Ethical Marketing | What Is It? Examples and Top Tips 2023

On top of all that, Allbirds partners with organizations such as ZQ Merino to ensure their wool meets the highest standards of land management, farming, and animal welfare. So the shoes don’t just feel good on your feet  – but on your conscience, too!

Allbirds ethical marketing example screenshot
Allbirds has pledged to halve its carbon footprint by the end of 2025, and cut it to almost zero by 2023. Nothing is, indeed, everything!

The Body Shop

Patagonia is so ethical, in fact, that in 2022 Chouinard – incensed at a Forbes article branding him a billionaire – gave away the entire company’s shares to a trust, with the future profits to be dedicated to combating the climate crisis.

Patagonia Worn Wear ethical marketing screenshot
Patagonia’s Worn Wear program allows people to trade in their old gear – reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills, and getting it to good homes instead.


Allbirds’ shoes and packaging are also made from a blend of natural ingredients and recycled materials. Bottles become laces, castor bean oil goes into insoles – and the box the shoes arrive in are made from 90% recycled cardboard.

In addition to all that, HelloFresh is committed to making 100% of its packaging either recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

HelloFresh ethical marketing example screenshot
HelloFresh’s pre-portioned ingredients create 15% fewer emissions than the same meals bought from a supermarket.

This must have been Allbirds’ train of thought. The company’s unique Merino wool shoes made headlines when they launched in 2014, not only because of how comfortable they are – but how ethical, too.

You’ve read these ethical marketing examples. Now, why not explore our brand strategy examples for the brands (which include Amazon, Apple, and Airbnb) doing it best?


Founded by rock climber Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s vision statement is, simply, “Save our home planet.” Patagonia’s marketing is full of initiatives designed to reduce the damaging influence of fast fashion, and reduce the impact of what we wear on the environment.

Also in 2019, The Body Shop kickstarted its “Community Fair Trade” recycled plastic program. This involves sourcing plastic from marginalized waste pickers in India: offering them a steady income, a fair price, and equitable working conditions unknown in such a volatile industry.

One example? Patagonia’s Worn Wear program. Acknowledging that 85% of clothes end up in landfill – or wind up incinerated – the company is buying back used Patagonia clothes, then selling them second-hand. The campaign advocates for “buying less, repairing more and trading in gear when you no longer need it.”

Why simply market ethically – when you can bake an ethical approach into the very product you’re selling?

The best part of HelloFresh’s approach, however, is that sustainability is ingrained into the very bedrock of its approach. Because HelloFresh uses pre-portioned ingredients for its meals, there’s zero food waste.

With ambitious targets – including using recycled plastics for at least 50% of all its packaging by 2030, and becoming 100% vegan – The Body Shop clearly takes ethical marketing seriously.

The Body Shop ethical marketing example screenshot
The Body Shop is becoming 100% vegan – and is already completely cruelty-free.


Just one example? In 2019, The Body Shop launched its “Refill Scheme” – which is now at over 500 stores – encouraging and empowering its customers to refill their existing bottles of shampoo and shower gel rather than throw them away and re-buy.

The result? HelloFresh meals, on average, create 15% fewer carbon emissions than the same meals bought from a supermarket.

By creating shoes with wool from Kiwi sheep (which, in New Zealand, outnumber their human counterparts by about six to one) Allbirds’ shoe-creation process uses 60% less energy than materials used in most synthetic shoes. And it’s this, in part, fuelling Allbirds’ impressive sustainability target: reducing its carbon footprint to near zero by 2023.

Next, let’s take a look at the brands setting the standard for ethical excellence in 2023.


At this stage, Patagonia and ‘ethical marketing’ are pretty much synonymous.

A certified B-Corp (businesses that meet the highest standards of environmental, social, public, and legal accountability), The Body Shop purveys perfume for people and planet.

Popular meal kit provider HelloFresh ticks all the right ethical marketing boxes by sourcing ingredients directly from local suppliers, and – by delivering produce to homes without detours – cuts out steps in the traditional supply chain that could be damaging to the environment.