Last updated: December 2015
Ethical Consumer review 2015
Co-founder of Ethical Consumer, Rob Harrison shares his top 10 highlights from 2015.
"This has been a truly fantastic year for Ethical Consumer.
In particular we've seen the consumer market continue to grow both at home and abroad.
In addition our campaigns have gone from strength to strength with big wins for our Amazon and Save Our Bank campaigns. We've also seen the Fair Tax Mark continue to inspire companies to do the right thing on tax.
Thanks to all those that have supported us throughout the year. We hope that together we can continue to build on these and other successes in 2016. "
Rob Harrison. Founder and Co- Editor
Rob Harrison's top 10 highlights of 2015
1. Japanese consumers wake up to ethical consumption
In March 2015, I travelled to Japan to speak at a conference comparing European and Japanese ethical consumer experiences. Since then two groups of Japanese professors have travelled to Manchester to follow up the project to help develop ethical consumption there.
Read more about the conference on our blog 'Where are the ethical consumers in Japan?'
2. Amazon changes tax arrangements
In a statement released in May the company said it has started to book retail sales through its UK branch, ending the practice which saw them route sales through a Luxembourg subsidiary.
This was a breakthrough in the fight for tax justice and a victory for our boycott campaigning.
We are urging people to continue with the Amazon boycott for the time being though because this announcement, on its own, is no guarantee that the company will play fairly with the tax authorities
Read our feature on 'Amazon and Tax'.
3. Ethical Consumer takes on three new staff
Growing interest in our work has seen Ethical Consumer take on three new staff – two new researchers and our first ever web editorial assistant.
Josie Wexler (Writer), Ruth Strange (Writer) and Georgina Rawes (Web editorial assistant). Get to know more about the ECRA team on our staff profile page.
4. Lush Prize awarded a special breakthrough award...
...to organisations involved in mapping the first ever human toxicity pathway at a molecular level.
We think this marks a significant point in developing newer human-focussed testing technologies which are superior to the old Victorian approach of testing substances on other live species.
Find out more about the Lush Prize and the winners.
5. Save Our Bank crowd funder exceeds expectations
Our plans to use a crowd-funding appeal to float off the Save Our bank campaign as a separate Customer Union for Ethical Banking raised twice as much as we needed to get going. We think that the idea of having a democratic customer unions campaigning for ethics inside our favourite companies may prove to be an idea which could well work elsewhere.
6. Fair Tax Mark continues to grow
We have been delighted at the way the Fair Tax Mark has continued to grow at pace over the last year.
We have recently signed up the Co-operative group and 5 other organisations while all the companies who signed up in the first year have re-signed.
7. Our annual conference was the biggest yet
This year we looked at mainstreaming ethical consumption. The theme struck a chord and the event was a sell out.
We look forward to hosting a similar event next year.
8. Our reach continues to grow
It been a good year for us in terms of our reach. Subscriber numbers continue to increase, our web visits are now consistently above 100,000 per month and our social media output has recently reached a whole new level. Thanks to all those who've subscribed to, shared and retweeted us.
9. Transport guide gives grounds for optimism
I was fortunate enough to research and write the transport guide in May this year. The guide gave a glimpse into a low carbon electrified future.
Sales of electric cars are on the up and coupled with the increasing use of renewable energy the future for greener transport looks hopeful.
Read our report: 'Future of Green Transport'
10. Ethical Consumption continues upward trend
This years Ethical Consumer Markets Report again showed growth in the sector as a whole. Growth in the value of ethical spending between 2012 and 2013 was 9%, and is now worth £32.2 billion. This performance looks particularly good when compared to inflation (2.4%) or economic growth (1.9%) over the same period.