Top Five Ethical High Street Shops

Being an ethical consumer can be simple. It doesn't take much effort just a little bit of knowledge. Many high street shops stock some ethical products while some high street brands are going the extra mile with their ethical practices.

Here we list the five most ethical high street shops that feature in our product guides:


Lush bath bombs

You can smell Lush shops from a mile away and their ethics are as sweet smelling as their products. This company refuses to test on animals and supports various campaign organisations such as the Hunt Saboteurs Association and Plane Stupid, which campaigns against the expansion of the airline industry. It tries to use only natural ingredients and most things are made in the UK so you know workers are unlikely to suffer.

Ethical score: 12

Buyers guides:

  • shampoo
  • soap
  • shower gel

The Co-op Group

co-op group

The co-op sell everything from food to electricals. They now have food stores in most town centres and are a leader in ethics. They are also owned by an active membership (rather than shareholders) and have an strong internal democracy. They recently released a new "Co-operative Way" action plan which sets out their commitment to a tackling a number of issues including climate change and waste.

Ethical Score: 5

They are a Best Buy in our guides to supermarkets

Marks and Spencer

marks and spencer

Marks and Spencer is a cornerstone of the British high street. It is now a leader in terms of high street ethics and has been applauded from all sides for its Plan A commitments to the environment. In our recent Supermarkets Buyers' Guide it came second on both our Ethiscore table and our sector specific supermarket ranking table. It also came second in our supply chain ranking and Ethiscore in our  clothes shop Buyers' Guide.

Ethical Score: 5

Product guides:

  • Supermarkets
  • Clothes shops

WH Smith

wh smith

WH Smith is the only large bookseller to score a best rating in our 'Alternatives to Amazon' bookshops guide for both their environmental reporting and supply chain management. While the company might not shout about its ethics it is clearly taking its social and environmental responsibilities seriously.

Ethical Score: 10

Product guides:

  • book sellers

John Lewis

John Lewis

The John Lewis' Partnership company structure make it one of the most progressive shops on the high street. The Partnership is an employee-owned business with the workers sharing in company profits and having a say in how the business is run.

Ethical Score: 4

Product guides including:

  • online ethical retailers
  • coffee makers
  • kettles

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