvet sets come in their own cloth bag making them ideal gifts, and we do not use swing tags or labels so we keep waste to a minimum.
We have designed the range to use all the fabrics over the production line so there is no waste in manufacturing.
Our collection is gender fluid to make it flexible and get maximum value, “wear it, share it” concept, it is an inclusive brand. We created this brand to make ethical shopping as affordable as possible.
From Britain with Love
Laura Dunkley is an ex national women’s magazine journalist and editor, who is now running beautiful online magazine and hand-picked directory From Britain with Love.
She is passionate about supporting ethical and creative living and her aim is to make it easy to source the best ethical UK makers and producers as well as to find creative inspiration for living life simply & beautifully, with care for the environment.
I’d love people to shop ethical instead this Christmas because we need to take better care of our beautiful planet. Giving and receiving gifts is a lovely thing – but not if our choices cause devastation to our environment.
Let’s choose slow instead of fast, handmade instead of mass-produced, lasting instead of throwaway because less really is more. More beautiful, more responsible and more likely to lead to the change we need in our world. Together we can make this happen, so please #ShopEthicalInstead!
Ethical UK makers and producers: save 20% on all listings. Enter code ETHICALHOUR on application form here https://www.frombritainwithlove.com/join-us/
Home Of Juniper
Home of Juniper is an online brand selling a range of home and gift products, with an essence in conscious consumerism. As well as selling beautiful products, Home of Juniper concentrates on the people and stories behind the products. Selling products by British designers, as well as supporting ethical producers from abroad. We also support two charities with 10% from all bee products goes to BBCT. And some of our candles and gift sets being sold in aid of Mind, the mental Health Charity.
Shopping ethically can make a difference to the brands you support, but also to the people making the items and, we hope, to the world too. It can seem like a small step, but it is a step in the right direction. We also think there are so many amazing and unique things you can buy ethically, there is no reason not to.
Kin and Kloth
At Kin and Kloth we make ethical Turkish towels, throws and blankets for the conscious consumer. Each one is slowly hand-woven on traditional wooden shuttle looms using only certified raw organic cotton and dyes for exceptional quality than can last a lifetime.
Each purchase from us will help to support the preservation of traditional weaving methods which have been struggling to continue to exist due to mass consumerism whilst providing a fair wage for our talented Turkish artisans and their families.
We believe it is so important to shop ethically over the festive period because what could be more meaningful or special than giving a gift which has been beautifully crafted with love and has a positive impact on the environment and the person who made.
Lanka Kade is a UK based fair trade company founded in 1994 with the aim of providing a sustainable outlet for handicrafts made by small artisan groups in Sri Lanka.
Passion, hard work and dedication to the principles of fair trade has enabled Lanka Kade to offer hundreds of artisans in Sri Lanka the opportunity to gain independence.
To some this has been truly life changing and Lanka Kade is fortunate enough to have artisans who are happy to share their stories on the packaging of Lanka Kade products.
When you purchase a Lanka Kade product you also directly support the Lanka Kade educational foundation which provides books and daily milk drinks to several rural schools in Sri Lanka.
Enjoy 10% off by choosing to #ShopEthicallyInstead with Lanka Kade, use code: ETHICALHOUR.
Lost in Samsara
Lost in Samsara is a social enterprise that aims to unite business and social justice by producing a range of contemporary accessories that respect both people and the planet. We firmly believe that by shopping ethically you can unlock the power of business for good, a business that empowers communities and cares about our planet.
LOWTOXBOX® provide a selection of carefully curated ethical gift boxes for every occasion, including their best-selling Zero-Waste Starter Kit, plus much more in the LowTox-Shop! All perfect for you and your loved ones to start your plastic-free journey today.
We’ve made sure everything about LOWTOXBOX® is as kind to the environment as possible. As a result, each box of lovingly handpicked products is immersed in eco-friendly packaging using non-toxic vegetable based inks for printing. Not stopping there, we also plant a tree with every gift box purchased, contributing towards the #LowToxTrees Mission, to plant 25,000 trees by 2028. This will help to change the lives of people in developing countries by planting trees around the world helping both the local communities and the world’s environment.
Together we really can make a big differences to our planet.
From its beautiful small shop in leafy Barnes, LUMA offers a lovingly curated collection of stylish homewares supporting the small, the unique and the inspiring.
With firm focus on the people behind the products, LUMA has created an array of handmade items that each have a story to tell.
Cushions might be hand woven in the Andes, embroidered in India or created from original mixed textiles at the foot of the South Downs. Stunning handmade pottery provides work in South Africa and for fair trade craftspeople in India and beyond. Small independent British
businesses supply artisan printed products, pure scented candles, and vibrant woven throws and blankets. Rugs and throws include a collection cleverly made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
A gift from LUMA this Christmas is not only a beautiful and thoughtful present for the recipient, but also a thank you to many talented people who created it.
mi apparel was founded on the belief that Fashion is fun, beautiful, radical, a rebel, freedom, free speech. We just add layers of Ethnicity, Sustainability & Transparency.
Launched in 2018, mi apparel brings you a collection of effortlessly cool sustainable fashion, natural organic beauty & ethical homeware for your conscious lifestyle
This Black Friday mi apparel wants you to join the campaign to Shop Ethical Instead this festive season and purchase your desires & gifts which have positive impacts for our people, our planet. mi apparel is a small independent ethical business which has you at the heart of what we do.
Nurture Collective is a curated marketplace for ethical and sustainable children’s clothing aged 0-12 years. Our mission is to make it easier for people to make more conscious buying choices this Christmas.
We use a framework that highlights the ethics and values that make our makers unique. The criteria includes: natural, sustainable, ethical, recycled, made in UK, vegan, third party certified, transparent, gives back & eco-friendly packaging
This means that this Christmas you can gift with gifts that are beautiful and that match your ethical credentials too.
Origins of Beauty
Origins of Beauty is the online boutique for the conscious consumer who value their health, well-being and the environment.
We are passionate about natural and ethical beauty, skincare and wellbeing products. Our ethos and strong belief is that natural beauty and wellbeing are derived from nature’s own ingredients…….…the Origins of Beauty!
We sell beauty products which are natural, organic, vegan, vegetarian and free from harmful ingredients, animal derivatives, alcohol, parabens, SLS, GMOs, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances and preservatives.
We strongly believe that what we put onto our skin is equally as important as what we put into our bodies.
We also believe in sustainability and environmental preservation and have partnered with brands who are also conscious about health, wellbeing, environmental preservation, sustainability and benefiting communities.
At Origins of Beauty, we are committed to bringing you the best that nature has to offer, allowing you to indulge in “Guilt Free Beauty and Wellbeing”.
Let’s rethink disposable gift wrap this holiday season!
“Darling, I’m not like the others – don’t treat me like garbage!” REGIFTWRAP™ is the smart reusable gift wrap that’s made to last.
Its shiny, soft, tear resistant, tape friendly, and each virtually indestructible sheet comes scrunched up in its reusable tin. Scrunched? Yep, relax and embrace the wrinkles.
Plus, each sheet is individually numbered for eco-accountability and social following.
Each year the UK alone bins 227,000 miles of used wrapping paper – enough to circle the earth nine times (+USA and you’re halfway to the sun).
And “wishful recycling” doesn’t work. Less than half can be recycled due to special coatings, sending an estimated 2 million extra tonnes to landfills. Moreover, recycling isn’t a panacea – it uses huge amounts of water and energy. Reusable is better for the planet than recycling and a more ethical alternative to disposable gift wrap.
The Good Wash Company
What if each time you washed your hands you could help a homeless person to a warm, safe night and meal? Or each time you washed your dog you could help a rescue dog to a safe shelter and emergency care? What if…. a wash could help change the world one wash at a time?
The Goodwash Company is a social enterprise, created in Wales. Our products are locally made and sourced with only the finest natural ingredients from our land and sea. We are strongly against animal testing, vegan accredited and use our profits to support local projects to improve the lives of animals and people.
These Two Hands
These Two Hands is a curated collection of handcrafted homewares and gifts, inspired by nature and made from natural materials by small independent makers in the UK.
I want people to think more about the things they buy – where they come from, what they are made from and the people who make them.
There are so many amazing makers in the UK who source materials locally and sustainably and also keep local communities alive through teaching their crafts, and I want to share their work with as many people as possible.
By shopping from independents and makers, money goes to real people rather than huge corporations.
Unconventional Agency empowers socially and environmentally-conscious businesses by providing expertise in marketing strategy + implementation.
We were founded as an act of rebellion against the status quo of the marketing industry as a whole. Environmental destruction. Planned obsolescence. Products people don’t need. Products that kill. Marketers are complicit in some shape or form in all of these developments.
Disgusted by how often in humanity’s history marketing has been used for “evil,” we sought to challenge the status quo.
It’s time for marketers to take responsibility for our work and its effects, good or bad.
Marketing with a code of ethics, in support of ethical organizations, is one of the many ways in which we can shape the world of the future.
This year, we’re honored to be a part of #EthicalHour’s campaign, Shop Ethical Instead, to help raise awareness for values driven businesses this holiday season.
We are a skincare brand that believes in social responsibility. Our products are handmade in small batches, so no mass production. Everything we make naturally scented, vegan and cruelty free.
Our ingredients and packaging are sourced from ethical suppliers and our packaging is reusable.
We are keen to watch our carbon footprint and travel by public transport to events when we can and we also donate every month to provide safe water and education to girls in Cambodia.
We believe in shopping ethically, as helping ethical businesses grow can only help trigger change that is good for people and the planet.
Get 10% off with code Ethicalhour
There’s many ways to #ShopEthicalInstead this holiday season. Supporting small, local businesses and ethical brands is a great place to start! We’ve started an ethical shopping thread in our Facebook Community where people can exchange gift ideas and ask for recommendations – join now to connect with us.
Don’t forget to share what you’re doing on social media using the #ShopEthicalInstead hashtag!