An Ethical Lifestyle Toolkit

by Ethical Consumer in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th January 2020 we successfully raised £28,544 with 614 supporters in 101 days

We all have an impact on people and planet. Our online toolkit will help you ensure that impact is positive and we can live for the future

by Ethical Consumer in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

The extra money will allow us to put even more energy into building partnerships and piloting the toolkit! 

This is a project with many stages. The more we raise, the more of the development work we can do in Phase 1. Extra support will allow us to push on further towards creating a finished Toolkit, through collaborating with experts all across the UK. 

Last week, we held our first partnership meeting with over 30 organisations, individuals and businesses. Please help us to channel this energy into creating something great!

Many people feeling growing concern about the pressures their lifestyles and work activities are putting on people and planet. There is a need to know how to make the changes that are so urgently required.

This project will bring people together. A team of people from different organisations will develop a future-focused online toolkit and a linked face-to-face training programme. 

This will support individuals, businesses and communities to reduce the impacts of their lifestyle and work on the ecosystems and communities they affect. This toolkit will help you to find the changes you can make to address the ethical dilemmas underlying your lifestyle and work.

Photo: Permablitz London at the Nubian Life Centre - one example of a group of people coming together to make positive changes.

Take positive action

There are so many positive steps we can take in what we buy (or don't buy), organise our communities and do our work. The toolkit will make this information accessible and overcome the difficulty of identifying what the most meaningful and realistic actions are. 

You will get personalised options to help you find the choices that will have the greatest positive impact. You will be able to track the positive effects of the changes you make.

Sections on clothing, home & garden, finance and food & drink will focus on what is most relevant and important to you, and help you to understand the problems and make meaningful changes! For example, you may already have limited the number of things you buy and made sensible, impactful changes in some areas of life - our experience will help you go that bit further.

The toolkit will be tailored to individual needs

Keisha, a young mother is an active member in her community group.

She wants to encourage her community to make positive changes, especially relating to reducing waste: recyclable packaging, avoiding single use plastics, planting more trees, improving access to food, swap shops, washable nappies… the choices can be overwhelming!

Martin already buys his household energy from a green supplier, most of his food is locally sourced or organic, and he’s found an ethical phone.

But he’s struggling to find more ethical clothing choices - the toolkit helps him find the clothes that make a difference and that look and feel good too!

Extending into communities and business

Organisations and businesses that support this project will get a set of tools and training for their employees that help them significantly reduce their climate and other ethical impacts, on an ongoing basis – and can become visible as supporters of the project, using the project logo on their website. See the top rewards, that have already been taken up by over a dozen supporters.

“A toolkit bringing together resources and knowledge on how we can all lead a more sustainable life will surely bring huge benefits to our planet and our future. As a business with sustainability at our core, we jumped at the chance to get on board with this Crowdfunder and we highly recommend you don’t miss this opportunity!” Madi and Arthur at The Crafty Pickle Co., Aberdeen.

For individuals and communities that support this project, you will get first access to the use of the toolkit and to the community training, we will run for you.

Helping you find opportunities for change

By engaging people in focus groups to get to this crowdfunder stage, we’ve heard about the barriers people face. For example: ‘we don't feel that we have the money, don't own our own home, or don't have the time or support to make change’.

With more and more of us experiencing the helplessness of systemic climate inaction, we need to address the anxiety and loss of control that so many feel due to the global corporate abuses we face. We want to bring together the information we need to take action.

The toolkit will help identify where each individual is empowered and does have the opportunity for action. This can mean identifying cost-saving, ethical options for those with low incomes. Or suggesting changes that would work with children for those with families involved.

Change can be broad and flexible and can take the form of personal, community, workplace and political action.

We all have our own priorities and by offering a personalised approach, the toolkit will support these while providing information on how they link to other areas and concerns. 

You will be able to decide whether you approach the toolkit by looking at different lifestyle areas, such as travel & transport or food & drink. Or through the impacts that these may have - for example, focusing on climate change or human rights impacts.

Over the last year working together, we’ve also heard lots of people say how hard it is to take a joined-up, holistic approach when so many ethical choices are a trade off. For instance, ‘Is vegan spread better than dairy butter if it is full of palm oil?’ 

The toolkit will help you to understand these trade-offs and compromises to see where most impact could be made.

Designing for the future

The toolkit will also be connected to online and face-to-face training.

Using facilitators from across the country, we will offer a programme of training and engagement activities covering the key information and skills needed to understand, assess and address our lifestyle impacts.

We don’t have a completed toolkit to show yet, just a design and 'mock-ups'. Though, all the knowledge exists and we have the support of lots of experience and expertise in our networks. New partners are coming on board all the time, with the help of this crowdfunder. Through collaboration with these partners, we will focus to bring this together in early 2020.

All the money we receive will go towards developing the toolkit - supporting our transition to more regenerative ways of living.

Election campaign reward

During the general election, we asked election candidates to take the #LeadOurFuture pledge and sign up for a cross-party ethical lifestyle training.

John McNally (SNP for Falkirk),
Sam Al-Handani (Liberal Democrat for Oldham East and Saddleworth),
Caroline Jackson (Green for Lancaster and Fleetwood) and
Helena Mellish (Green for Stockport)
all took the #LeadOurFuture pledge to join our ethical lifestyle training.

Our planned spending

Your money will support the project's first steps. It will allow us to:

  • Create, test and evaluate the tools and training resources for an introduction to ethical living - the first ‘module’ in the toolkit;
  • Work with developers to create a spec for our full online platform and toolkit;
  • Build our partnerships with individuals, businesses and communities and ensure that we make the most of our shared knowledge;
  • Build on our diversity strategy and engagement with a diversity of communities and those from lower-income groups;
  • Establish an even stronger evidence base for our work and use this to apply for the full funding needed!

Crowdfunding will kick-start our project. It will allow us to gain full funding to complete the work by ensuring that we have something exciting to show to funders.

It is the start of an exciting and ambitious project with lots of stages: if we beat our target, any extra money raised will go to the next development phase.

Please find a full project plan and a more detailed breakdown of our planned spending

Who is developing the toolkit?

Ethical Consumer, Permaculture Association (Britain) and the International Permaculture Education Network are pooling our knowledge and experience to develop the toolkit. We have input from many different networks, organisations and individuals, including over 300 crowdfunder supporters so far! 

We hope to build the partnership going forward so please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.

Ethical Consumer has offered information on corporate abuses and consumer action for over 30 years. We provide the tools for positive personal, consumer choice. We've developed the world's most sophisticated and simple to use, a personal ethical rating system to give you the information you need, based on detailed research of over 40,000 companies, brands and products. We also have long-running experience of working with other organisations and businesses on building social movements and campaigns.

Permaculture inspired thinking and action can help us to respond well to the huge challenges facing humanity. The Permaculture Association (Britain) are building a network of systems thinkers with the power to create healthy cultures and ecosystems. Whether you are involved in gardening, farming, planning, building homes, economic regeneration, or business, using permaculture design empowers you to make the right choices for a sustainable future.

The International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN) is working to enhance and accelerate the development of permaculture education worldwide. IPEN is part of the Permaculture Association.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£20 or more

217 of 400 claimed

Get first access to the Toolkit

Be the first to access our online toolkit and be kept up to date with where the project is at.

£40 or more

50 of 70 claimed

Become a named supporter and get first access

Be listed on the website as a project supporter, the first to access the online toolkit, and kept up to date on where the project is at.

£80 or more

46 of 60 claimed

Get involved in the project, and get first access

Join a focus group for the project, be the first to access the online toolkit and be named on the website as a project supporter. The focus groups will be regional face to face or online meetings where you can have you say in helping us plan, test and develop the tools going into our toolkit. Expect tea and coffee and a lot of positivity. You will also get access to a private mailing list for a group of supporters to access content before the too

£200 or more

12 of 25 claimed

Add your logo, get involved + get first access

Have your logo on our website, join a working group for the project, and be the first to access our online toolkit. The focus groups will be regional face to face or online meetings where you can have you say in helping us plan, test and develop the tools going into our toolkit. Expect tea and coffee and a lot of positivity. You will also get access to a private mailing list for a group of supporters to access content before the toolkit is finish

£500 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Get ethical living workshop, add logo + get access

Receive a workshop providing an introduction to ethical living and using the toolkit for your friends, organisation or business. Have your logo on our website and be the first to access the toolkit.

£1,000 or more

7 of 12 claimed

Become a project sponsor!

Be listed as a project sponsor on all promotional materials and website, and receive a workshop providing an introduction to ethical living and using the toolkit for your friends, organisation or business.

£50 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Training for election candidate to #LeadOurFuture

Offer a candidate for the 2019 election training in ethical living: we will lobby a 2019 candidate of your choice to receive our introduction to ethical living if elected on December 12th. [N.B. training will be delivered after the election.]

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Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.