Online shopping is a modern-day convenience that many of us enjoy, however, the biggest online marketplaces often have questionable ethics practices. Luckily, there are other lesser-known marketplaces that are committed to ethical and sustainable business practices, support independent artisans, and showcase local businesses.
Keep reading for a list of alternative online marketplaces that allow you to shop from the comfort of your home without compromising on your values.
Thrive Market (USA)
A Thrive Market membership will grant you access to more than 6,000 sustainable and organic products at a great price and will sponsor another membership for a low-income family or first responder.
Do you have specific dietary or lifestyle needs? You can customize your search with a number of filters to make finding what you need even easier. Thrive Market also offers free carbon-neutral shipping if you buy more than $49 worth of products.
Package Free (Worldwide)
As the name suggests, Package Free’s goal is to reduce the world’s waste. You can find anything you may need for your home, from reusable ear swabs to silicone sandwich bags. Your order will be wrapped in either paper and tape or upcycled/recycled boxes that are 100 percent recyclable and compostable. To reduce CO2 emissions, Package Free offers many items in bulk so you can stock up sustainably.
Uncommon Goods (Worldwide)
Uncommon Goods is the perfect online market for finding gifts for your loved ones. It’s a certified B Corporation and offers consumers a wide range of products, from custom maps to quirky pieces of art. They get most of their supply from independent artisans, jewelry makers, potters, and painters, which you can expect to be wrapped with environmentally responsible packaging should you make a purchase. They also have a Better to Give program which donates over $2.5 million around the world and is committed to paying fair wages to their employees.
If you are passionate about supporting small businesses, Etsy is your marketplace. Etsy offers a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their products and is truly committed to sustainability. All of their operations are powered by renewable energy, and they are the first major online retailer to offset 100 percent of their carbon emissions from shipping.
Made Trade (Worldwide)
If you’re searching for the perfect bedding to complete your bedroom, or curtains to tie your living room together, look no further. Made Trade was founded in 2018 and is dedicated to ethically and sustainably made goods for your home. Every product available on Made Trade will fit into one of these core values: fair trade, heritage, made in the USA, BIPOC-owned, women-owned, sustainable, or vegan. On top of that, Made Trade donates one percent of its proceeds to environmental causes and offers carbon-neutral shipping.
The Little Market (Worldwide)
The Little Market was built on the belief that every person has the right to safe working environments and fair wages. They have provided over a million hours of dignified work for members of underserved communities, such as survivors of sex trafficking, refugees, and people with disabilities. Decorate your home with the artisan-made products showcased on The Little Market, such as handwoven baskets and hand-poured candles.
Grove Collaborative (Contiguous US)
The pandemic has made us even more conscious of maintaining a clean, germ-free living space. Grove Collaborative is a certified B Corporation that makes it easy for us to do that by offering flexible subscriptions of eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and non-toxic household and personal care products. The carbon emissions of each shipment are offset, plus they are working towards the goal of being plastic-free by 2025 (but are currently plastic-neutral).
You can probably guess what this online marketplace sells. Bookshop is a B Corporation and online marketplace that sells books, audiobooks, textbooks, and supports independent booksellers nationwide. If you have a favorite among Bookshop’s partners, then you can specify that you would like to support them with your purchases. Bookshop also gives away over 75 percent of its profit margin to stores, vendors, and authors, and gives 10 percent of sales to an earnings pool that is evenly divided between its partners.
If you have previously-loved books that you’d like to thrift, check out Better World Books, another certified B Corp.
BLK + GRN (USA)
BLK + GRN was founded by Dr. Kristian, a natural lifestyle enthusiast whose goal is to highlight all-natural, nontoxic goods by Black artisans and from Black-owned businesses. All the products available on this marketplace, which vary from hair care and makeup to home goods and multivitamins, are curated and quality-tests by Black health experts. Everything on offer is also sustainably made, plant-based, and cruelty-free.
Earth Hero (USA & Canada)
Earth Hero is another certified B Corporation that offers consumers all the parenting essentials you need to raise children sustainably, from the start. Instead of taking the time and effort to do your own research on childcare products to ensure that they are in line with your values, Earth Hero does the heavy lifting for you with their five-step sourcing process so that you can focus on parenting. Plus, you can consume consciously knowing that Earth Hero offsets the carbon footprint of all orders.