The pandemic e-commerce boom has seen the growth of conscious shopping portals that have made it easy for us to become more conscious and eco-friendly shoppers.
The majority of people on the planet are too preoccupied with their own concerns to think of environmental and ethical considerations, especially when shopping for their daily needs. However, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have changed that trend for the better.
A 2020 global survey by Accenture found that 60% of consumers were making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic with 9 out of 10 likely to continue doing so.
All the confusing and conflicting advice out there on what it takes to become a more conscious and eco-friendly shopper has left many people suspicious or even downright hostile to the environmental gospel and for most of us, our survival is more important than glaciers melting.
Thinking about the environment usually comes only after other ethical concerns, so it’s wise to make gradual changes to incorporate conscious decisions into our lifestyles. Extreme positions don’t last long and can do more harm than good when not thought out well.
Some decisions are easy, such as recycling and buying energy-saving light bulbs since they don’t involve much sacrifice. Others may require more effort like using public transport or a bike instead of a car and switching off lights and other devices in your home and in your office when not using them.
However, one thing we can all agree on is when it’s easy for us to access products that have been vetted by experts as eco-friendly, organic, ethical, and sustainable, it’s much easier to make conscious shopping decisions.
Luckily there are a growing number of conscious shopping portals around the world where ordinary people can easily and conveniently buy eco-friendly, ethical, organic, and sustainable products at affordable prices to lower their environmental impact and carbon footprint.
With the eCommerce boom during the pandemic, we’ve also seen the growth of conscious shopping portals and online shopping websites that make it easy for us to become more conscious and eco-friendly shoppers.
Here are some new and old conscious shopping portals around the world. Although most of them are based in the USA, you can find conscious shopping websites in India, the UK, and Europe too.
Conscious Shopping Portals In The USA
Karma Bay is a brand new online marketplace built to connect merchants that shine with shoppers that care. Their goal is to partner with small businesses that stand out in one way or another – such as Woman-Owned, Black-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Eco-Friendly, Handmade, etc.
Their target market is the more discerning, sophisticated shopper who cares about where they spend their money and who they’re buying from, not just what they’re buying. They encourage their customers to shop small and shop with purpose.
At Karma Bay, you can find products like fashion, beauty and personal care, home goods and more in an ever-growing list of Merchant Communities such as Local, Profit Sharing, Sustainable, Woman-Owned, LGBT-Owned and more.
For example, Embrace The Difference® is a brand of jewellery & apparel founded on a symbol that spreads a message of kindness, inclusion and acceptance. It was created by a mother of a son with disabilities to spread a message of kindness and acceptance.
Instead of a standard star rating to demonstrate user and merchant reputations, Karma Bay has created a new movement called karmic selling based on the karma votes that every post, comment, product and forum post receives, and displays a score on a Karmic Scorecard.
Products and merchants with better karma are given a higher priority in their product and merchant search, while shoppers get matched with merchants based on their interests and can shop with a purpose to make a positive difference.
DoneGood is a centralized market that makes mindful shopping easier with its platform and browser plug-in for do-good products.
You can browse ethical and sustainable products from over 200 brands and companies that create unique, high-quality products, empower workers, pay fair wages, are free of trafficking, child labour and unsafe working conditions.
They scour the planet to find the brands that make the world better by using eco-friendly production processes, using non-toxic, organic, and/or recycled or upcycled materials, taking other steps to keep the land, air and water clean.
The Little Market
The Little Market is a mission-driven nonprofit created to empower women artisans around the globe. It ethically purchases products from dozens of artisan and producer groups who make every piece by hand.
This nonprofit, fair-trade, artisan empowerment online marketplace sells beautiful handmade products like baskets, candles, and serve ware, and practices fair trade principles.
Whether it is providing health programs for people living with HIV/AIDS or counselling for survivors of trafficking individuals, when you shop or donate to The Little Market, you can feel good knowing every purchase generates meaningful income opportunities for craftspeople and their families and creates positive, long-lasting impact.
Thrive Market is an online shopping site that stocks fair trade, organic, natural, ethical, products and will ship your all-natural, sustainable foods and products delivered to your door with 100% recyclable packaging, carbon-neutral shipping, and zero-waste warehouses.
Whether you’re shopping for natural bath and cleaning products, natural wines, fair trade snacks, cruelty-free bath sets, or pet products, you can get savings on 6,000+ wholesome food, home, and beauty products curated just for members.
When you join Thrive Market, you also sponsor membership and shopping credit for low-income families, students, teachers, veterans, and first responders.
Made Trade is an easy-to-search fair trade online shopping website for sustainable and ethical shopping. They sell a wide variety of sustainable, ethically-made products like earth-friendly bedding, cookware, sustainable apparel, shoes and vegan goods.
They also sell the world’s finest handcrafted, sustainably sourced, and ethically-made goods that put people and the planet first, they put artistry above efficiency, fair wages above profits, sustainability above mass production, quality craftsmanship above mindless consumption and transparency above everything.
Accompany is an ethical shopping portal that sells curated, one-of-a-kind, artisan-made, fair trade, and philanthropic handmade items.
Their products range from fashion and accessories to home and lifestyle to unique fair trade gifts. You can buy eco-friendly dinnerware, apparel, handbags, artisan jewellery, accessories, and home décor.
Conscious Shopping Portals In India
Launched in June 2021 on the SHEROES app for women, SHOPonSHEROES is a brand new conscious shopping portal in India that helps women entrepreneurs start an online store in minutes with no investment.
It gives Indian women access to a marketplace of millions of women customers on SHEROES, an only-women social network and features a growing number of high-quality, Made in India, conscious, ethical and women-owned brands.
SHOPonSHEROES also features a number of online stores and artisan shops selling homemade and handcrafted gifts created by talented women artists and crafters all over India. When you purchase products from SHOPonSHEROES, you’re supporting a woman entrepreneur in India.
As part of the SHEROES community, these businesswomen get access to business coaching, support, mentoring, financial guidance and small business loans for women.
Conscious Shopping Portals In Europe
Greenpicks is an eco & upcycling marketplace in Europe that prides itself on sustainability in every single detail, from a website hosted with 100% green electricity to energy-saving measures, recycled paper and petroleum-free natural colours printed in a green printing company.
As is common in Europe, they also use public transport, bicycles, and trains as much as possible and are committed to the economical use of long-lasting quality consumable goods with an emphasis on mindful consumption.
They take great pleasure in ecologically produced foodstuffs, natural cosmetics, natural textiles, household and drugstore products.
Conscious Shopping Portals In The UK
The UK has a number of conscious shopping websites like Plastic Freedom that exclusively sells plastic-free products and Green Alternatives that sells zero-waste and eco-friendly products.
Earthwise Girls sells eco-friendly products for women including sanitary product options from moon cups, to organic tampons to reusable pads. Rapanui sells affordable, sustainable, ethical and zero-waste fashion.
So which conscious shopping portals have you purchased products from and why? Do let us know in the comments below?