Methodology

aka the Ethically Manifesto

This page reflects our current (but changing) system to score companies on their ethical behavior. Let’s start with the problem first.

Lack of Environmental Consciousness

71% of global emissions are caused by just 100 companies with the majority of them being fossil fuel companies that not only produce fossil fuels but also plastics (if you didn’t know go watch The Story of Plastic). Affluent societies like the US and Europe are riddled with overconsumption.


Lack of Social Responsibility

Human rights have been increasingly compromised as companies search for higher profit


Lack of Transparency

It is hard to find information as simple as where companies are manufacturing, let alone what the conditions are like for their employees, what materials they use, etc. With Ethically, we promote environmental consciousness, greater social responsibility and transparency because we can quantify what it means for the brands to embody these values. We offer a way to help reinvigorate democracy in a time when we are faced with so many existential crises. As Greta Thunberg (loosely) said, we as citizens of the world have had 30 years of inspiring words, empty commitments and blah blah blah. We can no longer rely on policy alone to get us where we need to be because there is no time to waste. Fortunately, citizens understand this and are willing to do their part. Unfortunately, it can feel overwhelming because there is so much to do that it is hard to know where to start. Enter Ethically.


Certifications

The definition of sustainability is nuanced so why wouldn't your definition be nuanced as well. This is why we calculate a score based on how each company measures up to your definition of sustainability as determined by your selection of your values. We have aggregated, weighed, and mapped all of the below certifications to common consumer values based on their scope and their assurances. For example, a certification that does not require audits will not be considered at the same weight as a certification that requires the company to go through annual audits.

Empowering Human Rights

Human Rights

The badge to the right refers to brand's that are working to empower fair and equitable working conditions, verified through the growing list of certifications below.

Global Recycling Standard (GRS)

An international, voluntary and comprehensive product standard that addresses supply chain manufacturers' product recovery/regeneration components, regulatory chain controls, social responsibility, environmental regulations and chemical restrictions throughout the supply chain.

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B Corporation

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

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Fair Trade Certified

A designation developed to help consumers recognize and support products that come from farms and people that have been certified to be provided fair wages and working conditions.

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Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)

WRAP is an independent, objective, non- profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.

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The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), or just Better Cotton for short, is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. In just over a decade, stakeholders who span the industry have joined to train farming communities to produce cotton in ways that improve things for everyone and everything connected with this fluffy white staple.

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Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

The leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. When a product is GOTS certified, we can be sure that our customer is wearing a piece that will cause them no harm, while also having caused no harm to the people or planet throughout the supply chain.

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Empowering Animal Rights

Vegan

The badge to the right will be used to represent all companies that have a stated or demonstrated commitment to vegan and cruelty-free. We verify this by aggregating certifications and their scope. Below are the certifications we look for.

Certified Vegan

Distributed and recognized globally, the Certified Vegan Logo is a registered trademark, similar in nature to the kosher mark, for products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals.

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PETA Cruelty-Free

PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world & focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest number of animals suffer the most: Laboratories, Food Industry, Clothing Trade & Entertainment Industry. In order to be PETA certified, companies must verify that they do not conduct any animal testing and do not harm animals in any production processes and pledge to never do so.

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Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free

The Standard is short for the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, a voluntary pledge that cosmetic, personal care, and/or household product companies based in the US or Canada make to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. A company's ingredient suppliers and/or manufacturers must make the same pledge. The result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis.

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Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)

The Responsible Wool Standard is an independent, voluntary standard. On farms, the certification ensures that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms and also ensures best practices in the management and protection of the land.

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Reducing Carbon Emissions

Reduced Emissions

The badge to the right refers to brands that work to reduce their carbon emissions in any part of the product's lifecycle, verified through the growing list of certifications below.

Cradle to Cradle

Indicates a product that is either completely recyclable or biodegradable, and made with the lowest impact manufacturing processes that are not harmful to people or the environment in any way.

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Climate neutral certified

Climate Neutral Certification gives consumers and businesses a way to choose a net-zero future. When a company gets certified, it spends money and time to avoid, remove, and reduce carbon emissions. Far more than a plan, certification is a step to eliminate emissions starting now.When thousands of companies get certified, they will transform energy and industry, launch new technologies, and preserve entire ecosystems.

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SCS Carbon Neutral Certified

SCS’ role is to confirm that a company's carbon footprint has been established based on an authorized methodology, that data are robust, and to verify reported emission reductions (PAS 2060) and retired the appropriate number of carbon offsets. PAS 2060 requires companies to provide a publicly available documentation packet that includes a Carbon Footprint Report, Carbon Management Plan, and Qualifying Explanatory Statements (declaration of achievement of neutrality).

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LEED

Certification given to companies or organizations who demonstrate ecology-oriented principles in their buildings. Multiple certification levels based on level of eco-friendliness.

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Reducing Waste

Zero Waste

The badge to the right refers to brands that work to reduce excess waste in any part of the product's lifecycle, verified through the growing list of certifications below.

Cradle to Cradle

Indicates a product that is either completely recyclable or biodegradable, and made with the lowest impact manufacturing processes that are not harmful to people or the environment in any way.

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Green Seal

Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization that pioneered the eco-labeling movement with a mission to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. This certification is a universal symbol of health & leadership, verifying that a product meets the highest standards of clean.

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LEED

Certification given to companies or organizations who demonstrate ecology-oriented principles in their buildings. Multiple certification levels based on level of eco-friendliness

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TRUE Zero Waste Certified

Certification system recognizes those businesses that are working toward achieving zero waste, cutting their carbon footprint and supporting public health

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low Impact

Non-Toxic

The badge to the right will be used to  refers to brand's that are reducing the impact of their product on the environment in any part of the product's lifecycle from materials used, manufacturing, transportation, and end of life, verified through the growing list of certifications below.

Made Safe Certified

MADE SAFE® is a program of Nontoxic Certified, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They provide America’s first comprehensive human health and ecosystem-focused certification for nontoxic products across store aisles, from baby to personal care to household and beyond.

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Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

The leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. When a product is GOTS certified, we can be sure that our customer is wearing a piece that will cause them no harm, while also having caused no harm to the people or planet throughout the supply chain.

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BLUESIGN

The BLUESIGN system aims to find solutions for sustainable textile production by eliminating harmful substances at each step of the supply chain, and approving chemicals, processes, materials, and products that are safe for the environment, the workers and customers.

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Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX

One of the world's best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. If a textile article carries the Standard 100 label, you can be certain that every component has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human-ecological terms.

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Safer Choice

Safer Choice is a certification and labeling program that shows consumers which products perform well and are safe for human health and the environment.

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Green Seal

Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization that pioneered the eco-labeling movement with a mission to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. This certification is a universal symbol of health & leadership, verifying that a product meets the highest standards of clean

Visit Site

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), or just Better Cotton for short, is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. In just over a decade, stakeholders who span the industry have joined to train farming communities to produce cotton in ways that improve things for everyone and everything connected with this fluffy white staple.

Visit Site

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance 2020 Certification Program defines our long-term vision for the future, and the path required to get us there. The Sustainable Agriculture Standard, along with its assurance and technology systems, are designed to deliver more value to the two million farmers and thousands of businesses that use Rainforest Alliance certification to drive more sustainable agricultural production and responsible supply chains.

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Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. The FSC Principles and Criteria provide a foundation for all forest management standards globally, including the FSC US National Standard (v1.0) that guides forest management certification in the U.S.

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Climate neutral certified

Climate Neutral Certification gives consumers and businesses a way to choose a net-zero future. When a company gets certified, it spends money and time to avoid, remove, and reduce carbon emissions. Far more than a plan, certification is a step to eliminate emissions starting now.When thousands of companies get certified, they will transform energy and industry, launch new technologies, and preserve entire ecosystems.

Visit Site

Cradle to Cradle

Indicates a product that is either completely recyclable or biodegradable, and made with the lowest impact manufacturing processes that are not harmful to people or the environment in any way.

Visit Site

SCS Carbon Neutral Certified

SCS’ role is to confirm that a company's carbon footprint has been established based on an authorized methodology, that data are robust, and to verify reported emission reductions (PAS 2060) and retired the appropriate number of carbon offsets. PAS 2060 requires companies to provide a publicly available documentation packet that includes a Carbon Footprint Report, Carbon Management Plan, and Qualifying Explanatory Statements (declaration of achievement of neutrality).

Visit Site

LEED

Certification given to companies or organizations who demonstrate ecology-oriented principles in their buildings. Multiple certification levels based on level of eco-friendliness.

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USDA Certified Organic

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives.

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Organic Cotton Standard (OCS)

The OCS provides a strict chain of custody system from the organic raw material source to your finished product.

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Supporting Community

Community

The badge to the right will be used to refer to brands that give back to the community, people or the planet, verified through the growing list of certifications below.

1% for the Planet

Through their certification process, members provide annual documentation of their total sales and proof of monetary, volunteer and in-kind support to approved nonprofit partners. Third-party certification allows members to leverage the 1% for the Planet logo as a verified seal of their commitment to people and the planet, without the potential risks of greenwashing.

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B corp

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

Visit Site
Fostering Diversity through Women-Owned

Women Owned

The badge to the right will be used trefer to brands that have at least one w owner, verified through the growing list of certifications below and brand self-assessment.

WBE Certification

WBENC Certification validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. This means one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of and a site visit.Because of this thorough process, WBENC Certification is considered the gold standard for women-owned business certification and is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, in addition to some states, cities, and other entities.

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DBE Certification

The Department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to remedy ongoing discrimination and the continuing effects of past discrimination in federally-assisted highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance transportation contracting markets nationwide. The primary remedial goal and objective of the DBE program is to level the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.

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WOSB Certification

To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting program.These contracts are for specific industries where WOSBs are underrepresented.

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Fostering Diversity through POC or Indigenous Owned

Black Owned

The badge to the right will be used torefer to brands that have at least one African-American owner, verified through the growing list of certifications below and brand self-assessment.

Indigenous Owned

The badge to the right will be used to refer to brands that have at least one indigenous owner, verified through the growing list of certifications below and brand self-assessment.

POC Owned

The badge to the right will be used to refer to brands that have at least one person of color as an owner, verified through the growing list of certifications below and brand self-assessment.

DBE Certification

The Department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to remedy ongoing discrimination and the continuing effects of past discrimination in federally-assisted highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance transportation contracting markets nationwide. The primary remedial goal and objective of the DBE program is to level the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.

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8(a) Certification

Sections 7(j)(10) and 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 636(j)(10) and 637(a)) authorizes the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a business development program, which is known as the 8(a) Business Development program. The 8(a) program is a robust nine-year program created to help firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

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MBE Certification

Eligibility for certification as a Minority Business Enterprise varies depending on the issuer but generally requires that a company be owned and operated by a member of a minority group such as African American, Native American, Asian or Hispanic American.

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Foster Diversity through LGBTQIA+ Owned

LGBTQIA+ Owned

The badge to the right will be used to refer to brands that have at least one LGBTQIA+ identified owner, verified through the growing list of certifications below and brand self-assessment.

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