14 Alternatives To Amazon For Ethical Shopping
Online shopping has grown by 99.3% since last March thanks to COVID and sales on Amazon have jumped 35% to $380 billion as consumers flock to e-commerce. Amazon is an easy way to shop, I get it, but that convenience is coming at a high cost to people and the planet. These 11 ethical Alternatives To Amazon offer a wide range of sustainable options from all-natural cleaners to reusable totes and everything in between going green has never looked so good.
All of these brands are making it easy for you to add a little green to your cart! Before we get to the best alternatives to Amazon, let's talk about the why!
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Why is it important to choose sustainable alternatives to Amazon?
You might think that online shopping has a lower carbon footprint than tracking to the store in your car, and traditionally it does. But when we look at Amazon prime's 2 days shipping option it means more trucks are on the road, which means more traffic and ultimately more emissions.
The other major issue is that most of these trucks are parked near underprivileged neighborhoods that bear the brunt of noxious fumes.
Along with higher emissions, we also have the massive task of recycling all those cardboard boxes. "The volume of corrugated cardboard production has doubled since 1997, the year Amazon became a publicly-traded company". Today we only send about one-quarter of all those boxes to recycling, most of it is ending up in the garbage, filling our landfills. Not to mention all the plastic that comes inside those boxes! UGH, it's a lot.
Amazon workers have also complained that they are not treated well, citing many challenges within the company.
Amazon Alternatives we recommend
We all want fast, free shipping but at what cost? Next time you "add to cart", make it a sustainable one.
I am so thrilled to introduce you to Kalonegy. No matter what you are looking for — skincare, haircare, body care, face care, or wellness products — they have you covered. If you're looking for some fun and safe products for kids, they carry those too.
You will find some of my favorite green beauty brands like Indie Lee, Basd, Blume, and more. Plus, you will never have to worry about greenwashing because they have done all the hard work for you. Every brand is carefully curated and chosen based on these four pillars:
- Clarity (Clean): Non-toxic ingredients
- Natural (Clean): Plant-based ingredients
- Ethical (Conscious): Cruelty-Free and ethically sourced
- Sustainable (Conscious): Environmentally friendly sourcing and processing
Kalonegy is serious when it comes to safe products. All of the products they carry are made with super beneficial natural and organic ingredients — no nasties here. To make your order carbon-neutral, they also have partnerships with EcoCart and Eco-Stay Forestry.
I recommend you take a look at their loyalty program too, which allows you to earn points for other items you might be swooning over. It's super simple to sign up!
If you love to shop for antiques and fabulous thrift finds you must check out ATTIC. It's basically Google but for people who want to support local businesses and artisans.
The search and discovery engine features over 1,300 small businesses and adds up to 30,000 new products every single month! Attic is currently in 16 major cities and regions – including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and New York – and features products from various boutiques located outside of these markets across the U.S. and parts of Canada. If you are a seller the service is free!
As a curated platform that hosts many stores with a variety of production practices, ATTIC pursues sustainability in a few core ways: by hand-selecting stores that sell vintage and antique products; by prioritizing stores and artisans that sell new products that are locally-made, upcycled, natural, organic, small-batch, or are made under “slow fashion” principles; by grouping stores by region to encourage consumers to shop close to home to prevent shipping and travel emissions.
Obakki is a Canadian alternative to Amazon that believes that people come first. Everything is handcrafted by artisans from around the world, "real people making products that bring meaning and connection to your home." Every Obakki product reflects its values of sustainability, traceability, and ethical production.
Find textiles, baskets, candles, and pottery for your home. Or take a look at their selection of jewelry and skincare. You'll also find a beautiful selection of apparel and gift ideas. I've worked with Obakki before and they are simply one of my favorite ethical Canadian marketplaces.
Founded by Treana Peake in 2005, Obakki brings her love for travel and design to one place. She's been to Africa over 70 times and meets with every single artisan to ensure social responsibility is met at every stage.
"From remote villages in Mexico to the world's largest refugee resettlement area in Uganda, Treana consistently forms lasting relationships with Obakki’s artisan partners."
Ethically sourced home goods and apparel, that are one-of-a-kind and stunning!
The Obakki Foundation is a charity founded to transform lives in vulnerable parts of Africa through initiatives that support clean water, education, and medical care.
You will find more of Obakki in our Eco-Friendly Gift guide.
4. Baltic Marché
It's so important to me to be real, wholesome, and meaningful — even when shopping. One of the ways that I do that in my own life is by supporting small businesses whenever possible.
Baltic Marché is a gorgeously-curated shop that's all about "beautifully designed, environmentally responsible essentials for your everyday home." It was founded to help us find items that are not only about quality but are also made to last. Whether it’s the perfect remedy or a balm to soothe skin or any zero waste essential, this small biz takes the time to find the products that will work for us!
How beautiful are the spoons pictured above? I have a bit of an obsession with wooden spoons. These are hand-carved with Canadian maple and walnut hardwood and made in Ontario by a local female woodworker.
The website is really easy to navigate, and I especially love the Baltic Bundles, which are curated kits for your bathroom, kitchen, and self-care needs. Each kit is made up of exactly what you need to reduce waste and help the planet. The zero-waste kitchen kits include block soap, reusable food containers, and Swedish clothes which are amazing for zero waste cleaning and make an excellent paper towel alternative too.
They also have a ton of great outdoor essentials, like beautiful bamboo plates and really cool tumblers too.
Their bath and body section is made up of bespoke skincare products that include nutrient-dense face oil, plastic-free loofahs, and exotic hand-crafted soaps, all of which would make pretty awesome eco-friendly gift ideas! So head on over to Baltic Marché to indulge a little.
etee is one of the best eco friendly alternatives to Amazon. Their selection of zero-waste products is next level. They make plastic-free living accessible to everyone. They've got beeswax wraps, zero waste toothpaste, refill cleaning products, you name it, they have it.
They also carry a line of very innovative eco products that they manufacture themselves like their dishwashing liquid and their zero waste lip balm.
etee is a local Toronto online zero waste shop and all its items are 100% biodegradable and made with natural materials. And when they ship you your goodies expect to get them plastic-free.
The founder Steve, is a drummer and kayaker and started this shop to make difference in the world. All his products are super affordable and very high quality. They are able to keep prices down because they make a lot of their items and they can keep track of all of their manufacturing and there is no middle man, so you end up saving big time.
They've eliminated 100 million plastic products and their beeswax wraps can be used up to 150 times. Make sure you clean them properly though.
6. Green and Frugal
Green and Frugal make a lot of their own products (all in small batches, to keep them fresh) from cleaning to skincare to aromatherapy and even DIY they have you covered. I use their shampoo bars, they are so good. I also love all of their cleaning products, especially the laundry detergent, which is sodium-based and super effective. The skincare products do not contain water which helps them stay away from toxic preservatives and emulsifiers.
This Toronto-based shop is known as one of the best alternatives to shopping on Amazon. All of their products are reasonably priced, and they have a refill station in-store as well, further helping to reduce waste. Products are ethically made and like etee there is no middleman. Offering consumers wholesale prices and working directly with manufacturers.
For example, a block of dish soap can cost you as much as $20. At Green and Frugal it will cost you $10.95 and it will last you over 3 months, think of all the plastic dish soap bottles you could save.
One of the most appealing aspects of Green and Frugal is you can customize any of the products, If you find one too great, or too drying just get in touch and they will work with you to find what works. So many fantastic bulk and refill options for you to choose from. Use THEECOHUB15 at check out for a deal.
7. Smile Boutiques
Smile Boutiques is another awesome Toronto zero-waste store you can find on Etsy, one of the biggest alternatives to Amazon.
This little shop carries some of my favorite sustainable swaps like Reusable Bamboo Silicone Ear Buds, reusable organic cotton rounds, safety razors, plastic-free loofahs and so much more.
I love supporting small local businesses like this, how about you? So much better than making Jeff Bezos even richer, just saying!
This shop has over 6,000 sales and just as many fabulous reviews. Their ultimate goal is to be your one-stop-shop for all things eco. Their range is high-quality, ethical, and earth-friendly goods for your hub! Zero Waste Online Shopping that's off the hook!
8. Net Zero Co.
Net Zero Co. is not only Canadian but is probably one of the most ethical alternatives to Amazon. They carry all you need to green your family. From the cutest reusable lunch bags to on-the-go reusable kits, compost bins, and even zero-waste toilet paper! Yep, there is such a thing!
Do you ziplock or cover your food with plastic wrap? They've got a ton of solutions to help you rid yourself of plastic and reduce food waste at the same time.
One of the things I love most about Net Zero Co. is the bundles. This allows you to buy everything you need at once whilst saving money. Bundles make fantastic gift ideas for family and friends who want to try a more eco life. You can choose from zero-waste bathroom bundles that induce, reusable cotton rounds, a safety razor, and a bamboo toothbrush.
The eco-friendly eats bundle includes reusable lunch bags, stainless steel snack containers, bamboo cutlery, silicon storage bags, and more.
The kitchen bundle (pictured above) is my fav, and comes with GOTS-certified organic cotton, food-grade silicone, unbleached linen, canvas tote bags, beeswax wraps, bread bags, silicone linds, and more! LOVE THEM ALL.
Net Zero Co. is on a mission to help you reduce plastic waste. They ship everything to you plastic-free with 100% biodegradable packaging. They've partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects "to help plant trees in environmentally and economically challenged countries around the world." Make sure to check out their blog too, so many great tips to living a greener life. Use ECOHUB10 at checkout.
9. The Detox Market
I really can't say enough good things about The Detox Market. They offer a massive selection of natural skincare, body care, and personal care items. This sustainable Amazon alternative has been around since 2010 and is the leading expert when it comes to clean beauty in Canada.
Every single thing they carry has been vetted by a team of industry professionals. All the products are made with only the best ingredients, from face moisturizers to body and face wash there is so much to choose from.
If you are new to green beauty, not to worry, their staff are well-versed and can help you with all your skincare needs. They know what's in each product and how it can benefit you. All of the products are cruelty-free (not tested on animals ever!).
The Detox Box is simply divine, sign up and get natural skincare delivered to your door each month. Looking for low-waste skincare options, they've got that too.
Started by Romain Gaillard (I've met him, he's so lovely) The Detox Market is committed to accelerating BIPOC-owned green beauty brands by committing $1,000,000 over four years to fund them through what they call The Launchpad. It's really neat, definitely check it out.
The Earth CPR Initiative is its sustainability roadmap to achieving its goals of being carbon-negative and planting at least 2.5 million trees by 2025.
10. Ocelot Market
I could buy everything from Ocelot Market. All of the products are swoon-worthy. Each one is made with care by artisans who are paid fairly and treated with respect. All the products are sustainably manufactured and sourced.
Find unique textiles, clothing, jewelry, and shoes curated from all over the world. Ocelot believes that people come first and learn about all their artisans right on the website. Want to know #whomademyclothes, easier than ever with Ocelot.
Looking for practical home goods like towels, bowls, and drink sets, they have that too. Ocelot had humble beginnings in a Brooklyn apartment working with three artisan workshops in Morocco, Thailand, and Turkey, since then it has grown to over 100 brands that all use materials that are locally sourced, natural, upcycled, or recycled. Ships to Canada.
Well.ca is probably one of the biggest alternatives to Amazon in Canada, on par with Etsy. They offer a huge selection of natural and eco-friendly options for your home and body.
They do carry "conventional" products as well. But their zero waste, green cleaning, and natural skincare sections are very good and really affordable. They have well over 40,000 items to choose from. I am including them in this list because they offer fast and affordable items delivered to your home. I can't say they are a fully sustainable company as they do carry a lot of products that come in plastic and are not 100% natural.
But they ship Canada-wide which makes them more accessible to people who might be trying to find more sustainable goods but are having a hard time. Take a look at the Green and Natural section, that's your best bet. Look for beeswax wraps, zero-waste toothpaste, supplements, and wellness items like Himalayan salt lamps.
12. The Little Market
There is nothing little about the Little Market, their selection of eco-friendly alternatives to amazon is well... huge! This nonprofit works with underserved communities to protect their human rights and find a way for them to thrive. It all began in 2013 and since then they have generated more than 1 million hours of dignified work for all of their artisans.
All the items are ethically sourced from communities and people that have suffered homelessness, and domestic abuse, are survivors of sex trafficking or living in extreme poverty. When you buy and spend your money here you are making a direct impact on someone's life.
Find hand-poured candles, handwoven baskets, goodies for your skin and so much more, It's easier than ever to bring an artisan look into your home.
When you check out you have the option to add carbon-neutral shipping and can make an additional donation there as well. Ships to Canada.
13. Made Trade
Beautifully designed, ethically sourced, and sustainably made, Made Trade checks all the boxes. The next time you are on the hunt for anything from sheets to shoes to picnic baskets you'll get my seal of approval. Their artisans share their craftsmanship from all over the world, make sure to check out their POC section, where you will find a gorgeous selection of home goods.
Made Trade has strict criteria in place, most of the products are fair trade and vegan. 50% are women-owned brands and they have a large selection of Made in the USA items too.
Their heritage items are sourced from all over the world and support people who are making traditional crafts with techniques that often are passed down through generations.
They are also certified Carbon Neural, which means they offer their shipping by buying carbon credits. Shopping sustainably here makes for a happy you and an even happier planet. Ships to Canada.
Etsy allows you to shop more mindfully and support smaller brands that are as eco as they are cool! Find a slew of stylish, eco-savvy products for your home. With over 2.5 million sellers you are sure to find something you love, from ethical gifts to eco-friendly toilet paper, to sustainable home decor, to fair trade jewelry, they've got it all! Even stuff for your pets.
Etsy describes itself as "a global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures."
With a click of your mouse, you can explore one-of-a-kind items from all over the world. In 2019 Etsy made history by becoming the first global e-commerce platform to offset 100% of its carbon emissions. To date, they have offset "173,000 metric tons of CO2* – the equivalent of charging 22 billion smartphones". Ships worldwide.
A final word about alternatives to amazon
We can't buy ourselves out of the problems we have created and obviously buying a reusable tote bag is not going to save the planet. We need to stop consuming so much crap, that is really the most sustainable choice.
There are times when we do actually NEED things for the home, and why not support ethical and sustainable alternatives to amazon? And of course, The Eco Hub is the perfect alternative to Amazon too!
Where do you shop? Share your thoughts with me.
If you found this post helpful, please help someone by sharing this article – sharing is caring 🙂 !
I love the ecologically focused arena & want to truly convert my home & lifestyle to support it. The issue is, that the cost of most products is very unaffordable right now. Yes, quality over quantity, definitely, but the spending plan right now does not leave much room for many of these amazing sustainable products. Wherever possible, definitely, I am purchasing sustainably or using what I have
I totally get where you are coming from, and can relate. There are many times when I myself can’t opt for a more sustainable item due to the price. My hope though is that people understand that buying better actually does help top save money in the long run as you don’t have to keep replacing the cheap item over and over again.
thanks so much for your note,
Thanx for your reply! Yes, I agree!!
I am developing my business and would like to reach out and connect with other businesses with similar values. http://www.greenhomegear.ca
Thanks for doing this work!
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