11 Alternatives to Amazon For All Your Sustainable Shopping Goals
Shopping online. We’re all doing it.
But are we doing it right?
More than one-third of us are hitting the “Add to Cart” button every week (and actually following through on the purchase). And over half of us are buying things online we normally once purchased in-store. Groceries, personal care products and even toilet paper.
Which is exactly why ethical online shopping is now more important than ever.
And these ethical alternatives to Amazon provide eco friendly shopping alternatives with zero waste packaging, offset shipping emissions, and all round earth-conscious products.
With the click of a button, you can opt for sustainable, convenient, and budget-friendly shopping which doesn’t come with a hidden cost to the planet and the people on it.
*This post contains affilate links
EarthHero’s Zero Waste Shopping
Regardless of what you need, chances are you’ll find it with EarthHero, one of the best alternatives to Amazon.
That’s partly because of their huge selection of kitchen and beauty products, travel and outdoor gear, office and art supplies, sustainable clothing accessories, organic baby products, pet care products, and cleaning supplies.
They even have an impressive range of eco friendly gifts.
With over 150 brands and thousands of products, EarthHero is the closest you’ll get to Amazon (while still feeling good about your purchases).
Selection aside, EarthHero’s sustainability icons help you choose brands and products that align with your values, whatever they may be.
If Jeff Bezos is the devil on one shoulder, then Ryan Lewis (EarthHero’s founder) is the angel on the other. Profit for the former; planet for the latter.
Whatever ends up in your cart, you can be sure it’s good for the planet. Between their Certified B Corp status, contribution to 1% for the Planet, and carbon neutral shipping (in recycled boxes), online shopping has never felt so good.
Instead of guilt over hitting “Confirm Purchase” , you feel, dare we say, like an earth hero.
2. OCELOT MARKET
Ocelot Market’s Ethical Fashion
Shoes, jewelry, and clothing— the trifecta of ethically-made goods offered by Ocelot Market.
Supporting a global community of conscious brands, small businesses, and independent artisans, Ocelot Market is up there as one of the most ethical alternatives to Amazon.
It’s the place to go for unique cultural icons you can’t find elsewhere, like Turkish shoes and raffia ornaments. Of course, their selection extends beyond the unique, too, and includes useful items like towels, beddings, furniture, rugs, and dining accessories.
Whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else or yourself, you won’t mind splurging on something from OM’s sustainable selection.
About Ocelot Market
Ocelot Market started in an outdoor market, specifically a night bazaar in Thailand where the founder fell in love with traditionally-made artisan products. Inspired to bring these items to her home country, OM went live.
While the now internet-based business is a far cry from that inspirational night, they still keep the vibe alive by sourcing culturally unique crafts.
It wasn’t long before 3 initial artisans turned into nearly 100 brands now supported through the store.
Their “maker to market” mentality means that talented artisans can share their stories through handcrafted products that have all been intentionally designed and made with natural, sustainable, and mostly recycled materials.
They now have an Australia based shop, too, for us anti-Amazons down under.
Available: Ocelot Market
3. TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
Ten Thousand Villages’ Handcrafted Goods
The maker comes first with Ten Thousand Villages.
With their artisan investment model, creators around the globe are fairly paid for their accessories, fair trade jewelry, pet products, furniture, kitchen supplies, body care products, and more.
Everything from this Fair Trade online store is unique, handmade, and something to be cherished for decades.
About Ten Thousand Villages
There are thousands of reasons to love (and support) Ten Thousand Villages. We’ll give you three:
- Their purpose is to break cycles of generational poverty.
- Every purchase helps support the artisan responsible for it (most of whom are women).
- More than 20,000 artisans (and their communities) are supported by this progressive alternative to Amazon.
To ensure fair labor and true artisan support, Ten Thousand Villages partners with Equal Exchange, Level Ground Trading, and the Fair Trade Federation. They’re also one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization and have invested $99 million in their artisan communities.
To be fair trade and eco friendly, they collaborate with artisans to ensure their wages are enough to not only compensate them for their work, but to keep their businesses operating sustainably.
Available: Ten Thousand Villages
4. THRIVE MARKET
Thrive Market’s Ethical Online Food Shopping
Thrive Market is your one-stop shop for healthy consumables (i.e. food).
With a huge selection from the best organic and non-GMO brands, they cater to any craving or dietary restriction.
Whether you’re vegan, organic, ketogenic, gluten-free, or one of the other 70 diets and values to choose from, you can filter their options for easy online shopping. Safe to say this alternative to Amazon is accessible to anyone.
In addition to food, they also offer beauty, bath and body products, and supplements – all the home essentials.
About Thrive Market
This online grocery marketplace was inspired by the idea that “a better market is one that’s better for people and for the planet.”
Thrive Market has high standards for the products they sell—they have to be non-toxic, eco-friendly, affordable, and effective.
Speaking of affordable, they offer wholesale prices because healthy food does not have to be expensive.
Thrive Market ticks all of the boxes for us: sustainable and ethical sourcing, carbon-neutral shipping, zero-waste warehouses, and recyclable and compostable packaging.
Oh yeah, and they give back, too. With every purchase of an annual membership, Thrive Market sponsors one for a family in need.
Available: Thrive Market
5. MADE TRADE
Made Trade’s Ethically-Sourced Home Goods and Clothing
For exceptionally designed and ethically-sourced goods, delete the “Amazon” from your search bar and head to Made Trade instead.
For a beautifully curated collection of accessories, ethical furniture, bedding, organic linen curtains, eco friendly shower curtains, kitchenware, clothing, shoes, and gifts, they’re in a conscious class of their own.
You’ll find Fair Trade, sustainably made goods from POC – and women-owned shops, to just name a few of their eco credentials.
They’ve also got a decent selection of products made locally. For those wanting to support domestic business and find ethical alternatives to Amazon in the USA, this is it.
Since Made Trade sells the wares of only the best sustainable brands, you’ll find a large variety of products with a range of budgets, without compromising on their values.
About Made Trade
This is one of the woman-owned alternatives to Amazon. The family-run company is serious about their values: fair wages, sustainability, artistry, and quality craftsmanship come before consumption and profits.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, their annual profit-sharing contribution goes to the regenerative textile organization Fibershed.
Not only that, but they’re also certified Carbon Neutral and offset both all outbound shipping and returns.
Available: Made Trade
Etsy’s Small Business Marketplace
Etsy is the biggest alternative to Amazon.
Here’s the thing about Etsy: they’re more than just an accessible home for ethical brands and planet-minded makers. They’re ethical themselves.
Etsy offers 100% carbon offset shipping, has guiding principles based on sustainability and responsibility, and uses renewable energy to power their operations.
EcoRoots’ Plastic-Free Shopping
It’s likely your kitchen, beauty, and bath product staples are packaged in plastic—but the impressive range of minimalist and zero-waste alternatives from EcoRoots provides an environmentally friendly alternative to amazon’s go-to selection.
They’ve got all of the essentials for an eco-friendly home, making them one of our favorite zero waste online stores.
What makes EcoRoots one of the most sustainable alternatives to Amazon is that you won’t receive your order in a plastic bag. Instead, they use recyclable and/or compostable packaging materials.
You’ll also be supporting a fellow member of 1% for the Planet that donates to Ocean Conservancy, an organization committed to relieving the earth of plastic on another front.
We’re not the only ones in love with this Aspen, Colorado brand.
Their high-quality and affordable products have attracted the attention of The New York Times, the kitchn, BuzzFeed, The Good Trade, Los Angeles Times—as well as many articles in our own publication.
8. AZURE STANDARD
Azure Standard’s Ethical Online Food Shopping
They say you are what you eat, so shouldn’t we want to eat sustainably and ethically, too?
Enter: Azure Standard.
Offering the largest non-GMO & organic food selection in the USA, you won’t go hungry with the smorgasbord of sustainable food options from this eco friendly alternative to Amazon.
They’ve got every foodie need and desire covered—from baby food and condiments to rice and seasonings. All minimally processed or certified organic and much of it packaged in compostable or reusable packaging.
Even if you’re not hungry, we’d still recommend Azure Standard for their health and beauty products, household goods, supplements, and garden supplies.
About Azure Standard
Driven by a desire to be just and honest (elements associated with the azure blue color), Azure Standard wants to fix the problems and inequalities in the food industry.
Not only do they uphold strict core values and prioritize sustainably made products by ethical brands, but their entire business model is designed to be as eco friendly as possible.
Instead of nearly-instant drone deliveries or 24-hour Amazon Prime shipping, Azure Standard does things a little differently. Once you decide to order from them, you can either join a delivery drop location, or start your own. This minimizes shipping emissions and is a great way to get to know your neighbors.
Who knew a bag of bulk lentils could be such a connector?
Available: Azure Standard
etee’s Sustainable Store
etee is on a mission to help everyone live a plastic-free life—making them another one of our favorite sustainable alternatives to Amazon.
Helping us all say “no” to plastic, they offer a selection of body care and smile care products, kitchen essentials, and gifts for all our low-impact loved ones.
Beeswax wraps were etee’s first foray into plastic-free products, but it certainly wasn’t their last. Thanks to their extensive range, they’ve helped customers avoid over 100 million pieces of single-use plastic.
etee puts the tee in transparency. They control a large portion of their supply chain because they design and oversee the manufacture of most of their in-house products.
Not only is their supply chain transparent and traceable, but it’s also powered by 100% renewable energy.
etee is as green as you can be when it comes to shipping. They practice plastic-free to the tee and even use biodegradable cellulose packing tape.
ZeroWasteStore’s Zero Waste Online Shopping
ZeroWasteStore is yet another resource with (almost) as many options as Amazon, except in (you guessed it) totally zero waste form.
Their reusable and biodegradable products are designed to make low waste living affordable and accessible for all.
From reusable produce bags and zero waste laundry soap to biodegradable toothbrushes and loofah alternatives, they’ve got all of the essentials for a zero waste kit (or buy one of their pre-made kits).
If looking for zero waste gifts, they offer electronic gift cards.
Of, if you have a big life event coming up (like welcoming a future zero waste baby), they have a gift registry so you don’t end up with unsustainable gifts you’ll only feel guilty getting.
Featured in publications like HuffPost to People, ZeroWasteStore is making waves in the sustainable community. Just ask the thousands of reviews that have left them with a 4.8/5 star rating.
Whether you’re an Adventurer, Yogi, Chef, or something else, their ‘Shop by Interest’ feature makes it easy to find items you need, even if you don’t know exactly what those are just yet.
Alternatively, shop by your favorite brands or by your core values: circular, 100% plastic free, vegan, organic, and compostable.
Many items fit all these categories!
Their personal care and eco friendly cleaning products are also filled with clean, non-toxic ingredients. Everything is palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and largely vegan friendly.
ZeroWasteStore also partners with 1% for the Planet and TerraCycle to responsibly dispose of items that are not compostable.
11. ARBOR TEAS
Arbor Teas’ Ethical Tea Selection
If you’re looking for an ethical sip, this next sustainable Amazon alternative is your cup of tea.
Arbor Teas has every kind of organic, loose leaf tea you could imagine (and a few that you’ve probably never heard of).
Warm up winter with some traditional black, white, green, or herbal teas, or experiment with oolong or pu-erh, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your tastebuds and warm your heart.
They’ve also got all of the accessories required for that perfect cuppa, like reusable steepers and teapots.
About Arbor Teas
Arbor Teas want us all to become tea experts (teaperts?) and they provide the sustainable tea know-how to help.
The brand is based in Michigan, but partners with organic tea producers in countries like India, Japan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. 75% of their tea catalog is Fair Trade Certified since their “passion is steeped in a desire to do worldly good.”
This Green America Green Business fulfills their mission of doing worldly good by operating a solar-powered packing plant, using recycled shipping materials, offsetting their emissions, and using home-compostable wood pulp tea packaging made from sustainably managed forests.
Available: Arbor Teas
WHY SUPPORT ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES TO AMAZON?
This isn’t a big deal, right?
It’s just an order or two a week (okay maybe six on occasion).
Sadly, the consequences of our online shopping habits are far from benign.
It turns out an Amazon purchase here and there might be doing more than just making our wallets lighter. Since the boom of “stay home” culture, Amazon’s sellers (especially small businesses) are hurting—while the company’s profits are growing.
Then there’s packaging waste. How many times have you unwrapped a huge Amazon box only to find one tiny item (and tons of plastic air bags)?
Sure, Prime is convenient, but super-fast shipping is associated with significantly higher carbon emissions. “Free” one-day delivery is not really free when you consider the pollution that impacts the communities near freight hubs and warehouses, for example.
Amazon is like that disrespectful family member who says inappropriate things and shows up late. But somehow we just can’t seem to stop inviting them to dinner.
Amazon was once the only legitimate option, but the online shopping landscape has progressed. As more ethical brands step up to fill our virtual carts, it’s easier than ever to pry ourselves from Amazon’s seemingly limitless range and suspiciously-low prices.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON AMAZON ALTERNATIVES
What’s the most environmentally beneficial thing you can do?
To be frank, stop consuming.
But since that’s not possible, we should set the more realistic goal of consuming less and consuming consciously. Invest your money in a marketplace that cares about you, the workers behind the products they sell, and our planet.
We’re fortunate to have several sustainable and ethical alternatives to Amazon at the exact time in history when shopping responsibly has never been more important.
You may not be able to find 4,578 bamboo toothbrush options, but you will be able to find one that’s environmentally friendly, packaged sustainably, and made by a brand who supports their workers and a healthy planet.
Now, we turn the mic over to you. What are your favorite ethical Amazon alternatives? Share it in the comments below.