Looking for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to Amazon? The good news is you don’t need to look too far. I’ve got nine online sustainable marketplaces for you to try today for almost all of your needs.
In May 2021 it was reported that Amazon had a sales income of €44bn in Europe in 2020, yet paid no corporation tax. Despite Amazon recording their highest income yet Amazon’s European unit apparently made a €1.2bn loss and therefore paid no tax. This was at the same time as many bricks and mortar shops were forced to permanently close down,
And to rub salt in the wound, the Guardian reports that the unit was granted €56m in tax credits. These credits can be used by Amazon to offset any future tax bills should they turn a profit. The company has €2.7bn worth of carried forward losses stored up, which can be used against any tax payable on future profits. This means it will be quite some time before Amazon pays any tax.
Of course, it’s not just tax avoidance. Amazon has been linked to human rights abuses. Their business model is based on over-consumption. And the company’s carbon footprint has been calculated as being larger than that of Switzerland.
The Best Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Amazon
The good news is that there are lots of great eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to Amazon out there. These ethical online stores cater to a wide variety of ethics, budgets, and product requirements. Let’s look at nine of the best out there now.
In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running. Some brands have also paid a fee to be included in this roundup. This is denoted by **.
Dorset-based &Keep* sells a wide range of carefully curated, eco-friendly, reusable, and sustainable products. If you are looking for plastic-free products in particular, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the majority of &Keep’s products are plastic-free. Where there is plastic, &Keep like to ensure it’s the BPA-free kind and kept to an absolute minimum.
What’s more, all of &Keep’s products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. And for extra eco points, all of their packaging is always completely plastic-free and uses recycled materials. &Keep also regularly donate to environmental causes and charitable organisations that work far beyond their reach.
Sign up to their newsletter and receive 10% off your first order.
Content* sells a thoughtfully sourced selection of natural and organic beauty brands. Their collection of beauty products avoids many controversial skincare ingredients. These ingredients Content avoids are listed here, as there are simply too many to mention in this space! What’s more, none of the brands they stock test their products on animals, nor do they instruct anyone to do so on their behalf. It’s reassuring to know that you are in safe hands when you buy from Content, and that they’ve done all the hard work for you.
And it’s not just beauty products that Content sells. You’ll also find departments selling ethical clothing, vintage clothing, recycled and handcrafted jewellery, fairtrade and vegan shoes, books, and zero waste living products. It’s a veritable one-stop shop!
Sign up to Content’s weekly newsletter and get 15% off your first order when you spend over £40.
Big Green Smile
From make-up and beauty products to natural cleaners and baby care, Big Green Smile* is one of the biggest online retailers of natural, organic cruelty-free, and eco-friendly products in the UK. I stop by Big Green Smile particularly when I’m looking to buy bulk products, such as washing up liquid or soap. I find the prices really reasonable and they often run great promotions.
If it’s books that you are after then Bookshop.org* is the place to go as an ethical and eco-friendly alternative to Amazon. Bookshop.org is an online bookshop that, unlike Amazon, has a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.
You can shop your local bookshop, or shop from a specific local bookshop to support, and they’ll receive the full profit from your order. If you don’t have a specific store in mind that you’d like to support, then your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookshops. In fact, Bookshop.org give away over 75% of their profit margin to stores, publications, and authors.
What’s more, they’re a certified B-Corp. This means that Bookshop.org meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
EcoWareMarket** is a new online marketplace that connects consumers with eco-friendly suppliers, manufacturers, brands, and artists from across the UK and Europe.
Featuring a growing inventory of UK or EU-made eco-friendly clothing and accessories, stationery, toys, hygiene and beauty products, kitchenware, and more, it’s a great place to look for your daily essentials. You can also find unique items here, like toys made from residual sugar cane waste.
As it is a marketplace, you can connect directly with suppliers, making it easier to find the products you are looking for. As EcoWareMarket is new, do keep a lookout for its growing product range.
Sign up to the EcoWareMarket mailing list, and take 10% off your first order.
Ethical Superstore*, one of the original stalwarts of the ethical and eco-friendly shopping scene, sells a massive range of eco products. From fair trade, organic, vegan, and eco-friendly products in practically every category you could ever imagine – from clothing, to toys, to food, to cleaning products and more. The sheer range of ethical products makes them a really strong sustainable and eco-friendly Amazon alternative.
What’s reassuring is that each item sold at Ethical Superstore adheres to at least one of Ethical Superstore’s seven key ethics. These are:
- fair trade
- supports education, health & wellness
- is locally produced
- or supports charitable causes.
It would be easy to be overwhelmed by choice. Thankfully Ethical Superstore allows you to shop by product ethics. Here you can filter products by a huge number of ethics to find the products that suit you.
I use them for buying household staples and am always impressed by their use of recycled and repurposed packaging.
Do you use Amazon to do your store cupboard food shop? Then try Good Club* as an ethical alternative. I have used their services a couple of times now to buy ethical and organic store cupboard staples. I am always really impressed with their reasonable pricing, and their delivery service. Here your order is delivered in reusable boxes, which you empty and then place outside your house. The boxes are then collected the next day for reuse. You don’t even need to be at home.
And even better, Good Club also offers a zero-waste food delivery service. Here you can stock up on dried bulk items such as pasta, rice, oats, and more. These come in canisters that you decant into your own jars and then return to Good Club for reuse. Genius!
The eco-friendliest option is always to shop second-hand. Thankfully Oxfam Online* makes shopping second-hand easy. Here you can pick up a multitude of items – from ladies, gents, and kid’s clothing and accessories – to books, music, collectibles, and more.
Oxfam online makes a great sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to Amazon. This is because as well as their massive secondhand inventory, you can also shop their Sourced by Oxfam range online. This is a collection of eco-friendly cleaning products, fairtrade food items, ethical gifts and more, that help you live more sustainably. All profits also support Oxfam’s work helping to end poverty.
Wearth* is an online marketplace partnering with eco-friendly and ethical UK brands. They sell a huge range of eco-friendly products, such as zero-waste products, ethical fashion products, sustainable toiletries, and more. If you are facing decision fatigue, then you can shop from each department by your values. Simply tick the boxes that match your values, such as plastic-free, refillable, made in the UK, vegan-friendly, and more. You are then only served eco-products that match your ethics.
Read more on my write-up of Wearth.
Came across any other great sustainable alternatives to Amazon that you would recommend? Do let me know!