Ethical Products: What you need and should get!


The term “ethical” should be something that most people have seen or heard but not exactly sure what it means and how it applies to their life. Which is very true because ethical is a very broad term, however, today we are going to focus on ethical products. How more and more people are starting their ethical lifestyles with ethical products and making a difference. While you are here why not learn what ethical products mean and how you can start your ethical lifestyle. Where you make a difference by shopping for the right products. Let jump right in about ethical products!

What are ethical products?

Ethical products, natural, organic skincare products
You must be wondering what are the standards of ethical products or what are considered ethical products. Here are three points that will help understand ethical products and have a better understanding.

Ethical products’s 3 main points:

Eco Conscious: The product is made with environmental issues awareness. Where the brand is aware of the impact they have caused to the environment and is active doing something to counteract it.
Ex: Uses clean energy, biodegradable or recyclable packaging, organic and cruelty free products

Socially Aware: The brand and company care about their workers and the society.
Ex: Fairtrade, No Sweatshop or Child Labor, Inclusivity, Diversity and so on

Locally Focused: This is a combination of Eco Conscious and Socially Aware, is the product supporting the local community while reducing the shipping and carbon offset for products to be imported. Is the product preserving the traditional craft that is only available in that area or helping?
Ex: Preserving traditional crafts, helping local disasters, supporting local communities and suppliers…

Most of the time ethical products are highly aware of the idea that humans and the earthwork together to create the society we are all living in. These ethical products are aware of the issues and problems that are happening and actively doing something about it, with the above being a few examples. There are many other ways to identify if a product is an ethical product or not. You just need to spend a few extra seconds reading the label carefully, or a few minutes googling about the brand’s background and so on.

Performative Ethical Products

Unfortunately, there are brands that take advantage of people’s trust with ethical products, for example, they might have recyclable packaging, however, they abuse their foreign factories, and so on. So googling and doing a little research about the brand and product is something we definitely recommend. In addition, I think it is best to find brands to support that fits your personal alignment first and then slowly expand to more brands and different ethical products. You can slowly use up your current products and do research about the ethical product you are going to buy next, thus, you are being conscious of your action and reduce potential waste. Interested to know more about this ethical lifestyle? Check out this article about ethical shopping and learn how you should begin your ethical journey!

Is this an ethical product?

Girl looking for ethical products
As mentioned above, doing some research before purchasing ethical products is crucial. Since ethical products can cost more than their non-ethical counterpart, we want to make sure that we are purchasing the right ethical products to avoid buyer’s remorse.

Here are some ways that can help you in purchasing ethical products.
1. Certifications
2. Ingredient reading
3. Check out their online presence

It is important to do a little bit of digging to ensure that the ethical products you are buying are truly ethical. And even if at first you didn’t get it right, it is ok, what is important that you are looking for better options and you are actively seeking ethical products.


Many ethical products are labeled with certification marks that help consumers identify them easily. These ethical products have certifications that are either government approved or led by third parties to vet the product as authentic and went under strict test and checks. Depending on the country and region, there might be different standards and regulations for the product to be labeled as ethical. By looking for certification marks when shopping for ethical products is an easy way. Here are some marks you can look out for the next time you go for your ethical products shopping, Fairtrade mark, Organic mark, vegan label or the leaping bunny for cruelty-free mark. There are many other ethical certifications and marks.

Ingredients/Materials Reading:

While many ethical products do have ethical marks or certification labels, there are also many ethical products that don’t have the labels due to many reasons. If that’s the case, there are other ways to find out if it is an ethical product. Check out the ingredient/material labels and see what they have. All products that are being sold in a store or online should have a label that disclose their materials and ingredients. By checking out the label is a great option for cosmetics, cleaning products and even clothes to see if they are ethical. A tip would be to first google some ingredients/materials you want to avoid and remember those or make a note. Next time when shopping look out for those ingredients/materials. For clothes specifically see what kind of textile they are using, cotton, organic cotton, polyester or recycled material?

Online Presence:

Last but not the least, the brand or the product’s online presence. Similar to what I have mentioned above, it is important for you to do some digging. You are looking for their branding, their concepts, their “About Us”, their reviews from other buyers. What are people saying, are they in magazines or articles? What do those articles say? What are some reviews? What was the purpose of this product and why did they make this product? These are great questions to think about when researching or shopping for ethical products. In addition, many brands that are doing good or are selling ethical products are proud of what they are doing and they want to share their ideas, philosophy. So look out for truly enthusiastic brands about their ethical ideas.

These are three great ways to find ethical products.

One Ethical Product at A Time

I hope you have enjoyed the article and learned what ethical products are and how to identify ethical products. With these ethical products, everyday you are making a difference for the society, the people, and the earth. Be careful of the performative brands, while they might be providing some ethical aspects in their products, but they are not true ethical products. So alway remember to do some research if possible. However, at the end of the day it is the effort that makes a difference, the fact that you are actively looking for ethical products means you are changing and doing something for the greater good. Now, let us all start our ethical journey with Ethical Choice!

Find out more about ethical and what it means in this article!
Check out our ethical journey section for fun interviews of people in their ethical journey.

Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!