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Starting a small business the best way to take control of your career, gain experience, and enjoy a more flexible working schedule.
But another fantastic reason to set up your own company is to opt-out of environmentally damaging big businesses and to make your income more ethically.
As more customers search for eco-friendly alternatives to their favourite products, ethical businesses are becoming increasingly popular, and a lot more lucrative for those who run them.
So without further ado, here are some ideas for small-business enterprises that won’t do damage to the planet.
Eco-Friendly Fashion Alternatives
Despite the growing popularity of eco-friendly fashion, it’s still surprising difficult to find ethical clothing options that haven’t been produced in exploitative working conditions, or made with non-biodegradable materials.
But with increasing awareness, the options for consumers are not keeping up with demand – which makes for a lucrative business opportunity!
Second-hand ‘vintage’ clothing can be collected, tailored and sold on websites like Ebay or Etsy, or in independent shops. And for marketing tools, you need look no further than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote your brand and engage customers.
The large majority of soaps and cosmetics available in supermarkets are packaged in plastics or contain environmentally damaging substances like palm oil. A lot of these products are also tested on animals.
But ethical soap can be made at home using organic substances like bee’s wax, lye, coconut oil, soybean oil, and almond oil. You can then add fragrant essential oils such as Cedarwood, Patchouli, and Balsams for some extra luxury.
Ethical soap and other handmade cosmetics are increasingly popular purchases online and in independent shops, and make great gifts for ethical friends.
Rosin is a hard resin extracted from a variety of pines and other plants, which can be handmade and used for several purposes.
One of the most popular uses of pine rosin is to treat horsehair violin bows. You can extract the resin yourself, or buy raw pine resin online, then complete the process at home.
Rosin is also used in soap, sealing wax, printing ink, and soldering fluxes.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you can also extract rosin from cannabis leaves using a nugsmasher. Cannabis rosin can be used in vapes or edibles and has become increasingly popular as an organic alternative to dried marijuana which contains harmful solvents.
Industrial livestock farming is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, and practices are sometimes cruel or wasteful.
As a result, organic and vegan diets have become increasingly popular with environmentally conscious consumers, ethical business events, weddings and parties.
Try your hand at making organic preserves, organic wine, vegan cakes, or dairy-free ice cream as a starting point. If you’re a little more ambitious, you could consider a vegan fast-food truck, or ethical catering company.
And there we have it! Use these ideas as a springboard to find the perfect ethical business idea to make an income whilst helping to save the planet.