Please take a look at the frequently asked questions below. If you can't find what your looking for then please get in contact with us via the web form or over the phone on 0161 226 2929.



Registered Users

Signing in & Passwords

Using the Website

Mobile Access

Product Guides & Sliders

Best Buy Label

About Ethical Consumer Research Association




As a Subscriber you get:

  • issues of the magazine in print and/or digital format
  • the full scorecard for each product guide
  • all the stories behind the tables
  • all product details
  • all brand and company information and ratings
  • the ability to customise ethical ratings
  • downloadable back issues of the magazine,
  • our regular email newsletter


How do I subscribe to Ethical Consumer?

View the subscription options here or by calling us on 0161 226 2929, 10am - 4.30pm.


How does the 30 day trial work?

You buy a subscription and have full access to the website and receive a print and/or digital copy of the magazine.

If you don't want to continue with it you can cancel any time within the first 30 days to receive a full refund. To cancel just telephone us during office hours on 0161 226 2929 or email with your name, address and username stating that you wish to cancel.


How do I renew to Ethical Consumer?

Subscribers will receive a renewal letter with their magazine and an email near to the time their subscription is due to lapse.

Alternatively you can renew via the website or phone 0161 226 2929 or download a Direct Debit form to send to us.


I want to subscribe to Ethical Consumer by direct debit.

Please download a Direct Debit form from the website and send to Ethical Consumer, Freepost (NWW 978A), Manchester, M15 9EP.


When will my direct debit be taken?

Your direct debit is taken annually. You will be notified by letter when your direct debit is due to be taken. If you are unclear when your direct debit date is due please contact our subscriptions team via this contact form.


I want to cancel my direct debit?

Please call us on 0161 226 2929 or email our subscriptions team via this contact form and we will cancel your direct debit on our database. In addition we advise you to contact your bank and cancel your direct debit.


Can I change my subscription from PDF (online) to print magazine, or vice versa?

Yes, you will need to contact our subscriptions team via this contact form and we will alter your order.


I want to cancel my subscription.

Please contact our subscriptions team contact form to cancel your subscription.



Signing in and Passwords


Can I change my Password?

Yes, click on 'Edit Profile' in the grey strip under our logo, and then select 'Change' next to your password.


I've lost, or can't remember my Password or Username

Password - please use the 'forgotten password' link in the grey strip at the top of the page; this will allow you to reset your password. 

Username - please email our subscriptions team via this contact form or call us on 0161 226 2929.


When Signing In I get the message 'Already logged in.'

This is because your account is already signed in to the site on another browser, for example on your work computer or mobile phone. Or because you've given someone else your login details. In order to sign in you'll need to sign out from the other device, or wait for 60 minutes when it should log out automatically.


I have a problem activating my gift subscription.

Please call 0161 226 2929 in office hours and we will activate your account for you. Or email the subscriptions team using the Contact Form saying your activation has failed, and letting us know your preferred user name.


In Internet Explorer I get a 'page cannot be displayed' error message.

Your browser is probably timing out before it finishes signing in to the site. The fix involves making an edit to your system registry to change a setting for Internet Explorer as detailed below, so it depends on how confident you are making such changes.

1. Click the Start button on your desktop, and type 'regedit' in the search bar and then click OK.
2. The Registry Editor window will appear
3. Find and then click the following key in the registry:
4. In the right-hand screen, find 'ReceiveTimeout' and double-click on it
5. Select the 'Decimal' button
6. You will probably see '10000' under 'Value Data' - this is how long in milliseconds IE takes to time out
7. Change this value (for exmaple to 50000) and click ok
8. Restart Internet Explorer.


Or you could use either Firefox or Chrome browsers, neither of which suffer from this problem.



Using the Website


What do the different Search options mean?

There are four different search options:

  • Site: This searches the whole site
  • Product: This searches only for individual products
  • Companies: This searches just for companies and takes you to the company data page (and is only available to subscribers)


What happened to the website?

All the information subscribers could previously access on ethiscore is now available here on


Mobile Access


If you visit this website on a mobile device you will automatically be redirected to a mobile version of the site, which has simplified versions of all the Product Guides and the data behind them.

Access to the Product Guides is exactly the same as for the desktop version of the website, i.e. some are only available to Subscribers or Registered Users.

Subscribers and Registered Users can sign in using the usual username and password details.

Any changes you make to your customised scores will be reflected on the desktop version too.

Also see this page about mobile access to



Product Guides and Sliders


Also see the Video Guide to using our tools.


How do your ratings work?

Our ratings are live updated scores from our primary research database. They are based on primary and secondary research across 19 categories. See this full explanation of how we calculate our ethical ratings


Customising Scores

Move the sliders to change the weighting given to each category. You can open up each of the 5 main categories by clicking on the + sign. This way you can compare products according to what's ethically important to YOU.


Why don't the sliders work for me?

Probably you have javascript disabled, for example by using the 'Noscript' add-on for Firefox - you'll need to enable it for The sliders don't work on a touchscreen device, such as the iPad.


Saving customised weightings

Subscribers can permanently save their customised weightings, which will be used to calculate personalised scores across the whole site. Registered Users can save weightings for a single visit.


Full Scorecard

The Full Scorecard shows the 'black marks' for each product, by category. The bigger the mark, the worse the score. So for example a big black circle under 'Worker Rights' shows that the company making this product has been severely criticised for worker abuses.


Why can't I see the stories behind the scores?

To see all the stories and researched data behind the ratings you'll need to be a subscriber. Click here to see a sample product guide and see what you're missing!

How do you select the companies and products you feature?

We select the companies and products to feature based on a number of criteria, including market share and any special qualities e.g. being organic or fair trade.



Best Buy Label


What is the Best Buy Label?

The Best Buy Label is awarded to companies who score highly in our product guides.

Find out more about the Best Buy Label



About Ethical Consumer Research Association


How are you funded?

Through a variety of sources: subscriptions, ethical consultancy and screenings work, grant fundraising and donations.


How can I support Ethical Consumer?

You can help Ethical Consumer in a number of ways:

  • Subscribe.

By subscribing you'll be helping to fund all our research and you will also get access to all our online information.

  • Become an investor member.

Through their investments our members help to fund significant projects such as the development of this website, and they also receive 3% interest on any money invested. Click here for more information.

  • Volunteer.

If you live in the Manchester area and can spare some time we are always on the look out for enthusiastic volunteers to help out around the office or with specific research tasks (depending on experience). Click here for more information.


Do you provide speakers for events and conferences?

We are able to visit events but we do ask for travel expenses and a fee for the organisation (to be negotiated). Please make any requests via our web contact form.


Can you help me with my school, college or under-graduate project?

Ethical Consumer gets many requests from students of all ages. Many of the questions can be answered by searching the site and directly quoting what we have written, please do this before sending any questions. In addition due to the volume of requests and the size of our team we cannot respond to all requests.


Can you help with post-graduate or academic research?

If you would like to survey our readership then we recommend the best course of action is to buy ad space on the site or in the magazine.

If you would like to question a member of the team we recommend that you fully search the site first and if you cannot find what you are looking for please get in touch via our contact form.


Who built this website?

Digital strategy, content development and marketing is by Orange Tree Digital

Visual design is by Moonloft and Raging Trifle.

Web hosting is from Bandicoot - business and internet solutions.