The Ethical Consumer Best Buy
Ethical Consumer Best Buy Label is a guarantee that the product is genuinely ethical, making it much easier to find the products that reflect your principles. Ethical Consumer looks in detail at the ethical record of the companies that make each product, along with the environmental and ethical record of the product itself, awarding the Best Buy label only to those who score the highest against their ethical criteria. Browse our range of Ethical Consumer Best Buy products for you and your home.
'Eco friendly' includes products considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment. Standards for eco friendly products are under development - within the European Union, members can use the Eco-label pending the EU's approval. EMAS is another EU label that signifies whether an organisation's management is green as opposed to the product.
Choosing which products are eco-friendly is simple; it's those considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment, people and wildlife. This ranges from chemical-free household cleaning products, toys, furniture and stationery made from recycled materials or innovative solar or water saving products which use technology to reduce or minimise waste of any kind.
Eco-friendly products offered here include those meeting eco-friendly standards like FSC Certified, Energy Saving Trust recommended and Recycled, to those which are biodegradable, use alternative energy, or are reusable when spent.
Our range of products tagged as minimise plastic are those designed to reduce the amounts of plastic waste produced. They may still contain plastics where necessary, but offer an alternative if you’re looking for plastic waste solutions.
Our plastic free products range from those without any plastic (including packaging) to those specifically made as an alternative to everyday items made from plastic. Plastic is harmful to our planet for many reasons. It doesn’t degrade, meaning every bit of plastic ever made and not recycled or burned still exists - and when it does break down, it just leaves smaller pieces of plastic which can end up in waterways and transfer to the food chain, harming marine life.
With plastic-free products you’ll be one step closer to a waste-free life.
Recycled or Recyclable Packaging
We know you like to know the details about every part of a product before you buy it, which is why we’ve identified items that have packaging that is recyclable, made from recycled materials – or both! These particular products that have recycled or recyclable packaging are a more eco-friendly choice because it means less waste ending up in landfills for hundreds of years.
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, which is an international organisation that promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s forests. The FSC label allows consumers to recognise products that support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide.
The environmental impact of long lasting waste products can be cause for concern. Biodegradable products tend to dissolve and degrade in terms of months rather than decades - this process involves the aerobic or anaerobic breaking down of organic substances by enzymes produced in living organisms. Once a waste product has been biodegraded the resulting products can be used as food and energy by micro-organisms, or put to good use in your composting facilities.
Please note this tag refers to the product itself rather than the manufacturer packaging it comes in. Please check on each product to see if the packaging is biodegradable.
Vegan products must be entirely free from animal involvement. The manufacture and/or development of a vegan product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative. Also, the development and/or manufacture of a vegan product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, testing of any sort on animals conducted at the initiative of the manufacturer or on its behalf.
No Animal Testing
The most ethical products which can claim to be truly free from animal testing are those which use a Fixed Cut Off Date (FCOD) policy. This means that they do not conduct any animal tests at all, and have a policy of not using any ingredients tested on animals from a fixed date. The FCOD is widely accepted by anti-vivisection organisations across the world as the gold standard. Some companies operate the so-called ‘five-year rolling rule’ policy. This is not as ethical because, over time, it does not actually do anything to stop animal testing as an ingredient tested on animals in 2003 will be eligible for use in their products in 2008. Below are all of the products in personal care and cleaning product categories that have an FCOD policy.
Sustainable Palm Oil
Many companies currently cannot avoid the use of palm oil in many of their products, and in these cases ethical brands use sustainably sourced palm oil.
The products you’ll find here contain sustainable palm oil, so you know they are not contributing to the mass deforestation, habitat loss and human rights abuses that regular palm oil production is associated with – make the right choice for you!