What It Means To Be An Ethical Brand



Ethical brands, brands with a conscience, products with purpose, whichever way you want to slice it, these kinds of businesses seem to be the talk of the town. So what the heck is an ‘ethical brand’ and why has it become such a hot topic?

Ethics have to do with morals and values. An ethical brand is one in that is focused on transparency, integrity, and is downright committed to the public good. These are businesses that produce products or services that do not harm people, animals, or the environment.

To put it simply, they are gung-ho about contributing to the society

in which they live in a responsible, positive, and sustainable way.

As Marion from The Branding Journal puts it, “Ethical brands should have the word “ethics” in their DNA and their entire strategy built towards providing long-term sustainability to their business, the society, and the planet.”

Basically, down to its very core, an ethical brand cares about the impact their business has on the world around them, not just about making a financial profit.

So why is ethical branding so important, aside from the obvious? I truly believe that strong brands have the power to create change and make big impacts on society. Good or bad.

Just look at what Amazon has done to the way we shop for things. Literally, I find myself saying at least once a week, “I can probably get it cheaper on Amazon”, or “Can I just order it on Amazon?”. While they may not be the most ethical business, they have absolutely revolutionized the shopping experience by focusing on convenience and ease for their customers.


As designers, we feel it’s our responsibility to do our part to create positive change in the world. The brands we choose to work with are pioneering the revolution for the world we wish to live in. And let’s face it, we want these brands to be successful because these are the brands that we want to see on the shelves, and the ones we want to support.


We design brands for businesses rooted in goodness. To us, this could be anything from a sustainable clothing brand, to a yoga studio, to a farm to table restaurant using food from local farmers, and everything in between. Essentially, any business that falls into the previously mentioned definitions.


The reality is that it’s the responsibility of businesses to provide ethical products and services for consumers. We can all do our best to be conscious consumers until the cows come home, but until more businesses start thinking about the bigger picture our options as consumers are limited.


If the principle itself isn’t enough to convince you to go ethical maybe this will. “ Brand authenticity has never been more crucial to a business’ success, and companies that have dedicated themselves to the greater good instead of solely to their bottom lines have seen a remarkable surge in support – and revenue.” Dan Shewan, WordStream (https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/09/20/ethical-marketing).


Check out these examples of ethical brands, and see what the power a strong ethos can have on your business: