Conscientious Companies: Ethical Marketing Done Right

Date Published:
September 3, 2022
Author:
Summer Stirling

Ethical + Marketing ≠ Oxymoron 

Companies doing good work with minimal impact on the environment, whilst treating their employees right exist out there. And, they have to advertise like any other business.

If you’re a business owner, be advised - there is an important and growing trend amongst consumers these days, they want to support businesses dedicated to helping environmental and social causes.

58% of people will buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values.

52% of consumers believe businesses aren’t doing enough to address climate change.

Ethical marketing ensures advertisements are ethically sound. It’s respectful relationships with customers. 

A philosophy rather than a strategy, it’s what leads every decision a business makes when communicating with consumers.

Below are companies who not only DO good, they market their goods good.

Patagonia

While most companies have an “About” section on their website, Patagonia skipped that option and went with an “Activism” tab. 

Not only are they a 1% for the planet member, but they are transparent about how their products are made, where they are made, and guarantee everything they make.

Oh, and just to stray off the conventional marketing path a bit further - they literally tell you NOT to buy their product!

Not only is this great marketing, but it also looks good too!

On a mission to get people into nature. On a mission to protect nature.

TOMS Shoes

Toms is “In the business of improving lives” according to their website, and the proof is in the footing. 

Show me another company that gives away as many shoes as they sell, feeds the hungry, creates products easy on the planet, and has the coveted B Corporation Certification!

It’s hard not to feel good when you’re purchasing a product with this much social impact.

We all need shoes.

Not just 1%, one-third of their profits!

Allbirds

Going straight to another shoe company, Allbirds is AllEnvironment. Sustainability has its own section on their website, and it’s full of eco-initiatives that the company strives for.

Never thought I’d see the words “Regenerative Agriculture” on a shoe company’s site, but their concern for ecology goes right to the source of the materials they use. 

Another B Corporation Certified business, their site states:

‘By offering a carefully curated product range fit for all seasons, we’re able to maintain a small, tight-knit supply chain. We build deep, multi-year relationships with factories and keep in consistent contact—we visit them, they visit us. In addition to conducting our own audits when necessary, we accept third-party, mutually recognized standards to reduce audit fatigue at factories and ensure safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing practices.”

For your soul and soles, Allbirds makes comfortable shoes that let you tread lightly on the planet.

Admitting where their industry is going wrong. Doing what they can to fix it. That's responsibility.

Pela Case

Outside of the grocery store, there are not many things we buy that are 100% compostable. 

Enter, Pela Case. 

Protect your phone with 80% less waste, 34% less water, and 30% fewer carbon emissions.

Our electronic devices cause a lot of problems for the planet, Pela offers a stylish way to reduce your impact. 

B Corp and Climate Neutral Certified, they’ve done the work and had third-party verification to prove it.

Make that selfie green!

With more than 5 trillion pieces of micro and macro plastic already in the ocean, we need to make every change for the better that we can.

Everlane

Everlane is on a mission:

“We believe we can all make a difference. Our way: Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency.”

That “radical transparency” goes right down to the costs behind their products—from materials to transportation.

They even breakdown the true costs of some common products right on their site:

Ever wondered who made your clothing? How much did they get paid?

Also listed on their website, is a list of the factories they use and where they are located - A practice that should be commonplace!

Transparency isn’t their only commitment. Everlane also strives toward a business model that will keep the planet clean, cool, and not add more plastic to the already too much pollution in our land and seas.

Out of the ocean or landfill and into your wardrobe.

The companies listed in this article have gone above and beyond to be ethical, not only in their marketing but in everything they do. And in an ideal world, all businesses would be able to mirror this.

Does that mean that only those companies sourcing their base materials from organic, regenerative farms, or making their products in named and inspected factories can be ethical?

Of course not!

Whatever your business, simply be honest with your customers. Be clear about what you or your product can do for them. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. And, when warranted, own your mistakes and communicate with your audience from a place of respect.