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3 Ethical Places To Start Your Holiday Shopping

With Halloween just passing, the winter holidays are coming up in full force. It’s a crazy time of year for everyone and being so busy can lead to relying on big companies for last-minute gifts that offer quick shipping and low costs, even though we’d rather support companies that represent our values. Getting ahead of the curve on your shopping allows you to select retailers that are doing better for the planet, but researching which companies are the best for all of your gift-giving needs can be overwhelming. To get some must-haves crossed off of your holiday list — here are three places to start:


BetterWorldBooks strives to build an online marketplace where you can buy and donate books while feeling good about your purchase. Through their Book to Book program, every time you buy a book, one is donated to someone in need. They also foster literacy grants to work with nonprofits that encourage reading and education in communities needing assistance. Their environmental values are represented in their reselling of used books, the option for carbon-neutral shipping and their program which reclaims the shelving used in libraries that would normally be thrown out. They have buying options for new or used books and gift cards for the bookworm in your life.


EarthHero is a one-stop shop for all of your needs. Dubbed the “ethical Amazon,” its online range carries everything from kitchen essentials to fashion and stocking stuffers for your fur baby. They source goods from ethically conscious sellers and put them all in one place for your blissful shopping enjoyment. Their goal is to use fewer resources by focusing on higher quality products, compostable and recycled packaging, and a cleaned-up production process to get buyers everything they need without hurting the planet. They’re climate-neutral certified, donate towards initiatives serving sustainability goals and are dedicated to striving for a zero-waste work environment for their employees.


ourCommonplace is an online marketplace focused on beauty, fashion and home. Their company is BIPOC and woman-owned and their values aim to uplift and support both women working in the retail market and women in developing countries. They’re dedicated to showing transparency in their selling and sustainability process and do so by highlighting products from women-owned businesses, guaranteeing the brands they sell don’t manufacture in countries that require animal testing and have ethical certifications to back it up. If you know someone that acts like they’re in a Vogue “get ready with me video” every time they do their skincare routine — this is the place to shop for them.

No matter who you’re shopping for this holiday season, taking the bow off a gift that supports the planet and those on it just feels a little bit better. So whatever you decide to add to your online basket this season, try to research if there’s a more sustainable option that makes you feel good about purchasing for your loved ones. Your shopping could end up giving in more ways than one. After all, nothing is merrier than loving on your people and your planet.

Kelly is a Junior majoring in English on the creative writing track. She has a dangerous habit of daydream scrolling through designer clothing and a hobby of recreating the pieces herself with her sewing machine and an iced coffee on stand-by. Her heart belongs to her black lab and pit bull mix Leia (named after the princess). She has dreams of writing for a major fashion publication one day and plans to dramatically journal in her bedroom in the meantime. You can find her on Pinterest planning her next big adventure or pretending to be on it already at world showcase in Epcot.
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