PEOPLE

Whilst the planet is at the heart of sustainability, you cannot get there without a fair and sustainable society. People are at the heart of this, and planet positive brands have a responsibility to society, too.

You must decide what is important to you when it comes to social responsibility. Most companies will have a code of conduct, relating to people, planet, or product. By looking at this, you can check whether a company aligns with your values.

How do I know that my favourite brands are ethical and how they treat their people?

The word ethical is difficult to define. It is used to describe companies who are conscious of people or planet with their trade practices, but common sense would dictate that this should not be celebrated as ‘ethical’ but should instead be the norm.

No company should be trading from an unethical position, and we have the right to expect this as the norm from the companies we interact with.

But as shoppers, how can we make sure we’re supporting brands and products that treat people fairly? In this section we’ve decoded some of the key terms to look out for to ensure that the products you buy help contribute to a more positive environment, both for the planet, and the people living in it.

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Inclusive Beauty / Black Lives Matter

Inclusive Beauty / Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is a political and social movement used to highlight and fight against racism, discrimination and inequality experienced by black people.

In the cosmetics industry, it’s important to have cosmetics that are suitable for people of all ethnicities.

From representation within the brand’s marketing through to having products suitable for all ethnicities – when choosing cosmetics, consider how inclusive the brand is.

LGBTQIA+

LGBTQIA+

LGBTQIA+

This stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex and Asexual – in other words, people outside of the binary spectrum. ‘Pride’ is an umbrella term for celebrations that encourage people to be proud of their sexuality and gender identity.

Choosing to support brands that celebrate acceptance and who are inclusive with their product offering will help champion diversity in beauty.

Look for brands that support LGBTQIA+ charities and causes, either via campaign products, direct donations or brand activism.

fair tax

Fair Tax

Fair Tax

Fair tax means that companies pay the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time, according to both the letter and the spirit of the law. The Fair Tax Mark accreditation scheme originated in the UK in 2014, but now operates across the world. A Fair Tax Mark certified business demonstrates a substantive commitment to responsible tax conduct, financial transparency and beneficial ownership disclosure. There must be a binding tax policy that explicitly shuns tax avoidance and the artificial use of tax havens, and no recent evidence of contradicting activities.

real living wage

Real Living Wage

Real Living Wage

A living wage is when a worker’s net income allows them to support their household with a decent standard of living. This amount varies depending on their location, employment pattern and who is in their household.

This is completely different from government ‘minimum’ wages, which do not set a benchmark for standard of living and is usually lower than the ‘living’ wage.

If you want to find a brand whose workers are paid a living wage, look for the ‘Real Living Wage’ foundation mark.

gender pay gap

Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap

The gap between wages of a man and woman doing the same job. Women are generally considered to be paid less than men. Equal pay companies ensure this is not the case.

ethical

Ethical

Ethical

Milton Friedman in 1970 said ”the only social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits“. This drives a business to think about profit only, as ethical business knows that there are three areas to focus in on People, Planet & Profit, this is where you make decisions as a business that are balanced between all three not just one. The world of business is changing and you as a consumer have the power to change a business to become more ethical.

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