On April 29th, the team at Brandit Global were lucky enough to attend the #EthicalManchester launch - a wonderful programme that seeks to bring together the private and third sector to support great causes in Greater Manchester and beyond.
We registered our interest with some inspirational charities (you can learn about them on the Resonate Connect website), did some networking, and knocked our tweeting socks off.
But the event also got us thinking about something else too. There are lots of fantastic organisations, like Resonate Connect, that are helping to enable businesses to be more ethical in how they train and recruit staff. And lucky for consumers, this change is sweeping across the retail industry too - with a number of excellent businesses building their reputation and success based on positive, ethical brand messages.
With this in mind, we wanted to create a blog that champions the incredible UK businesses that hold ethical standards close to the heart. Some you may know, others perhaps not, but each entry has something in common: they represent the changing face of Britain’s retail industry, not just in spirit, but in consumer purchase habits too.
This phenomenal company was built on a simple vision: to offer high-quality, sustainable products that were created by incredible women.
The founders of Who Made Your Pants? knew that many of the big-brand lingerie companies would force employees to work in poor conditions. They also knew that these companies would also throw away fabric at the end of the every season - most of which ended up in rubbish dumps.
So, Who Made Your Pants? had a clever idea. Using this fabric, they wanted to create beautiful, comfortable underwear that was made by people who loved where they worked. They chose to employ skilled women who needed a helping hand, and offer them the right training to reach their true potential.
But this was also advantageous from the customer’s perspective. When you buy a product from Who Made Your Pants?, you can rest assured that every penny is being invested in an enterprise that genuinely makes a difference to how consumers source, produce, and purchase our underwear.
And what’s better, this dedication to conveying personality and artisanship is literally sewn into every product. Each pair of pants comes with a short description of who created them, including a lovely biography of the individual too.
Who Made Your Pants? believe that small differences can change the world. And with a loyal customer following, and a long term commitment to ethical change, this company is definitely showing the big-brand lingerie companies a thing or two.
If you would like an excellent tool to check if your clothing is ethically made, visit the Mashable website and put your pants to the test.
Founded in 2006, Teapigs began with the idea that high quality tea shouldn’t come at the expense of community support.
The Noel Orphanage, in Rwanda, is Teapigs’ latest charitable project - helping to bring shelter and educational opportunities for the communities that supply Teapigs with their wonderful product. So far, the company has raised over £60,000 and has given the orphanage a much-needed revamp, including providing new bedding and plumbing to the site.
The best thing about Teapigs’ fundraising, however, is that their customers can also get involved too. A percentage of online profits go directly to the orphanage and helps to invest in the future of how Teapigs’ harvests its raw materials.
According to research from i-sight.com, 91% of consumers believe that brand behaviour is an important factor in choosing to make a purchase. Furthermore, more than half of those consumers are influenced to make a purchase decision if the company donates a percentage of its profits to a good cause.
This is something that Teapigs has utilised to tremendous effect - having achieved lots of success with its charitable causes.
In addition to fundraising, Teapigs also has an ongoing effort to source its products in a sustainable and responsible way. Working with the Rainforest Alliance, this lovely tea company also makes its products from 100% recyclable, vegetable-based material.
The Teapigs team also do everything they can to ensure each employee meets its environmental standards:
For any customer that shops at Teapigs, this type of information is invaluable for ensuring that your money is being invested in something more than just what you pop in your morning brew.
Like Who Made Your Pants?, Teapigs is a brand committed to championing ethical values at its very core. So, when you buy from these self-confessed tea junkies, you are also helping to support a business that makes a real difference to the lives of those impacted by the tea industry.
And that can only be a good thing.
With a growing team of fifteen passionate cocoa experts, the Raw Chocolate Co. produces some of the most incredible chocolate treats in the world.
The Raw Chocolate Co., however, is another company dedicated to the pursuit of ethical and fairtrade business practices (there aren’t many chocolate companies that have spent five years searching for the perfect organic goji berry supplier!). All of their delicious ingredients are sourced from specialist farmers who receive the right price for their produce - and their customers reap the rewards too.
The Raw Chocolate Co. is unique in that every moment of its production process - from harvest to cooking - is conducted with the environment in mind. For example, none of the products are cooked above a certain temperature, meaning that the company can cut down on its energy usage. The Raw Chocolate Co. factory is also powered by solar and wind renewables.
So, when it comes to company branding, it comes as little surprise that this company has quickly identified itself as a thought-leader in ethical produce. When you visit the Raw Chocolate Co. website, the engaging content and minimalist design helps to reinforce this philosophy even further:
It’s fun, informative, and oh-so green - making it clear that the Raw Chocolate Co. carries every aspect of its brand with happiness and well-being at its heart.
And it doesn’t hurt that their sweets treats are wonderful too.
The changing face of customer values
Like it or not, consumers want more than price-driven value from their businesses of choice.
The experience of purchasing a product that has eco-consciousness built into its very core is extremely lucrative amongst customers.
And with the rise of organisations like Resonate Connect, it is likely that this demand for ethical trade will also come from the inside too - where businesses will make a conscious decision to offer more than just a great price. Ethical responsibility, from recruitment to production, could soon become the defining characteristic of a great brand.
And personally, we can’t wait to do our bit too.