Trying to decide which brand you should purchase your new apparel, jewelry, or products from can be overwhelming. With such a sea of products available from all different brands, it can be hard to know what is ethical and what isn’t.
Thanks to modern-day technology, we have more options than ever before, and we can shop without even having to step foot into a store. However, this sheer number of options tends to make it even more difficult to hone in on eco-friendly, ethical products.
If you have begun to research whether your favorite brands are sustainable, congratulations! You have already done one of the best things you can do as a responsible consumer.
That said, ethical products are just as important, and today, Bite is here with your complete guide to understanding what it means to be ethical, how ethical and sustainable practices go hand in hand, and which brands you can purchase from in the future with peace of mind.
What Does It Mean for a Brand To Be Ethical?
A sustainable company means that they are specifically focused on having a positive impact on the environment, but an ethical company is slightly different. For a company or brand to be considered ethical, they are primarily focused on bettering the world as a whole. From sustainable fabrics to fair trade materials and an ethical manufacturing process, ethical brands work to put their best foot forward every step of the way.
The priorities of an ethical company go beyond reducing harm to the environment, keeping waste out of landfills, and steering clear of toxic chemicals — these brands want to genuinely improve quality of life at every step of the supply chain from creation to purchase.
What Factors Are Taken Into Consideration?
Even though ethicality goes beyond sustainability, sustainability is still a key component. Not only does an ethical brand care for people and their safety, but also for the safety of the environment.
Unfortunately, many brands do not treat sustainability as a top priority, which means that they turn a blind eye to ethics,. However, many industries are seeing a push towards more ethical and eco-friendly practices from worker wages to responsible ingredient sourcing and a focus on renewable resources.
Being ethical is all about helping humanity rather than hurting it, and much of what goes into ethics also indirectly helps the environment.
How exactly a brand can be the most ethical will depend on what the specific organization does. For instance, an ethical makeup brand's steps might look slightly different from an ethical hygiene brand or slow fashion brand. However, the bare bones are often quite similar when you break them down.
An ethical brand will focus on bettering the planet, people (both as individuals and as a collective society), and economy and will always be honest in the process. In a perfect world, all brands everywhere magically became transparent overnight, but even small steps towards a more ethical future are meaningful.
The brands we shop from hold power in their respective industries, and, as consumers, something as simple as choosing to shop from ethical over nonethical brands can be a driving force of industry-wide transformation.
What Are Some Ethical Makeup Brands?
When crafting their products, ethical makeup brands will only use ingredients that have no or low-impact on the environment. For example, any dyes used in lipsticks or eyeshadows will be made of responsibly sourced, eco-friendly materials.
In addition to using sustainable materials, these brands will also treat their workers with dignity and respect. Farmers and all other workers are paid fair wages and are not exposed to dangerous chemicals in the process.
In the production phase, they will lower their carbon emissions however possible. Any effort to make positive environmental or ethical change is worth noting.
That said, here are just a few of our favorite ethical makeup brands that we believe deserve to be on this list. However, feel free to do your own research to determine what brands are right for you!
Mad Hippie is a vegan cosmetics and skincare brand. Giving back is an integral part of their business structure, and they actively work to support social and environmental causes.
100% Pure is a cosmetics company that gives back worldwide and uses clean and cruelty-free ingredients. With vegan formulas that are safe for human use, this brand prioritizes sustainability.
Not only are True Botanicals’ products ethical, but they are also clinically proven to work. True Botanicals values natural and organic ingredients for a more sustainable take on skincare.
This brand labels itself as “cosmetics with ethics,” and we could not agree more. Not only are their mineral cosmetics beautiful, but they are also entirely vegan and cruelty-free.
What Are Some Ethical Hygiene Brands?
As an ethical hygiene brand, we can’t help but feel especially attached to this category. However, we have included various brands that will cover all your hygiene needs.
Here at Bite Toothpaste, we will always prioritize being both sustainable and ethical. Our products are completely cruelty-free, vegan, plastic-free, and our whole brand has net-zero carbon emissions. Though we may have been known initially for our incredible and eco-friendly Bite Toothpaste Bits, we offer many other products that you can sink your teeth into.
Ethique Shampoo Bars
Shampoo bars provide an excellent alternative to formulas packaged in plastic bottles. Ethique Shampoo Bars come in a wide variety of scents and have many different benefits depending on what you need.
Cora provides a sustainable and ethical alternative to the tampons, pads, and liners on the market today. While these products are necessary for many of us, that does not negate their harm to the planet. Cora’s products are made with organic cotton to help both you and the planet.
What Are Some Ethical Clothing Brands?
In order to be an ethical or sustainable clothing brand, a company needs to use eco-friendly fabrics like natural fibers, merino wool, hemp, and organic fabrics. This is a distinct change from the practices of many companies that are part of the fast fashion industry.
In addition to utilizing only eco-friendly materials, the way a company produces their products, packages their items, and ships their orders must also be sustainable. Many conventional practices are streamlined for convenience and speed, but these practices are not necessarily the most ethical.
Ethical companies prioritize both humans and the environment for a better experience for workers ,customers, and our planet.
Here are a few of our favorite ethical clothing brands you can turn to when you are shopping for your next pair of jeans or cozy tee.
The Good Tee
It is a well known fact that there is no such thing as too many T-shirts! The Good Tees have got you covered — made with organic cotton, their products could not be more comfortable (or ethical!).
This brand has a variety of accessories to choose from, in addition to many shirt and pants offerings. And, of course, they are all ethically made and sourced.
This brand will help you feel great about how you look and about your contributions to the world. They customize their denim just for you, guaranteeing the perfect pair of jeans that actually fit.
For a wide range of cute and conscious activewear, the Girlfriend Collective has your back. Their products are sweat-wicking and sustainable, and (unlike their clothes) their business practices are transparent.
Why Do Ethical Brands Matter?
Ethics and sustainability go hand in hand, and no brand can truly be ethical if they are not sustainable, too. As more and more ethical brands enter the marketplace, we have an opportunity as consumers to mitigate the amount of damage we do and send a message.
Encouraging ethical practices means encouraging a happier and safer future for ourselves, our planet, and our workers — the people who help us get our hands on our favorite products.
The Bottom Line
Being ethical is not always the easiest choice for a brand, but it is certainly a dignified choice. Ethical companies are helping to ensure a better tomorrow for us all, both on an individual and global scale.
Ethical companies work to reduce their negative impact on society and the planet by striving to run on fair wages, sustainable materials, responsible sourcing, and renewable energy. Every small choice counts, and making a conscious choice to shop from ethical brands can support a push towards more ethical industries as a whole.