One of the great consumer confusions of our time is the fact that there is a difference between “local”/”artisanal” and “actually good for the planet.” Often, a given a product is all three — made locally, with environmental awareness, by an intrepid, craftsy individual. There’s no guarantee, though, and if you care more about actual environmental friendliness than about making your lifestyle resemble that of a hipster fairy in the woods, you might want to skip Etsy and instead spend your internet dollars at a place like EcoMarket.
Co-founders Liam Patterson and Jason Dainter are two young gents from Leeds University that started EcoMarket to help bring attention to the types of business owners you might find at your local farmers market. Today, the marketplace features more than 10,000 products from 1,600 sellers.
EcoMarket describes itself as being something like an Etsy for Eco, which makes sense for consumers that are wanting an easy way to identify small businesses that have been vetted for organic, ethical and eco-practices. Like your local farmer’s market, EcoMarket encourages shoppers to learn about the story of each seller.
One of the main differences between an online marketplace like this one and Etsy is that in addition to hip furniture, bric-a-brac you will inevitably regret buying, and clothes that only end up looking good maybe 30 percent of the time, you can also buy products like toothbrushes and cleaning supplies. But we’re going to advise that you skip the “discount eco-products” for cleaning, and go with good old baking soda and water. If you absolutely need to Etsy-fy, we’re sure EcoMarket can sell you some kind of decoupaged bucket to keep it in.