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Working with Ethical Consumer

Ethical Consumer is a member-led, not-for-profit co-operative, that is signed up to the Living Wage Foundation.

We are currently recruiting for Board members (two posts available)

Information about the role, organisation and application process:

For over 35 years Ethical Consumer (ECRA) has been the hub of the ethical consumer movement, helping consumers to shop ethically, campaigners to challenge corporate power and businesses to improve their supply chains. The role of the board is to help ECRA to meet its long term goals and to move its social purpose forward. 

Board members meet quarterly to assess and advise on the progress that ECRA is making. Meetings normally last two hours. We also hold an annual strategy session to address issues chosen by the board. Board members may attend these meetings by zoom or in person (in Manchester) at their convenience. Travel expenses can be paid. Board members are paid £125 for each meeting attended during the year.

Board members may also be asked for opinions or for decisions by email in between meetings. Occasionally a special call to address a particular issue may be necessary too.  

Members of our Board act as company directors. They are responsible for overall good governance of Ethical Consumer in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and guidance. 

If you would like more information about the responsibilities of directors inside Ethical Consumer’s unique co-operative structure before applying please email us at and ask for a copy of our Board Handbook.

Application form: Click here for a person specification and application form. Only one application can be made from any one device (eg laptop). This allows you to leave the form and come back to it via the same link. Please also, using the same device, complete the separate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) form

Important: you will receive an automatic confirmation on screen when you submit the form, rather than an email. You can amend your application, even after submission, up until the deadline. You are advised to keep a copy of all your answers, as we cannot accept responsibility or extend the deadline in the case of technology problems.

Ethical Consumer is a not-for-profit multi-stakeholder cooperative, and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. We use name-blind shortlisting. The offices are upstairs in a wheelchair accessible building in Manchester, [but remote working is possible].

The timetable for this recruitment is as follows:

Closing date: 9pm Wednesday 8th May

Short-listing: 9th - 21st May 

Interviews: from 27th May 

If you are short-listed for an interview, you will be notified by telephone by 6pm 24th May. 

 Background to Ethical Consumer

Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA) is the UK’s longest running alternative consumer organisation. It was founded in Manchester in 1988 as a not-for-profit workers’ co-operative to provide ‘information on the companies behind the brand names’ and to promote the ethical use of consumer power.

The organisation became a multi-stakeholder co-operative with both worker members and investor members in 2009. Both classes of member are involved in decision-making and the election of Directors onto the Board.

ECRA’s portfolio of products and services are designed to encourage purchasers to take environmental and social issues into account in the market place. They include:

  • Ethical Consumer – a bi-monthly magazine
  • – a website with interactive product guides
  • – an online database for corporate ethics research
  • Commercial research services for NGOs and selected companies

Volunteer Positions

Apologies, but we are not accepting new volunteers at this time. This includes the Remote Research Group voluntary roles.

We are usually always happy to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer for us, but unfortunately cannot accept volunteers at the moment. The following details are for information only.

Due to the nature of the work here, we ask for the following as a minimum commitment:
- one day per week over a six month period (or equivalent)

We are currently unable to support full-time internships or work experience.

We are a co-operatively run organisation so we share all tasks between us.
The work would consist of a range of different tasks including admin, research and maybe writing some small pieces for the magazine.

If you have specific skills that you would like to volunteer (such as research, design, marketing or photography), please highlight this in your application, or contact us directly.

Our office is in Manchester in the UK. We are only able to make a contribution of up to £10 per day towards transport costs and lunch expenses.

For further information please read our Volunteer Policy (pdf).

 How to apply:

Please download and complete a Volunteer Application Form (links below), and email it to: enquiries[at] or post to: Volunteer Co-ordinator, ECRA, Unit 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF

Video: Amy Shakeshaft shares her experience of volunteering at Ethical Consumer

Remote Research Group

Our Remote Research Group aims to collaborate with people worldwide to capture and share data on corporate social and environmental responsibility. 
Every second, all around the world, research reports, investigations and news stories about corporate malpractice are published.

Our remote research team

Remote researchers summarise articles and reports that they’ve read online, and send them directly to the Ethical Consumer team here in Manchester, UK.

Once moderated, the entries are published on Ethical Consumer's Corporate Critic database, and may also contribute to buyers’ guides, articles and company screenings. 

Because the entire project is online, researchers can be based anywhere in the world. We are interested in stories about any company on any of the issues covered by our ratings system.  RRG members may add stories which are relevant to their research interests, track a company or companies, or regularly scan a specific publication for any relevant stories. Many researchers choose to take on tasks from a list we share, which we are regularly adding new campaign reports to. 

This project aims to ensure that this data doesn't go under the radar and can be shared with a wider audience.

What is your research interest?

We're looking for dedicated ethical consumers worldwide, who have an interest in and a good understanding of some of the issues covered by Ethical Consumer’s research. We follow hundreds of ethical issues daily, across four broad criteria; Animals, Environment, People and Politics.

Your research focus can be as specific or as broad as you like. Whether your passion is for animal rights or against Arctic drilling, we’d love you to be involved!

What's in it for you?

  • Be part of the Ethical Consumer team

  • Put your interests and research to good use in challenging corporate power and driving up standards in company behaviour

  • Build your research skills

  • Bolster your CV

  • Gain rewards the more you do

  • Join a network of like-minded individuals


What you need

All you need is a good grasp of written English, access to a computer (on which you have permission to install applications) and the internet. IT literacy is very important, as you’ll need to be comfortable with installing and getting to grips with new software. Currently, we use Trello to let researchers know about reports they could summarise, and Zotero for submission and editing of entries.

Other beneficial traits for Remote Research Group volunteers are a keen eye for detail and fastidiousness. Previous experience of carrying out research, using databases and social media would be a bonus but are not essential.

How long you commit to the project, or how many hours you put in per month, is open to discussion.

How to apply

To apply, fill in the application form, along with a covering letter stating why you’re interested in the role. If successful, we’ll invite you to an informal interview (either in person or via phone/online) within 2 weeks of your application submission.  

Get in touch

If you want to ask more about the RRG project before applying email RRG co-ordinator Ruth Strange: ruth[@]

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