Our 2009 Pledge To You

All of us here at Ethicalsuperstore.com want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who bought from us, all who told a friend about us, and all who gave us feedback about our service – the excellent bits and not so excellent.  We are a team of people who are always ready to serve you.  Without you there would be no us, and our 2009 pledge has at it’s core one key purpose – to  provide you the best possible service the UK (and for the matter the world) has to offer.

As we sat down to write our pledge for 2009 we intuitively knew that we needed to hear from you.  You are our best gauge for what matters most.

Throughout the year many of you gave us feedback on our service – please keep it coming.  Right now you have the chance to further influence the service we offer to all our customers.  It doesn’t matter if you tell us over the phone, send comments through the post or write on our blog.

Whatever your preferred method of communication, we’d love to hear from you.  Really truly this isn’t just marketing speak.  Talk to us please.

Use this blog – leave a reply below .

Or call us
0845 0099016

Or write to us

Ethical Superstore
Unit 16 Princes Park
Team Valley
NE11 0NF

Many thanks – The Ethicalsuperstore.com Team

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47 Responses

  1. catherine pickering says:

    We’d like to see carbon footprint featuring too. Good local products, supporting local businesses in a time of recession, so long as they are also working ethically.

  2. Helen Doyle says:

    Hi, I love your store, and wish we had one based in Ireland, for everyone outside the UK and in Europe it would be great if you could give a Euro price along with sterling that ties in with the current exchange rate. Ultimately though, I would love to see physical manifestations of ethical superstores all over the world; take on the Walmarts of this world at their own game but win – for everyone – the staff, the suppliers, the customers, the world. We need to make ‘buying ethical’ the thing to do because it is the best option for each individual – because they can’t get better bargains/quality and all round benefits anywhere else. Our democracies have become so shallow and big business orientated that we can now only truly change the world with our wallets, not our ballots.
    Thanks for existing!

  3. isabel tate says:

    Although as a parent I hate ‘party bags’ with a passion, they appear to be here to stay. So it would be good if you could source a selection of small eco/ethical gifts that could be put into a paper bag. Regards isabel.

  4. Tess Blackburn says:

    I’ve made several purchases and am well impressed with the speed and efficiency of your response as well as the quality of the products. Also the recyclable nature of your packaging. I collect packaging from parcels we receive, and like to send it to groups who can re-use it. There aren’t many who say they will if you return it. I’d like to see you doing that. Packaging is always light, and it only needs a plastic bag to send it in with an address label on the outside. Why not encourage people to return packging by sending them a Freepost label. The cost to you would be minimal, as the packages would be very light and it would save you a lot in purchase costs.

  5. Lindsay Holden says:

    I agree with Tess Blackburn r.e. packaging. A few people who have been around when I’ve opened one of your packages have commented on the state of your packaging considering you’re an ethical company. What I came on to mention was that as I’m currently organising a wedding it’s becoming obvious how little ethical friendly wedding things there are out there. Plus it costs an absolute fortune. It would be nice if you could offer some form of ethical wedding stationary, jewellery etc. Maybe even set up a wedding gift list so people can set up their gift lists with you rather than other companies such as Debenhams. I am aware of ethical gift list companies out there, however the range of stock is very limited.

  6. carla says:

    If it exists i haven’t yet found it but i would love it if you did birthday wishlists that could be emailed to friends and family.
    Keep up the good work! I love the site.

  7. Dave Redfern says:

    Thanks for a great year of service to our global community, we have all benefitted from ES it’s win win shopping!
    I selfishly confess that free delivery has been a motivation for me ordering larger amounts less frequently. I really like your bulk buying items. Your email offers are welcomed. Best of all is the increase in your range of organic and fairtrade products, don’t stop now! we look forward to another year of win win shopping, from producer to consumer everyone wins when it’s ethical…or am I being too simplistic?

  8. Kate Towsey says:

    what about organic and all natural duvets? especially kapok. would love to buy from you but you have only recycled synthetics…

  9. Joanne Foster says:

    Ethical Superstore is a great store. I would like to see featured products each month that when purchased, a donation to a charity is made by Ethical Superstore (say 10% for example). A different charity could be featured each month.

  10. Tina says:

    Would love to see a facility to type in conditions and get a list back of herbal / alternative products that may be useful.

    Also world recipes linked to products and a wide range of organic heritage seeds especially herbs and veg.

  11. stephen saffin says:

    I saw recently on TV that a woman had spent her spare time knitting shopping bags from recycled plastic throwaway shopping bags, she had no intention of setting up in business though! Surely this is an ideal opportunity for an army of like minded individuals to do just that! But bags I the royalties on the idea!

  12. Corinne Cirkovic says:

    1. Love your products and there are many items I would like to recommend to my friends who are clueless about “green”, but I can’t see a “Send to a friend/E-mail this item to your friend” button? (Or am I just missing it?)

    2. Like others have mentioned, a wishlist facility would be great.

    3. How about adding links to recycling services – recycling paper,cards,spectacles, ink cartridges etc? Most people have a vague idea about recycling, but many don’t do it because they just don’t know where to start or how to go about it.

  13. anne says:

    First off, I think you are doing a brilliant job. As for what I’d like to see, I agree with the previous comments about packaging and have seen the improvements you’ve already made. It would be great if I could send back the larger containers – like the 5ltr washing up liquid ones – for re-use. I’d also like to know the ‘use by’ dates for the food items before I buy them.

    Although I rarely have reason to ring about an order, when I have done so, the people I’ve spoken with have been really friendly and helpful. They even have a sense of humour! Thanks.

  14. Hana Gill says:

    As a mum of two trying to be a green on a budget your pledge got me thinking..

    .. wouldn’t ethical superstore be a perfect sponsor for an alternative to the bounty pack?

    For those that dont know.. this is a pack given to you when you become a mum (from the hospital, boots or asda- there are different ones for different stages and they contain a few useful things (ie child benefit forms) and a whole lot of rubbish.ie pampers, scented wipes and loads of glossy advertisng trying to convince you that to be a good parent you have to buy buy buy.

    a MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY PACK could contain:

    A sample of divine dark choc for mum
    A moltex nappy sample
    Info on washable nappies
    Money off vouchers ie ‘Free delivery on nappy orders over £25’
    Info on saving money and trying to reduce impact of new babies on this planet!
    Links to good websites (eg. advice,freecycle,other ethical companies)

    Hope you like this idea if anyone has any comments feel free to contact me [email protected]
    we are now inspired to build a website to try and make this happen!

  15. Helen Barrett says:

    why do orders take so long?
    re-packaging: 6 jars all individually wrapped in bubble wrap, instead of in a box of 6 and then one breaks!!

  16. Nene La Beet says:

    First a big thank you for an excellent shopping experience. One of the best I’ve tried. Improvements, well, here’s what I’d like:
    1) I’d like to go back to where I was, when I’ve added something to the shopping cart instead of to a page offering other suggestions.
    2) I’d love to be able to buy flour. Currently I’m buying from a granary at their stand at the farmers market where we live and I’m glad to support them. But it’s a bit complicated since I can only buy once a week and since I have to order by e-mail in advance if I want speciality flour.
    3) As an addendum to the above – maybe in the future you could enter into co-operation with local eco fruit/veg producers and granaries and they could have there wares delivered together? Wouldn’t that be a win-win situation?
    4) I miss my favourite brands of skin care products, Dr. Hauscka and Organic Pharmacy.
    5) Only time I’ve been disappointed in something I bought at ES was when I bought the battery re-charger. It didn’t say that it was only for AA batteries, which was a negative surprise.
    6) I agree with some of the others about the packaging. Particularly with the cleaning products it seems a bit OTT to wrap them individually in bubble wrap.
    7) Would be nice with a “shopping list”, so I could just go in and mark the things that I always buy instead of starting all over every time.

    Thank you for making ethical shopping an option. 2/3 of my not-green family got presents from ES for Christmas. I don’t know if they appreciated them – they probably didn’t – but at least I supported a good cause when I bought them, and wrapped them in your beautiful gift wrapping paper.

  17. Tracy Fryer says:

    Ethical Superstore’s boxing of retail goods should be in the most environmentally friendly packaging – paper

  18. Joanna Marie Hartup says:

    An option where you type in your post code and the localy made produce, gifts etc is displayed. Great produce and less miles.

  19. BIl Norman says:

    Nothing new – just four reinforcements
    You are brilliant
    Orders do take a long time
    Look at the packaging again
    PLEASE get a wish list facility together

  20. Rachael Allen says:

    Instead of using bubble wrap about delicate products, use popcorn. It offers the same protection but it’s biodegradable and the recipient can put it on their compost heap.

    Love your work, keep at it and best of luck in 2009.

    Rachael, Devon

  21. Peter Godliman says:

    To reinforce your message on etical etc shopping, how about including a brief factsheet with each order. You could develop any number of useful tidbits on several different factsheets and simply insert one inside an order. It could even continue this blog theme by inviting customers to comment or give their own ideas via the website.

  22. mary ebadi says:

    Great service, here are some ideas:
    1 – Save shopping basket so one can log in later and carry on with order
    2 – Save shopiing basket – a al superstores
    3 – some products: sauerkraut, kefir grains, probiotics, good quality fish oil. etc
    4 – I agree with packaging issue raised above. Seems like a lot of waste.
    5 – Some articles, recipes etc.
    Good luck

  23. Roy says:

    You had a 10 pound discount deal before Christmas on items ordered that came to more than a given amount (can’t recall how much now). I was in a position to order maybe 2 or 3 times over the amount required, but the only way I could get the deal for each minimum spend was to create 2 or 3 separate orders with separate despatches to the same address. This seems wasteful. I even phoned to check, but was told that I would have to do separate orders to be treated independently to get the discount off each order. Why can’t it be that if there’s a cash discount with a minimum spend, twice the minimum spend in one order gets the double deal that would be available if the order were a wasteful 2 separate orders, if you catch my drift ?

  24. Karen Devlin says:

    Hi! I stumbled across your website at the very begining of the year trying to find an ‘ethical’ thank you present for my cousin who put us up for new year, I was delighted to be SPOILT for choice especially as I was on the verge of giving up when I found you. Not only did I buy something for her but something for myself (a bag) this in turn has had everyone at the office talking and I have shown them your website and they have purchased also! I was extremly pleased with the service I got and loved the gift wrap as my cousin sends all her presents in that very paper so I know she will doubly apprecicate it! What could you do better for 2009??? I cant think of a thing but I shall continue to tell everyone who comments on my bag about you.
    Thanks 🙂

  25. Eline kristensen Stefansen says:

    I think organic vegan cat and dog food would be great – lets face it – there is no such thing as ethical meateating – and with the great vegan cat and dog products on the market today, providing them with all the nutrients they need, then there is no excuse for supporting the horrible meatindustry.. not even for your pets.. So that is my big wish 🙂

  26. Claire Deegan says:

    Happy New Year. I have always been impressed with your range of stock and ideas. Am delighted that you are looking to improve customer service this year as it has not been brilliant in the past. Good luck.

  27. Stephen Smith says:

    I think you should design a classy cotton bag with your company name on, and don’t sell it but let it be known that you’ll give one away with every 20th order or so. If you market it right it will become highly sought-after.

  28. hannah Ablett says:

    I think your great! delivery a little slow but nothing that warrents moaning about! (other companies are slower)
    However i would like to see more toys that children would actually play with. Its ok selling cuddlies and ethically produced toys, but if they’re not exciting and don’t do anything they are a waste of money which is in turn not enviromentally friendly. So more toys like the wind up duck and space rocket please 🙂

  29. Tanya Kynaston says:

    I’d like to see a list of ingredients for all of your food items (similar to the Julian Graves site, where they have scanned ingerdients lists for everything). For those of us with allergies/intolerances, or people who are trying to avoid products such as palm oil from unsustainable sources, it would enable us to buy with confidence when otherwise we would have to go into a shop to physically see the items before buying.

  30. Jan Richards says:

    I think it would be good if you could place things on back order when you are out of stock. I do realise this will incur seperate delivery costs but it would also save customer time having to check stocks.

  31. Placed my first order on 31st Dec – great range and good prices. My suggestion is you need to inform customers if items are out of stock. I didn’t get to find out some of my items were out of stock until I queried the delay. As a matter of courtesy this should be done immediately. I’ve only had part of my order so far even though, ironically, it’s only the out-of-stock bits that have arrived – the rest has not yet been delivered 🙁

  32. Jose-Maria Narbona-Pedraza says:

    Overseas free delivery. For instance, free EU delivery over £100.
    A selection of gluten free flours like: rice, tapioca, millet or teff flour. Also some others gluten free products to bake bread like: xanthan gum, guar gum or potatoes starch.

  33. It has to be the packaging.
    Lets start with no printing on it – this is more eco-friendly and uses less dyes and ink and makes it better to compost. Then ensure you review your packaging policy on the inside. Either use recycled material – i.e. shredded newspaper or something that can be recycled easily.
    Then there is the paperwork – please ensure this is kept to a minimum, using less ink and printed on recycled paper. (which will help create a bigger market for recycled materials.)
    As I read the other comments I see that there was an idea to post the packaging back – which is probably unworkable and expensive.
    Let’s not do anything in this time of recession to increase prices but lets try to reduce and reuse as much as possible.

    Keep up the good work!

  34. Andrea Rudge says:

    Hi – Happy New Year!
    One thing I would like to see more of is refills for liquid products such as soaps. I do buy organic liquid soaps but feel quite guilty about the amount of plastic I end up throwing away. Very few of the suppliers do refills or bulk quantities and it would be good if we could persuade them to do so.
    Here’s hoping!

  35. Shona says:

    The following would be useful:

    The option to choose packaging material eg a choice of recycled paper or those potato starch ball things. I can compost the pototo balls but have to put the paper in the recycling so would prefer the balls but if you don’t have a composter the paper would obviously be far better. Alternatively, what about popcorn? Cheap, light and compostable!

    Full ingrediants lists.

    Ability to save previous orders and then just “add to basket” when you want to do your next shop. Easy for the customer and from your point of view you’re likely to get customers who order out of habit.

    Customer reviews.

    Why not have customer trials eg pick a product, ask people to email you if they want to test it. Select the first 20 or the 20 that send the funniest joke (which you can also publish on the website) or whatever, send it out to them and ask for their comments, good and bad. Then have that as the product of the month a month or so later with their comments and offer free postage or 10% discount on that item.

    Customer tips area eg what other uses are their for your products? You’ve bought a Wottle but what do you use it for and what did you do with that old plastic bottle you were carrying around before that?

    Affiliate links to sutable charities/sites eg if customers are buying underwear from you, why not tell them about the tights recycling project that tightsplease.com run? Ethical and saves waste (if you’re interested, you can send old tights even if they have holes/ladders in them to the company who then send them to Ethiopia for women to keep bandages in place. The legs are used to make rugs).

    A blog/diary eg the quest to become green, what does and doesn’t work and how does a newbie greenie cope? A newspaper ran an article about a women who decided not to buy any new clothes for a year to tackle her consumerism. It made facinating reading and inspired me to do the same!

    Favourate products eg what products will help skin cope with the cold outside and heating inside?

    A regular newsletter (controversial idea I know as some people would see it as spam) outlining what new products you have.

    More humour, maybe linking with a customer area eg the person who sends in the most unusual use for a Wottle wins a prize.

    What products can you not live without? Why are they so great? Being impartial is fine but when I’m overwhelmed by choice I need some honesty.

    What ingrediants/products do you avoid and why? People who are new to this won’t necessarily understand why palm oil isn’t good for the environment so tell them. Similalry what are the ethics of the products you stock?

    A wish list, when I order I’ll often see soemthing and think “I’ll get that next time” but then I forget what it is by the time I order again!

    What about air miles? eg eg mark things with a little flag if they are made in Britain, Europe or wherever. Even maybe create a search facility so I can find locally produced items.

    What can I do with the packaging when I’ve finished with the item? Maybe link to places that recycle plastics etc, particularly if they are charity groups. I guess this links in with my suggestion about the tights about but if I get a load of bubble wrap I would appreciate ideas on what to do with it.

    Interviews with companies eg why did the founder of x company decide to “go ethical” and what is theie ethos?

    Keep up the good work!

  36. Shona says:

    Please, please, please offer affordable alchohol free christmas puddings next year! They are almost impossible to find!

  37. Shona says:

    Have a charity of the month which customers can suggest/vote on and you give a certain percentage of profits or fund raising to it. Or a certain percentage profit from a relevent product eg if it’s supporting schools in developing countries then 10% of all stationary sales. As the charities will be cutomer chosen and customer supported the legal issues from your side would be minimal.

  38. LYNDA HAMMOND says:

    My initial thought to your request for ideas was; please can there be a wishlist facility, I’m not the only one by the looks of it! Am going to echo other suggestions including; more eco-friendly packaging please, the end should be nigh for bubblewrap! Search facility for locally produced products.

  39. wilhelmina wilkins-colijn says:

    I wish your delivery could be faster, now it takes at least 8 days, a nuisance if you’re waiting for something

  40. linda starr says:

    Like lots of people below I love your site, keep up the good work. My vote for best idea goes to Hana Gill for the eco bounty bags, brilliant idea. It’s one step to try and be greener the second step is to encourage others. Every day I see organic produce disappearing from shop shelves, yes it’s more expensive and more and more people are on a tight budget but it’s soo important to support organic growers. Always buy organic and ethical when you can, good for you, good for the planet. Please put on a wish list. My wish items and ideas are:
    1 A page dedicated to just items that are new
    2 Please could you look into supplying Earth Beauty cosmetics, their products are free of titanium dioxide and they are hard to find.
    3 If you are delayed in sending and item and end up sending it later on which means more postage and packaging. Please add a tick box for people who don’t mind waiting until all the order can sent at once.
    4 Please could you see if you can stock organic Essene bread (sprouted wheat bread) I can’t find it any where. Most people don’t realise that type o blood groups should steer clear of wheat products unless it is sprouted. Most shops have gluten free products but they are not organic. A page dedicated to diet requirements including organic gluten free would be great.
    5 A customer Eco friendly alternatives suggestion page. Like: Rather than use a horrible chemical furniture spary full of cancer causing envirmentally bad nasties. You will be surprised how effective just a plastic bottle spray for spraying plants filled with just plain old water can clean your furniture perfectly. No resdiue, no chemicals, re-useable – you get the idea. If you need more cleaning power ie for grease use a little vinigar. After the suggestion you could add what you sell related to the idea like after this idea you could sell the re-cycled plastic water spray bottles and the eco vinigar to go with it.

  41. charli wickham says:

    I agree with everyone that you are doing a great job, and to keep up the good work.
    It would be great if you could stock more clothes made with fair labour and/or label it better because it is hard to find things that are made without exploiting the producer, and in other shops fairtrade does not mean the same thing (it just covers the materials). i also agree that you should get out on the high street so people can see an alternative way, but of course thats difficult in the current economic climate!

  42. Jane Tapp says:

    I really like the products but find the website really frustrating- the pages take so long to load when you just want to browse quickly- I know, I should take time to smell the flowers, but I’d rather get online shopping done fast!

  43. Mei says:

    Thanks, your organic groceries, wine and bakeries are much appreciated. I would like to see more pictures of your flower arrangements.


  44. Chloe Barbier says:

    This is a request; please could you stock Sojade (organic soya milk sweetened with apple juice). I used to buy it in bulk from my local organic shop but unfortunately it has now closed down. Please advise me whether this will indeed be possible.

  45. Ali says:

    I love shopping with Ethical Superstore and think you do a great job. Recently I’ve been trying to find an individual coffee filter mug – is there any chance of sourcing one from recycled materials? It would go really well with the Eco-kettle and Fairtrade Organic coffee.
    Keep up the good work!

  46. Tracy says:

    First of all, thank you for caring enough that you ask customers for their opinion & feedback – always a good sign of a company. So without further ado, here is mine:

    1.Product Range
    I really love your range, but would like to see it expanded:

    Beauty & Cosmetics: I would like to see more Weleda products, esp Weleda Sun Screen, Weleda lemon spray deodorant, crystal deodorants, Dr Hauschka products (whole range), Bentley Organics Hand Sanitizer, JASON liquid soaps, organic perfumes, organic baby wipes, organic cotton pads, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Aubrey Organics (esp Rosa Mosqueta cream), Naturtint hair dye. These are my staple items, & none are stocked in ES.

    Food: Specialist flours often used in gluten free cooking like rice flour, teff flour (I find this very hard to find in local health shops), tapioca flour, buckwheat flour, potato flour, and things like Xantham Gum, baking powders that use potassium bicarbonate & calcium phosphate as the rising agent, instead of sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminium sulphate, phosphate aerator, or sodium aluminium phosphate (which are supposedly less body-compatible).

    2. I would also like to see ingredients listed for all food & cosmetic products, so we know exactly what we are buying.

    3. I have recently been cutting out Xeno-oestrogens for health reasons, and no longer want to use plastic products containing phthalates for storing my food & cosmetics. I find it very hard to source affordable phthalate free food storage, lunch boxes (both for kids & grown ups), nice bottles, jars & containers to decant any cosmetics that come in plastic containers – even something to hold cotton wool balls or pads without having to keep them in plastic packaging. I hate keeping my milk & water in the plastic bottles they come in, but don’t have much of an alternative either. Some of your fair trade ceramic/pottery bowls etc, woud be a nice range to expand for food storage.

    4. Customer product testing (as someone mentioned earler): This would be great, and I would find it useful reading opinions like this. Also, featured products on special offer once a month, as organic products can be expensive, I am less likely to take the risk in trying new organic products due to price, or unless I read lots of amazing reviews.

    5. A loyalty scheme which rewards points, might be a good idea to entice custumers who may not be completely ethically minded (yet!) to shop with ES. Customers could also have the option to donate points/rewards to charity. Having items slightly below RRP is also a good enticement – it’s how I found ES when googling the Intellipanel for PCs.

    6. A permanent “suggest a product” feature that could easily be found at the bottom of the page.

    7. A wish list like Amazon has.

    8. The free delivery over £15 definitely enourages me to shop more often, as opposed to free delivery over £40.

    9. An information section, on harmful ingredients, and why they aren’t so good.

    10. A forum to build a whole ES community/one-stop-shop!

    Thank you again for listening to us all, and keep up the good work!

  47. Will Humphreys says:

    It would be nice to know what company is being used for the delivery and to always get a tracking number if there is one. I have had a few instances of delivery drivers not leaving a card and it can be quite difficult to track down where my parcel is.

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