8 Online Marketplaces to Sell Crafts and Goods for Sustainable and Ethical Brands

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Sustainable Online Marketplaces

You have your idea, you created your product, and now you want to get your product to the public. You’re hoping to set up shop so you can promote what you offer. Above anything, you need to make sure you know where you’re sending customers, and where you’re connecting with customers. Do you already know the distribution strategy for your social impact solution?

Many digital marketplaces exist to conveniently connect the public with products. Some public favorites include Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, or Society6. Stores like these keep up with trends and even have sustainable options in their catalogs. The catch is that sifting through tons of items can mean the most conveniently placed and marketed items get purchased over items that add a positive impact. That’s not exactly our ideal situation.

Physical social impact products such as crafts and goods only sell when connected with the ideal audience. You want to make it as easy as possible for the public to know and trust that your brand is true to the sustainable and ethical values you advertise.

Customers these days look for new brands mostly through online platforms. We’re talking about websites, retail apps, and social media. As a social entrepreneur selling physical goods, it’s likely that you want an ethical and sustainable online store. An option you can explore is to sign up with an online marketplace that promotes socially-conscious, eco-friendly brands.

Understanding who you work with as a partner keeps your social impact solution within your values. Likewise, working with partners that align with your brand’s values means you are continuing to support the causes that are close to your heart.

Setting Up Shop at a Sustainable Online Marketplace

Online marketplaces that focus on social impact often highlight the following categories: ethical, sustainable, cruelty-free, woman-owned, BIPOC-owned, LGBTQ-owned, disability-owned, and/or toxic-free. Depending on the country, these marketplaces may highlight locally made/ domestically produced products (such as Made in USA).

Listed below are eight different marketplaces that empower consumers to purchase sustainably and help social entrepreneurs reach a wider audience. The websites focus on physical products in categories ranging from home goods to beauty. In this list, many of these options are also a fit for social impact brands that are run by a small team or solopreneur. Of course, brand and product submissions are welcomed for all the sustainable online marketplaces listed.

While browsing, you may find that one or more of the options is worth looking into for your own social impact products. Are you ready to set up shop?

1. Earth Hero

Badges/ Certificates  B Corp, Climate Neutral, 1% for the Planet

Mission: “Our goal is to make buying responsibly second nature. We’re on a mission to make it normal to consume in a way that’s easier on the environment while meeting the convenience we’ve come to expect.”

Description: An eco-friendly online marketplace with vetted products consumers can trust are sourced, manufactured, and shipped in a way that protects the environment.

General Items: home living, office, tech, beauty, fashion, and pets

Submission Guide: The site does not mention specific requirements. Fill out a form on the Become a Supplier page that asks you to share why your brand is a fit with Earth Hero.

2. Zero(ish)

Badges/ Certificates: None Listed

Mission: “At Zero(ish), our mission is to help everyone make a positive impact on the Earth in ways that fit your unique lifestyle by offering products that are ethical, practical, and sustainable.”

Description: A zero-waste online store that also operates physical locations for product sales and refillery services.

General Items: beauty, home goods, zero waste kits

Submission Guide: The site does not mention specific requirements. Zero(ish) encourages vendors to contact them through the contact page.

3. ourCommonplace

Badges/ Certificates: 1% for the Planet, Female Founder Collective

Mission: “Our aim is to provide you with knowledge, transparency, and a better way of shopping to leave the world better for future generations to come.”

Description: A one-stop-shop for fashion forward, ethical, and sustainable goods from vetted brands.

General Items: fashion, home living, bath + body, beauty

Submission Guide: Fill out a form on the Become a Vendor page that asks you to categorize your brand’s values, share why you resonate with ourCommonplace, and confirm your commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices (such as a sustainable supply chain).

4. The Little Market

Badges/ Certificates: None Listed

Mission: “Through our partnerships with artisan and producer groups, we develop unique products that honor local customs and traditions and connect artisans with a global marketplace of consumers, creating opportunities for skill building, financial empowerment, and independence.”

Description: The Little Market is a mission-driven nonprofit encouraging purchases and donation to support meaningful income opportunities for artisans and their families.

General Items: home living, kitchen, bath, accessories, gifts

Submission Guide: Potential partners can visit the Artisan Application page. The Little Market is searching for long-term relationships with artisan co-ops, community-based organizations, and social enterprises.

5. Go Imagine

Badges/ Certificates: None Listed

Mission: “We believe by creating a handmade marketplace that donates 100% Profits to Charity there’s an opportunity to transform the online economy into an engine for social good.”

Description; An online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, then donates all profits to children’s charities (currently Horizons for Homeless Children and Relief Nursery). Donations come from transaction fees and maker/ vendor membership fees.

General Items: home living, bath, beauty, games, jewelry, stationery

Submission Guide: Potential partners can visit the Become a Member page. There are four tiers of membership for sellers, starting at a free plan. The maker must reside and produce their products in the US. For more information on requirements, Go Imagine published a Handmade Guidelines page.

6. Goodee

Badges/ Certificates: B Corp, Climate Neutral, 1% for the Planet

Mission: “We are a community of socially-conscious design enthusiasts who put “caring” for people, and the planet, at the center of everything we do.”

Description: A curated marketplace that provides essential homewares and lifestyle products that match sustainable living.

General Items: housewarming gifts, bath, dining, furniture, beauty

Submission Guide: The site does not mention specific requirements. Goodee lists an email contact for Bands & Submissions on the contact page. You can view the current brands they work with to get an idea of what Goodee typically accepts.

7. Spoonflower

Badges/ Certificates: None Listed

Mission: “Spoonflower—a global marketplace connecting makers and consumers with independent artists worldwide—is revolutionizing the textile industry through our on-demand digital printing technology and eco-friendly, sustainable and scalable manufacturing processes.”

Description: An online marketplace using sustainable print-on-demand technology that promotes artists, makers, DIY hobbyists and enthusiasts, small business owners, Interior Designers to sell to an audience of conscious consumers.

General Items: wallpaper, home decor, bedding, dinning

Submission Guide: On the homepage, click on the menu, then follow down until you see Design & Sell and click there. That tab will take you to Spoonflower’s useful vendor pages such as Selling & Commissions, Seller Agreement, and the FAQs.

8. Leaf’d

Badges/ Certificates: Green Business Bureau, Green America, U.S. Green Building Council

Mission: “Our Mission Is To Unite The Sustainability Movement.”

Description: An online marketplace for sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly products that connects conscious consumers with sustainable brands.

General Items: home living, beauty, fashion, tech, pets

Submission Guide: Listing in the marketplace is free after approval. Fill out a form on the Become a Vendor page to submit a registration with Leaf’d. The company’s sustainable criteria for potential vendors are also listed on that page. Vendors must ship items from the US or Canada.

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