ethical high street shops

Ethical High Street Shops

ethical high street shops

Ever wondered how ethical and environmentally friendly our high-street shops are?  Ethical Consumer have put together an interactive table of ethical high street shops, rated on their environmental, ethical and political performance.  I’ve personally found that it is really useful when making decisions about where to shop.

I strongly believe that as consumers it’s our job to be as informed as we can, so I’ve found this table on ethical high street shops quite enlightening and surprising.

As far as ethical high street shops go, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that Sainsbury’s fairtrade clothing would be rated lower than Primark.  That is a huge surprise.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Sainsbury’s.

I also wouldn’t have guessed that John Lewis would be rated only 0.5 points above Primark.  Again, John Lewis is one of those shops that I would have expected more from.

And most surprising of all – that New Look would be one of the most ethical performers on the High Street.  And Bon Marche?  I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot in a Bon Marche shop but I feel that I should seek one out and take a look at their offerings.

Here’s the full rundown:

ethical high street shops

Were there any surprises here for you?

And what shops do you tend to visit on the high street?  I’m a fan of Marks and Spencer, Fat Face and White Stuff.  I feel a bit too old for New Look but I’m thinking maybe I should give it a second look.

PS: Found this post useful?  Since I initially put this post together I’ve written extensively about shopping ethically.  Here’s a guide on how to shop ethically, a guide to men’s ethical clothing companies, and a guide on how to shop ethically on a budget.  I’ve also got information on where to buy ethical sleepwear, ethical tights and socks and even men’s underwear and women’s underwear!

climate week logo

Climate Week 2013

climate week logo

As I mentioned yesterday, this week is Climate Week.  Now, Climate Week is all about inspiring others to be greener.  You could say that it’s like that every week here on Moral Fibres, so I thought I’d bend the rules a little and do something a bit different.  I already consider myself to be fairly green, but there are some things I do which aren’t so green, and I thought I’d hold myself accountable here on Moral Fibres.  I know we all have our own un-green habits, so here are mine:

Waste Food

wasting food

This is probably the biggest un-green thing I do.  Quite often vegetables rot in the fridge, or leftovers which I haven’t frozen sit for longer than is fit for human consumption.  Sometimes bread goes off in the bread bin.  We used to get a weekly vegetable box delivered with local seasonal veg.  We found however that we had no control over what vegetables we received so it was hard to plan meals in advance of receiving the box, so quite often things went off.  We switched to fortnightly deliveries but even then we still found it hard so we cancelled our box.  Now I buy seasonal British veg from Earthy in Edinburgh when we need it.  Still, there’s been a single solitary leek in my fridge for longer than I care to admit…!

We’re trying to be better at reducing the food we waste, but we could be much better.  We could plan meals, batch cook meals at the weekend, and freeze leftovers straight away rather than putting them in the fridge.  We already compost vegetable peelings, rotten vegetables, tea bags, egg shells etc, for our garden, but we could also get a bokashi bin for all non-compostable food waste, liked cooked food.  Watch this space (edited: I’ve made progress!  Check out my food waste tips I’ve discovered since writing this post!)

Shopping at Tesco

There is a Tesco Metro beside my work.  I quite often find myself popping in there for lunch and bits and pieces even though there are lots of little delicatessens and independent shops that really could do with the custom.  Tesco is one of the evillest supermarkets, and I always hate myself for going in there.  I should really stop giving them my custom – I think I’ll give it up during Climate Week and take it from there!

Using the Tumble Dryer

To be fair on myself, I’m pretty good at not using the tumble dryer in spring and summer (unless we’ve had a spell of terrible weather).  However, come autumn and winter it seems like my tumble dryer is never off.  With a baby, and two adults we seem to generate a lot of dirty washing.  Our house is very small and there isn’t a lot of room for clothes horses.  I’ve rammed our tiny kitchen with as many clothes horses it can hold (to the point where we get tangled in them!) but still there isn’t enough drying space, so unfortunately the tumble dryer has to go on.  It’s A rated, but it still doesn’t ease my guilt.  If we had a garage or porch I’d dry clothes in there, but alas we do not.  I’ve tried drying my clothes outside in winter, but living in Scotland, they often come back in just as damp as they went out.  I’m not sure what the solution is here to be honest.

Having Long Showers

Showers use less water than baths, but not when I take a shower.  Oh no.  Twenty minutes is about average shower length for me (what can I say, I like to make sure I’m super clean!).  I could easily reduce the amount of time I take in the shower, and also fit an aerator.  I just haven’t yet…

Charging my Phone Overnight

If my phone is low on battery (which it often is – these pesky smartphones with zero battery life) I’ll plug it in and charge it overnight.  This means that when it has finished charging it’s still switched on and using electricity.  I really should get into the habit of charging it during the day so that I can see when the battery is full and switch off the plug as soon as it’s done but I always seem to forget until bedtime.

What could you do better?    Let me know in the comments below – I promise we won’t judge and you’ll feel better for sharing!  And are you doing anything for Climate Week?

You can also follow along with Climate Week on the #climateweek twitter hashtag.