Sustainable Business Founder, Callum Miller, Answers NOICE’s Most Pressing Questions

Morgane Soret @ 2022-02-23 15:33:45 +0000

Callum Miller’s Answers to NOICE’s Questions When & Why did you start ethy? 

We started ethy in mid-2020 at the height of the pandemic. For myself (and many others), nature was a source of solace during lockdown. I certainly gained a further appreciation for parks and green spaces! It was largely this reconnection with nature that inspired me to contribute something towards the preservation of our natural environment. 

We’re in a climate emergency which is ultimately the result of mass consumerism: the way we consume these days is simply not sustainable. Our consumer habits are driving pollutant emissions, increased land-use, deforestation, and accelerated climate change. 

We began ethy knowing that innovative technology has the potential to transform consumer behaviours for the good of our planet. Where we choose to spend our money has a tangible impact on the environment and society. Our vision for ethy is to make ethical consumerism more accessible and to help mitigate the minefield of greenwashing. I would like ethy to play a defining role in the transition towards more sustainable consumption, for a cleaner and greener future for all. 

What is your definition of sustainability? 

Sustainability is indefinite. A sustainable process should not deplete resources beyond the rate of replenishment. 

That said, sustainability shouldn’t only be spoken of in terms of the environment and tangible resources. It’s also important to associate the word with social equity and economic development, specifically in regard to human welfare. 

How do you define greenwashing? 

Greenwashing is when companies mislead consumers into believing that they’re an environmentally or socially responsible organisation. Greenwashing is rife among online retailers especially, but there’s things to look out for. 

For 5 ways to avoid greenwashing checkout our Guide - Recognising and Avoiding Greenwashing.

How do you assess brands to become part of Ethy? 

Our accreditation framework is founded on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We’ve translated the UNSDG’s into handy ethyBadges which make it easier for businesses to communicate their sustainability efforts with consumers. Each ethyBadge embodies a particular type of sustainable practice derived from the UNSDG’s. A company must be eligible for three or more of our ethyBadges to successfully pass our accreditation application. 

To determine this, the company is required to complete an extensive survey around six key topics: 

1. How does the company reduce waste? 

2. How does the company minimize its use of plastic? 

3. What efforts does the company make to address its carbon footprint? 4. To what extent does the company consider animal welfare? 

5. Does the company focus on natural methods of production? 

6. How socially responsible is the company? 

Our framework requires proof of compliance where applicable and ethy reserves the right to audit the company to validate its claims. Ethy also works with reputable third party certifications to verify information provided by the company. 

How do you translate sustainability internally? 

As a team, we like to practice what we preach. We’re not professing to be perfect, but we all take steps towards more environmentally considerate lifestyles. Whether that’s by going vegan, avoiding plastic, buying second hand or just trying to buy less things! 

ethy is a tech startup that works remotely, so we don’t have a huge carbon footprint, but we still have one nonetheless! In response to this, we use Stripe Climate to donate 1% of all revenue towards carbon offsetting initiatives. 

We also use Ecosia as much as possible!

What is your top 5 selection from ethy app? 

Aside from NOICE Botanical Toothpaste of course ;) there’s a few standouts for various reasons: 

1. Bamboo Barter makes sustainability fun! It’s a zero-waste, plantable bamboo toothbrush that blossoms into a beautiful plant after use. 

2. Smol is one of our favourite eco-cleaning brands that we all use. It’s effective, affordable and eco-friendly. 

3. Yes Friends is proving that ethical fashion doesn’t always need to be expensive with their £7.99 organic cotton t-shirt. 

4. Wild is changing the deodorant game for good. They also deliver straight to your door which is making sustainability more convenient: an important prerequisite to encourage more of us to shop sustainably. 

5. Scrubbee is an awesome new skincare brand that upcycles surplus coffee grounds from local cafes to create a range of zero-waste exfoliators.