brands ethics

activism in the west is totally commodity based. Hey, what ethical brand should I buy? Which make up/clothing/beauty brand is cruelty-free? Which coffee bean is local/organic/fair trade? While it’s awesome that you wanna give support to companies that needs support, it feels like activism is less about building a coherent movement here and more about a personal statement. Pretty sure this is how Democrats lose every time. Liberals take it so seriously like some kind of personal branding, and do not understand that it is about compromising and building a large base to make a lasting impact. They’d rather rely on feel good advertising and easy to understand slogans.


Sophia Bush photographed on her collaboration visit to Uganda for three ethical fashion brands employing and supporting local women.

“It’s a really incredible thing to go that far away from the place that you call home and feel so at home. What strikes me whenever I travel somewhere so distant is that, really, we’re all just the same. Everyone is the same, and we want the same things, we dream in the same ways, we want the same things for our families and our children. It’s such a beautiful thing to be in a place with people that you might otherwise never encounter and realize that you’re all into exactly the same thing, you all like the look of the same sort of creation, and you laugh at all the same jokes. It’s just a really special thing to be reminded that we’re all just one great big collective.”


Made from the high quality canvas and brass hardware, this bag surpasses everything about the everyday purse. Stay hands free and never lose your bag! Comfortable, functional and badass sexy.

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Anyways! I’m not buying any brand with an ethical rating lower than a B and if I do it’s because I got it second-hand / the money wasn’t going to the actual retailer! To be honest!


The last few decades have seen a massive change in the fashion industry, with clothing becoming cheaper and more available than ever. While some may revel in the abundance, the mass availability of low-priced garments has an underbelly — namely, underpaid workers and environmental devastation. It’s this oft-overlooked aspect of the production process that drew the ethically minded brand VIRTŪ to create The Perfect Shirt, a “beautiful, handmade, top quality, slim-fit male shirt that aims to break with the unfairness of the fashion industry without compromising on style.” To that effect, they began working closely with designers and producers in the Dominican Republic, Berlin and Paris, in order to provide a shirt that was both ethical and highly fashionable. Now, over a year later, their Kickstarter project will help them bring the final product to production.


Brand Identity - Lush Cosmetics 

“Identify the brand identity of the company. What do you associate this brand with? 

Identify the unique selling point of this company. What makes this brand different to any other? What has it got that others haven’t?

Identify the company narrative. What is the story this company tells us about itself? What do they want  us to believe?”

The brand identity of Lush Cosmetics is to be a moral and ethical brand. They do this by supporting  different charities with products based on give some percentage of profit to said charity, they also campaign against animal testing, the killing of badgers and the ban on fox hunting being taken back. 

They are 100% against animal testing and it is clearly displayed on their website and they also sell canvas/tote bags that say “Fighting Animal Testing” this is also shown on bags given to customers when bagging up products. . From this they have made a very honest brand which upholds a strong reputation.

I personally associate the Lush brand with good customer service, honest policies and home-made products. This is because their products are in a sense sort of personal. I feel this way because  on each black pot is a sticker which show which employee created the product  and when. They also use a font on all their signs that look home-made. 

The U.S.P of this brand is how it puts in that personal touch not only to their products but also with their customer service within Lush Stores and the Customer Care they provide online.Their  font is quite well known now as well since they rebranded. This is because they use it throughout stores, online and on products - linking the brand together. 

Another unique selling point is the ethical code they live by.On  Lush’s website, it states the products are 100% vegetarian, the ingredients for the products are ethical bought and handmade.

Lush have also made their brand customer service based by introducing their beliefs in supporting animal rights, human rights and environment sustainability. They also do a “Random Act of Kindness” a day where a customer will be given a product for free. 

Lush have told the consumer the story of their company being the good guy, the cosmetics company that is vying for the underdog. This is shown, again by the animal right campaigning but also when gay marriage was announced in the USA and UK they released a large bar of glittery gold soap that read “gayisokay” and started a worldwide hashtag online to show support for the LGBT community. 

Pretty Little Liars's Shay Mitchell: “Every Time We Make a Purchase, We Have the Power to Help Someone”

Actress Shay Mitchell may be on hiatus from her hit showPretty Little Liars, but that doesn’t mean she’s resting on her laurels. Instead, the 27-year-old recently embarked on a trip to India with ethical fashion brand Raven + Lily to help the team with its mission of helping women around the world break the cycle of poverty through safe jobs that provide a sustainable income. Mitchell first learned about the company when she noticed a friend “wearing a beautiful necklace,” she tells InStyle shortly after her trip. “She told me it was a company called Raven + Lily and that the necklace had been made from melted down bullet casings by HIV+ women in Ethiopia.” Mitchell found the story so rich and inspiring that she just had to learn more.

 InStyle recently caught up with Mitchell to talk about her experiences on the trip, and what we can all do to help.

What prompted you to take this trip with the team?
I’ve always had a huge passion for helping women and have been involved with a lot of other organizations that support women in various capacities. I have also always dreamt of traveling to India and was actually in the middle of planning a trip of my own, so it was serendipitous that Raven + Lily offered me the opportunity to travel along with them and get to meet the women and girls they are working with personally.

Part of the trip involved a visit with former trafficking victims, which is a cause you’ve fought for before. Why does it affect you so?
No woman should ever have to experience this. Ever. But human trafficking is something that is uncomfortable to talk about and, for that reason, it’s often swept under the rug or not discussed. In order for this to end, we have to talk about it. We have to talk about the issue of human trafficking, the solutions and the reality that it’s happening everywhere.

What was the best moment of the trip? Worst moment?
The best moment of the trip was going into the homes of women in the Raven + Lily partnership in Northern India. They are one of the longest-running partnerships Raven + Lily has and so they’re really an example of what is possible with this model. We visited the home of a woman named Ferdoz, who has five daughters. In India, girls are traditionally thought of as a burden because of their dowry and after her fifth daughter was born, Ferdoz’s husband left her alone with no money to care for her family. Women in this Muslim community were not allowed to work outside the home, but the system that Raven + Lily uses allows them to work on jewelry and paper goods from inside their home, allowing them to respect the local culture, while also accessing sustainable income. Fast forward years later and Ferdoz now has a safe, clean, comfortable home where her daughters can live and thrive. They even showed us their dance studio where they taught me how to Bollywood dance!

The hardest part of the trip was facing the extreme poverty in India head on. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. It can be really overwhelming, but I think it’s important to stay focused on helping these communities one person at a time because every single person matters.

What does taking a trip like this make you realize?
This trip made me realize how far we’ve come already. Raven + Lily started with a small group of a few artisans and has grown into 13 partnerships employing thousands of women. But that being said, there is still so much more work to be done. In every partnership we visited, the women are hungry for more work so that more people in their community can have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families and live with dignity. There are millions of women all over the world who just need to be given the opportunity to work.

What was the greatest thing you learned from the trip?
A job is a powerful thing. By giving a woman a chance to discover what she’s good at and use her time, talent and skills to contribute to her community, she not only can provide for herself and her family, but she also gains confidence and dignity. She will feel like she can take on the world.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the achievements of women while also calling for greater equality. This year’s theme was “make it happen.” What can we do today—big or small—to make change happen for women around the world?
It’s up to you and I to make wise and careful choices about the products we buy because every time we make a purchase we have the chance to help someone. I know that it can feel overwhelming, but start small. Find companies like Raven + Lily that are fair trade, ethical and environmentally-friendly and make a point to shop from them when you need things for yourself or for a gift. By doing so, you’ll have a chance to help people around the world, but you’ll also feel good about it—and you’ll have a great story to tell every time someone compliments what you’re wearing.

teenvogue: Many girls all over the world don’t have access to the simple things like food, a home and healthcare. By choosing to shop from brands that are making ethically-produced fashion, jewelry and more, we can help to make the world a better place every day just by what we buy. #IWD2015 xo, @shaym / photo: Melinda DiMauro