One of the things we continually hear from ethical vendors is the difficulty in competing with Amazon. The sheer scale of the Amazon marketplace makes it tricky for smaller marketplaces to differentiate on price and shipping speed. This in turn means that fewer price-sensitive consumers are willing to start shopping ethically.
This week's digest is full of marketplaces whose innovations in ethical e-commerce demonstrate that price, speed, and selection quality aren't at odds with sustainability.
Better World Books is an online used books superstore. With low prices, fast delivery and a massive selection, Better World Books shows that speed and selection isn't unique to only Amazon. They're not paying us to say this, but they also have a 25% off promotion right now, so it's the perfect time to stock on up your quarantine reading materials.
Recently featured in Forbes, Mamoq is a British ethical marketplace focused on ethical, minimalist clothing. From soft organic cotton basics to neutral colours palettes and everyday accessories, they help anyone easily build a conscious wardrobe.
While most ethical marketplaces stick to fashion (it being the second-most polluting industry on the planet), MadeTrade ventures into the home and kitchen with sustainable alternatives to furniture and decor. They boast a massive selection of fair trade, sustainable and vegan products, and support local artisans, women and POC owned businesses. They're also family-owned themselves!
We'd be remiss not to mention Etsy, which boasts by far the largest selection of ethical, sustainable, hand-made and vintage products online. As of this week, they had nearly 100 thousand products in their "ethical" category and over 8 million labelled "vintage". At that scale they can offer affordable one to three day shipping and competitive prices.
All new employees at Etsy are given a few hundred dollars of credit to spend with independent sellers on the site, which is one of many ways that Etsy supports vendors on its platform.