What would your ideal ethical alternatives site look like?


#1

In case you missed it: we’re working on building a site for people to share and discover ethical alternatives to products and services. But we don’t just want to crowdsource information from the community - we also want you to help us design a site that suits your needs.

Currently, ethical.net is just a simple, placeholder blog template. But we want to know - would your ideal site for finding ethical alternatives look like?

A Product Hunt, but for sustainability? A slicker version of Ethical Consumer? A more comprehensive GoodOnYou? Or are you imagining something completely different?

Have your say below!


#2

While this is a place for everyone to share their ideas, I feel it’s useful for the few of us who are directly involved in the project to comment as well.

For me, the bigger vision for the project would be an Ethipedia for ethical companies, products, services, activities, and so on. A community-driven, inclusive, decentralised, constantly evolving educational platform where anyone can share their knowledge and their experience with the sole aspiration of contributing to a fairer future for the society and the earth.

And while this feels like a distantly achievable project, my favourite idea of a minimum viable product is a browser extension that suggests ethical alternatives (for products, shops, and) when we are browsing mainstream websites like google, amazon, ebay, etc. Pretty much like DoneGood (and probably others too) but aimed at people in the UK, and offering not only product alternatives, but also ideas on how to fix things (ie: suggestions on how and where to fix a particular type of smartphone, in case we are searching for a new one).

What we need for this: build and maintain a comprehensive database of ethical shops and ideas, and create a basic recommendations algorithm, which we can constantly improve and refine.

The database can be repurposed as a browsable list on the website, and as a mobile app for different platforms.

One thing that we need to be very careful of is how we frame things, so they don’t burden people as extra sources of guilt, which in turn can lead to or increase the risk for ethical “fatigue” or burnout. We can always remind our readers that there is no such thing as being an “ethical person”, but rather learning how to be as ethical as one can in this present moment.

It’s a case of discovering and contemplating our real values, rather than obeying some external rules, more like the North Star, and not like the 10 Commandments. :slight_smile: