Ethical Exeter – Honest Shopping

Honest Exeter is a project that began as a National Citizens Service group (NCS) with a passion for making ethical shopping a more mainstream activity. Honest Exeter wrote this article to help spread awareness on the campaign, with the hope that other UK cities can follow suit to create similar ethical shopping guides.

We believe that changing the businesses you buy from is one of the easiest but most meaningful ways that you can make a difference., which is why we created our guide to ethical shopping in Exeter.

Our vision is to be able to make a lasting change in this city and try to move Exeter’s shopping habits towards a more sustainable future. To do this we have developed a website that guides people to the businesses we have partnered with so that they can see more information on how these shops sell ethically.  

Our project was commended by a Green Party member Diana Moore, who was impressed by, the “initiative [shown] by young people to promote ethical shopping in Exeter.”.

The Honest team presenting the project at the end of their NCS programme

When we decided on which businesses should be a part of Honest we made sure to choose those leading the conscious effort to increase their sustainability and reduce their environmental impact. The key attributes we look for in prospective businesses are:

People – Fair pay for those making the products and good working conditions

Planet – Reducing waste output, locally sourced, organic produce and good animal welfare standards

Our market research showed there is a need for Honest, as we found that 70 per cent of people didn’t yet shop ethically, mainly citing time and effort as the reason why, rather than not wanting to. Consequently, our target market was these people, who feel the need to shop ethically but don’t have the time to research and find every business for themselves. By making the first step for them, we believe that they will continue this new purchasing habit, which will impact the future of the Earth for the better.

This initiative was produced as part of the ‘action plan’ phase of NCS which is a four-week programme for 16-year-olds. The first two weeks involve residential’s that bring together the team so that they are ready to work together to produce a sustainable, positive impact on Exeter in the final two weeks.

We were formed as a group of 17 including, and the work that we put in then is still up and running to this day.

About the Author: Honest Exeter can be found at honestexeter.co.uk and on Instagram and Twitter at @honestexeter. The group had 17 members including Ezmee Wyatt, Samuel Pestridge, Joli Knowles, Joesph Blackwell and Thomas Oliver and are continuing the project.

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