There are a number of myths around ethical shopping. Below we tackle five of the most common.
1. Shopping ethically is just too complicated for me to understand.
There are lots of issues to think about when you're out shopping. The good news is that we make it much easier for you. Each time we produce a buyers' guide we recommend a number of ethical Best Buy companies. So whether you're looking to buy a tin of beans or open a new bank account simply look at our buyers' guides to find out who's our Best Buy. Plus our unique online ethical slider tool lets you choose a product that reflects your own personal ethics.
2. Shopping ethically doesn't make any difference and is a waste of time.
Not true. Take the example of how the Fairtrade and organic movements hit the big time. Not so long ago Fairtrade and organic goods were only sold in small, specialist shops. It was thanks to thousands of ordinary shoppers going out and demanding that supermarkets stock organic carrots and Fairtrade coffee that the big supermarkets were finally cajoled into stocking Fairtrade and organic produce. By acting as part of a much bigger community individuals have a key role to play in bringing about corporate change. Don't forget too the many successful consumer boycotts that have taken place in recent years. (LINK)
3. I can't afford to be an ethical consumer - ethical products are always too expensive.
This isn't always the case. Research carried out by Ethical Consumer has shown that in 28 of our recent buyers' guides in almost half the case there was an ethical Best Buy amongst the cheapest products.
4. Even if it's ethical, shopping is still bad news for the planet - we need to buy less of everything.
Whilst this is true, everyone still needs to buy food, clothes and other stuff. It makes sense then to make sure that the things we buy are ethically sourced.
5. Ethical shopping is only for radical activists - it's not for me.
Not true. Growing numbers of ordinary people and families are now thinking about the impact that their shopping has on people and the planet. The latest research suggests that 75% of the population now shop ethically at least some of the time, whether this be buying free-range eggs or shopping locally.