Ethical living in the North East
Ethical branding is our work and our passion here at THAT Branding company, but we don't often talk about ethical living.
Ethical Living is similar to sustainable living. It involves you making an individual decision to make changes to your lifestyle in order to limit your carbon footprint, impact on others, the environment and other effects on the planet as a whole. When you look at the products you use every day, can you honestly say that they are ethically made? You might be concerned about the plastic wrap you food comes in, or how the shirt you bought last week was so cheap. Chances are, you probably aren't sure what impact your purchases have had on the environment and on human life.
We are confident most people would like to live ethically, but the challenge is knowing where to start. It can seem daunting, but just little changes to your buying choices can be all it takes to be a little kinder to the world around you.
You don't have to live in Shoreditch or San Francisco to achieve ethical living for yourself. You can start today in the North East!
Here are a few of our favourite sustainable and ethical stores and brands - based right here in Tyne and Wear.
Open House, Low Fell, Gateshead
Howay Inn, Low Fell
The cleverly named Howay Inn is a planet-conscious fashion and lifestyle store with plenty to offer. They sell everything from ethically made clothing, through to toothbrushes, floor cleaner and gifts! If that doesn't float your boat, their refill station will definitely grab your attention - Bring a bottle and fill it with washing up liquid, hand soap and other household cleaning products and pay by the litre, eliminating plastic from the equation. With just one trip to Howay Inn, you can fill your kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe with ethical products.
Buy The Kilo
Buy the Kilo, Tynemouth
Take a stroll down Tynemouth's Eco Valley and you'll come across Buy the Kilo. Inspired by the grocery shopping of yesteryear, where customers would find their food in scoop bins in weigh-in shops, Buy the Kilo stocks food and other consumables that you would normally find in plastic bags or cartons. Rice, flour, nuts and cleaning products are just a few of the items on sale - all sold by the kilo. If you forget to bring a jar, don't worry, they provide paper bags and glass jars and bottles, just in case!
Uncaptive, The Stack Newcastle
A harsh light is shining upon the unethical and unsustainable practices of the fashion industry - and Uncaptive are responding with their responsible (but fashionable) clothing. A personal favourite of ours, they believe that the making of clothes should never harm humans, animals or the environment. They stock clothes made from bamboo, wood fibre and even recycled plastic - but their belts made from genuine decommissioned British fire hoses are probably the most attention grabbing of them all. You can also pick up a bamboo toothbrush while you're there, or one of their very own soap bars.
These three stores are just a few of the growing ethical produce community we're seeing in the North East. With more of us gravitating towards stores like these and away from less ethically-minded shops, we're now seeing some of our biggest supermarkets and chains making changes to appeal to this group of consumers - which can only be a good thing!
Do you think you might be ready to give ethical living a try?