Here at Southmedia we’ve been working on an exciting new side-project called Ethishop. As part of our new approach to doing “digital good” we’re using some of our time to collaborate and conspire with people who have ideas that promote and encourage good things.
Ethishop was borne out of an idea that our director Ben had been mulling over for some time. We’ll hand over to him to introduce it properly!
I first had the idea for Ethishop about 3 years ago when I was trying to find a pair of fairtrade jeans online. I was overwhelmed by the options – none of which were quite what I was looking for! There were organic jeans, vegan jeans, jeans that were made by workers who were “treated well” and then, finally, after hours of searching, I found some Fairtrade certified jeans.
I realised that I spend hours doing this every time I want to buy something. I like to know that I’m spending my money on things that won’t perpetuate the cycle of abuses towards people, the planet or its other inhabitants – but I don’t want to spend hours and hours researching the best product every time
Ethishop would be a directory – initially of local places to buy ethically sourced goods, or to eat out at places that had high ethical standards. It would then grow to include a database of online stores which could be easily filtered to match a user’s preference (e.g. Fairtrade, vegan, plastic free).
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to develop my idea any further. That is, until I met Jane, who now runs Ethishop with me. We met at the co-working space where Southmedia is based, and discovered that we shared the same frustrations with the world of ethical shopping. Jane offered to help with the content, whilst Southmedia would provide the digital platform.
And so in January this year, we launched Ethishop in the city of Sheffield. We’re aiming to expand the local directory, and introduce the digital directory, later this year. Let us know what you think!