5 Ways to Make an Ethical Purchase

shopping in a charity shop is sustainable and ethical


People often ask me what the ‘must have’ products are that will help them be more sustainable and that satisfy ethical credentials.

I usually give an answer they don’t want to hear!

And that is that the ‘greenest’ product you can buy is none at all.

If you think about it, the best thing you can do is use up what you have or find a way to repurpose it. You may have heard the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without!”

But there are times when you DO need to purchase something and it’s then that you can look for certain criteria that tick some of the green boxes. Here are some things to think about:

Buy Second hand

Charity shops are a fantastic way to keep things out of landfill and put your money to a good cause. You can find your nearest here. It’s a great way to find homewares, clothes, books and even electrical items and furniture. Although many items are second hand, you’ll find brand new items too.

Support independent companies

Rather than give your hard-earned cash to large corporations, that may have questionable practises, look for independent companies, For example, rockflowerpaper are a woman-owned company dedicated to creating sophisticated, affordable products. Each product is designed by women, for women with a focus on well-priced, high quality and green items. All their products are made responsibly. It’s a good place to shop for reusable shopping bags for example.

5 ways to shop ethically


Commission a piece

If you’re looking for a special gift for someone, commissioning an artist, craftsman or jeweller is a fantastic way to give a unique gift. You can ask all the questions you want about the sourcing of materials and you’ll have piece of mind, knowing your creation is a one-off. When my husband and I got married, we found a local jeweller who made my wedding ring from Welsh gold which is mined on a small scale by hand. So we knew we were saying ‘I love you’ to the environment as well as each other.

Go to an auction house

If you’re looking for homewares, art, tools or furniture, a local auction house is a fun place to visit. Many items are heirlooms from house clearances, so it’s a lovely way to find something with historical value or to browse antiques without feeling the pressure to buy.

Make do and mend!

You might be able to make or repair something yourself. There are loads of YouTube tutorials for all manner of things from replacing a smartphone screen to putting a plug on something to sewing on a button. If you prefer a more ‘hands on’ approach, then you could visit a Repair Cafe or take a college course to learn some new skills.

What about you? How do you shop ethically and sustainably?


make do and mend for sustainable living