Set up in 2013, Ethical Revolution began life as the world’s first ethical discounts site. The focus was on trying to shop consciously whilst still on a budget. With limited finances making the right choices was never as simple as it should have been. This site provided a hub for discounts, vouchers and deals on ethical products and services to help people choose ethical produce over less-ethical alternatives at no extra cost …and often at cheaper prices!
As of 2020 the site changed angle. With sustainability and ethical lifestyle choices no longer niche subjects a much wider range of options has come to the market, making ethical shopping on a budget easier than it has ever been.
Therefore the focus of Ethical Revolution is now to help people take any steps they may not already have taken towards achieving that positive and sustainable future we want to see.
There is still a section dedicated to discounts on ethical goods and services. Shopping ethically is after all a massive step that can be taken.
As well as that, further steps are detailed on the homepage.
Many of the external links on this website will be what’s known as ‘affiliate links’. What this means is that when you click from my website to another website that link will be tracked by the new website, alerting them that you have been directed there from Ethical Revolution. If you then make a purchase on that website I will make a small commission on it. This is how I intend to fund the running of this website. However, I will not allow this to control what I link to. For example, if I do not believe a product is ethical I will not link to it, whether I could make a commission on it or not. Similarly, I will not exclude any ethical products for which I am not able to make a commission on.
Who Runs It?
I had been working as a web strategy consultant for the previous 10 years before setting up this site in 2013. I had started to become increasingly concerned with things I could do to positively effect the world around me.
Although, probably thanks to the influence of my mum, I’d always been somewhat aware of the need of us as individuals and consumers to make choices that contribute to a fairer society, this is something that had come more to the forefront in my mind in those years – Probably due to the increasingly apparent state of the world and the galling inequalities between us humans. This despite us living at a time when we have the greatest access to resources and the most advanced technologies in the history of mankind.
My journey around that time included:
– Going veggie (although I do still occasionally include small fish and mollusca). I have also cut down on dairy products, going mainly without one of my old faves, cheese, and cutting out milk all together. Though having been brought up in a family who keep organically-fed free-range chickens, I am still very happy to eat truly free-range eggs.
– Going without a phone. This happened accidentally to begin with. I broke my phone, but I loved the resulting phone-free few weeks so much that I have not replaced it since, nor do I want to. That said, I do use a tablet, so it’s not like I’m completely app-free! However, the amount of time I used to waste just flicking through pointless distractions on the phone has now gone. The tablet I tend to use only when I ‘need’ it as opposed to using it simply because it’s on my person. There’s a brilliant article by Sarah Irving that articulates rather well some cases against needing a smartphone.
– Around the same time as the two above I also decided to stop drinking. I was never a particularly heavy drinker, nor have I had alcohol-related problems. I just felt that I wanted to find more time in my life to concentrate on other passions. Since stopping, the change I’ve felt has been remarkable. I felt a lot more alert, more creative, had a much greater sense of get-up-and-go about me and did indeed find more time to put in to other hobbies. It’s not that I sacrificed any level of socialising either (The extra time was gained more from the days after a night out rather than the night out itself). In fact, it probably did the opposite. I’m lucky in that I went though a period as a teenager where I’d go out with my school mates, who’d all be drinking, and I wouldn’t because at that time I was aiming to pursue a career in professional sport. I suppose doing that at that time in my life made it known to me that I could go out and have fun without requiring alcohol. While that may seem obvious to some, I know many people who can’t face the idea of letting their hair down without needing alcohol to enable them to do so. One extra thing that may have helped me here is that I’ve never felt inhibited to dance, so that definitely helped!!! As of 2016 I am no longer teetotal (this journey is forever evolving) but having had such a long time being so and experiencing the benefits I feel able to easily switch from periods of my life of when I am and when I’m not. I was going to delete this paragraph now that I’m no longer teetotal but I’m leaving it here to keep documented the benefits it can bring – indeed I do still switch between being so and not when I feel it best suits me.
At this point I’d like to point out that I am in no way saying, ‘this is how I do things, this is how others should do things’. No way, I am in no way perfect and I feel that I am always finding out new and interesting avenues in life. I expect to be continually learning until the day I die. In this section I am just trying to give a bit of background about me and where I am today.
Why did I start Ethical Revolution?
Well, in going greener myself I wanted to document and promote some of things that I’ve found useful. I suppose I was looking to live an easy life whilst not having to make any huge sacrifices, nor make increases in spending in choosing to be more green.
I’d consider myself to be a fairly normal bloke. With a business man for a father and an artist for a mother I suppose I’ve been fortunate to have learned both how to be creative and pragmatic in equal measures. I have grown up with a big interest in sport and music and I went down a fairly standard route of Comprehensive School -> Gap Year -> University. So, unlike the increasingly outmoded preconception of a ‘green’ person as an airy-fairy hippy-type on the fringe of popular society I would say I’m one of the growing breed of more ‘run-of-the-mill’ individuals who has a concern for the environment, the future of the planet and my own health in equal measures.
I hope that living sustainably can be something fairly easy, and in this website I aim to document how easy, or otherwise, I find the shifting of certain habits to align with a greener lifestyle. I do not intend at any point to preach. I only intend to experiment, practice and document. The steps I publish are ones I’ve either taken or am taking myself. They are steps I feel will help contribute to a more positive future.
I used the word ‘Revolution’ in the title of this project because I believe in social justice and environmental justice, and I believe that it is people power that can bring these about. The power we have every day of our lives to vote with our wallets is, I believe, one of the most effective ways of shaping society around us. A revolution in the way we shop can lead to a revolution in our environment.
The main influence on my journey in to responsible consumerism has been Ethical Consumer Magazine. Without their detailed investigation of ethical goods I would not be able to produce this website.
Ethical Revolution’s Own Ethics
The Ethical Revolution website is hosted by Green Hosting while the domain is registered by ethical domain registrar, Gandi, who seek to defend customer rights and privacy wherever possible. They pride themselves on honesty and decency with a ‘No Bullshit’ policy: “We offer an alternative approach to that of our competitors, spending no money on advertising, and instead supporting the community of people working on technology that enables the Internet for business, but also for the free and unrestricted sharing of information, and for promoting the respect of individual and citizen rights.” Gandi also support alternative projects including many committed to Open Source software as well as the likes of the World Wildlife Fund.
The site uses Ecologi to not only offset carbon emissions, but become climate positive.
Ethical Revolution is based at The Welsh Mill Hub, a social enterprise whose profits go back into helping unemployed young adults create viable, sustainable futures for themselves and their communities. The Welsh Mill Hub houses a range of green-minded business. Our office and kitchen cleaning products are made by Bio-D and Ecover, whilst teas and coffees are made by Clipper and Cafe Direct.
My home office is proudly powered by ethical renewable energy company, Ecotricity whose electricity & gas have the lowest carbon footprint of any available in Britain.
I walk or cycle between offices and despite having had a driving license since age 17 I have never opted own a car. I use public transport or car-pooling for trips that are too long to cycle and choose to personally offset long trips to help negate my impact.
Ethical Revolution is also keen to support local community and so is proud to sponsor the UK’s first ever community fridge. I am also manager of SHARE:Frome – A Library of Things, the UK’s first high street sharing shop.