This is another one I’m really pleased to present, this is someone else with a real passion for all things ethical, who started and runs the a very popular platform called Ethical Revolution, which is there to try and make ethical products more affordable by highlighting deals and promotions Sam Attard.
For those people who have not heard of you could you explain a bit about who you are and what you do?
Sure, my name’s Sam and I run platform called Ethical Revolution which is designed to be a hub for discounts and promotions on ethical goods and services. It came to fruition from my own journey in to voting with my wallet. I started to make more ethically minded decisions about what I bought, but found that doing so meant increasing my budget a fair bit. I knew that it was possible to get offers (discount codes, sales etc.) on various ethical products, but there was no single place where I could go and search specifically for discounts on whatever it might be that I was looking for. For example, when I needed some shampoo and wanted to find where I could get a discount on an ethical brand, I’d have to search all of the brands individually, and all of the shops that stocked them and see who was running an offer at the time. – Pretty time consuming stuff. So I designed the Ethical Revolution platform to be a one-stop place to go: Where I could simply search ‘shampoo’ or navigate to the Hair Care category and then have all of the currently active offers from websites across the web, displayed to me on one page.
Although we think of marketing as big campaigns do you feel that what you do in bringing ethical companies to people’s attentions as a form of ethical marketing?
Yes, I would say that by promoting a shift away from mainstream purchases to more ethical ones, I am effectively acting as a marketer for ethical consumerism in general. Many products and services may benefit from getting me to promote their things for free – but they have to be ethical in order to do so. If they are, they deserve that promotion.
How important do you feel ethical marketing is?
In that it helps a shift towards more ethical purchasing, it’s vitally important. – More and more people are beginning to realise that the previous model of infinite consumption on a finite planet is unsustainable. So a shift towards more sustainable models is necessary.
Which ethical marketing campaigns have really stood out for you, both in people you’ve worked with and on the wider stage?
I like the campaign days and weeks for certain causes – ones like the Fair Trade week we had earlier in the year, National vegetarian week and Fashion Revolution week. These are campaigns that really resonate beyond people who already converted due to the fact that they are supported by so many companies and shared so widely.
What would you say has been the biggest change in your lifestyle since deciding to be more ethical?
It’s hard to say because any change before it’s made can seem like a huge thing, but once you’ve actually made the change it always feels like it was a small and simple thing to do. So, because of that it doesn’t actually feel like there’s been any big change, but there have been many things that I have altered and tweaked. Perhaps no longer eating meat would have seemed the biggest thing beforehand. However, it just seems normal now, and the gain in my general wellbeing is noticeable (not to mention the immense environmental impact that going vegetarian or vegan has).
In a world of alleged ‘fake news’ and greenwashing do you think it’s getting more difficult to showcase ethical products and services?
I think it was more difficult to be a truly ethical business when it was unfashionable long before greenwashing was a thing. Now that the ethics of a business is one of the top priorities for many consumers greenwashing has come in. If you know how to see beyond the label and find out who is greenwashing and who is not you’re ok. The way to do that is to subscribe to Ethical Consumer magazine. They are a brilliant resource who I can’t recommend enough. Even just following them on Twitter will help you to see who is greenwashing and who is genuine.
What advice would you give to someone starting out with a company to guide them to making the right ethical choices?
I always refer to the mantra that it’s better to be part of the solution than part of the problem. It might be impossible to start a company with the ethics completely where you want them to be. But have that place as your goal, work out the steps you need to get there, be honest and open with your audience and work towards that place. When starting a company you’re hoping for a secure future. The way to build a secure future is to have a trusted brand. To have a trusted brand these days more than ever you need to have strong ethics and be open and transparent with your audience. If there are tough decisions that need to be made, so long as you are open about them and showing that you are working towards doing things the right way, your audience will respect you and stay with you, and you will have become a reputable company.
Has there been any company or person who has influenced and inspired your choices?
I’ve already mentioned them once, but Ethical Consumer Magazine have played a major part for me. Simply put, they make it easy to be an ethical consumer. At the bottom of my homepage there’s a list of inspirational quotes and some other sources of inspiration who have played a part in getting me where I am today.
What’s next for you?
Growing the Ethical Revolution. I’m just at the beginning. It’s building every day – More and more ethical businesses are asking to be listed on my site, which in turn is giving more choice to the consumers who visit my site looking for deals on ethical things.
If you could change one thing about how people view ethics in business in general and in marketing in particular what would it be?
Anyone involved in business can change ethics in business. It starts at home. The much paraphrased Gandhi quote, ‘Be the change you want to see’ holds true. Have the right ethics yourself. People might just respect that and follow suit. So my answer is that I hope I can already change the way people view ethics in business by holding strong ethics myself and allowing those ethics, which so many other businesses hold too, spread.
Thanks Sam for an interesting interview, please check out Sam’s website at https://ethicalrevolution.co.uk/ it’s a great site for those interested in being ethical consumers. Most images in this article are (c) Sam Attard, except the Ethical Consumer Magazine image which is (c) Ethical Consumer Magazine.