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Ethical Markets Research

Critically engaged, in-depth research is at the heart of what we do. Our team of experienced and highly trained researchers can help you get the information you need to achieve your aims.

Drawing on our sophisticated rating system and decades of experience measuring ethical markets, we offer a range of off-the-shelf research services, ethical rankings and ethical consumer market research as well as bespoke research projects.

This includes:

  • Competitor ethical benchmarking: easily see how your company is doing compared to your competitors with a bespoke ranking that tracks your policy initiatives alongside your competitors.
  • Ethical market analysis: tap into our knowledge of ethical consumer markets with trends and data.
  • Creative thinking: for companies that want to campaign or create social and environmental change, we can help you decide what and how.

Our collaborative approach means that any project will be tailored to your needs and goals, and our independent perspective will also help you to ask the important questions to keep your organisation at the forefront of your sector.


To discuss how we can work with you, call Alex Crumbie on 0161 226 2929, or email

With over 25 years experience of offering flexible and creative solutions to businesses and NGOs, our research team can help your organisation to manage risk, get ahead of the curve on sustainability issues and work with consumers to have real impact.


Ethical Consumer Markets Report

The annual Ethical Consumer Markets Report has been acting as an important barometer of UK spending since 1999.

Each year, we conduct a detailed YouGov Survey to monitor shifts in ethical values and spending habits as they are happening and build a detailed picture of change over time. The report is trusted and used by businesses, academics and the UK Government.

Ethical Consumer Markets Report 2020

We track sales data across a wide range of consumer sectors, including:

  • Ethical food and drink
  • Green home
  • Eco-travel and transport
  • Ethical personal products
  • Community
  • Boycotts
  • Ethical money

The report identifies trends across ethical markets and explores the forces driving these changes.

See the full 2021 Ethical Consumer Markets Report.

See previous reports on the ECMR web page.


Example Work


Impact of ethical certifications on Mother and Child welfare in Sri Lanka

In 2017, we were contracted to conduct a review of the impact of ethical certification labels on the welfare standards of mothers and children on tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

This work consisted of detailed interviews with a variety of different industry stakeholders, including plantation managers, government agencies, tea buyers and certification bodies.

Our research offered in-depth analysis of the real world impact of certification labels, assessing to what extent labourers experience tangible improvements to their quality of life.

Our primary research in Sri Lanka was viewed in conjunction with further research with consumers and organisations in tea purchasing countries such as the UK, to create a holistic picture of impact, awareness and market saturation.

This project helped the funder focus its efforts on effective strategic projects that would have the best outcome for those it sought to help.

Ethical Consumer's approach was professional, methodical and insightful, drawing upon their extensive understanding of the ethical marketing sector. The Ethical Consumer team provided us with a well researched paper covering a range of relevant and well thought out options and recommendations for the country office to consider.


Guide to Sports Optics

In 2015, Ethical Consumer were commissioned to explore ethics in the sport optics industry. Our funders wanted to look at the tension in the fact that companies that sell binoculars, spotting scopes and monoculars, are used by (and in some cases sponsor) many keen birders and wildlife watchers as well as those involved in the hunting industry.

This was part of the funders' wider campaign to save the endangered Hen Harrier, and the research helped to generate coverage, galvanise support and apply pressure in related consumer markets. A follow up report in 2018 helped to maintain this pressure and sparked public debate around sponsorship and approaches to marketing.

Read the full Sports Optics Report and the 2018 follow-up Report.


Conflict Mineral rating for Which?

In February 2019, Which? commissioned Ethical Consumer to develop a conflict mineral transparency ranking and score twelve leading UK mobile brands against this.

Drawing on our knowledge of the sector, best practice and our own conflict mineral rating, we developed a detailed methodology for evaluating the companies, which looked at strength of transparency, policies, stakeholder engagement and due diligence processes, amongst other areas.

Alongside a score out of 100 for each company, we provided Which? with a detailed summary and analysis of each company’s policies and practice – allowing them to provide an explanation of the rated companies for their readers.

The research was published in April 2019. 



To find out how we can work with you or to discuss your project, call Alex Crumbie on 0161 226 2929, or email