Ethics – What We Mean and Why It Matters

Here at Atlys, we talk a lot about sustainability – what it means, how to implement it into your lifestyle, and how brands can be more sustainable in their business practices. But the other half of the equation for us is ethics.

Many times, the ethics of a brand or company ties into the way that they treat others – namely, people and animals. However, we like to think that acting ethically is more interconnected than that. Meaning – keeping in mind the welfare of people from the start to finish of the production process, safeguarding animals, and also acting in a way that not only preserves the earth’s current resources but also helps them regenerate for the future.


Pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.

Ethics – Fair Wages

One of the primary ways that we at Atlys look for ethical behavior by brands and companies is how they treat people. Number one, we look at their wages. Is the brand transparent at all in the wages they pay to their workers, or to others involved in their supply chain? Some brands claim to pay fair wages, but won’t go much further than that. The best brands will often either hold certifications from third-party organizations that prove they pay fair wages, or brands will reveal to customers exactly what they pay their workers. This kind of transparency allows brands to be kept accountable in their ethical practices.

Ethics – Working Conditions

The second area in which we rate brands for their ethical behavior is working conditions. As the public continues to raise concerns about unsafe and unethical working conditions, particularly with very large brands, companies are beginning to include in their marketing claims about safe working conditions. Although this is great, it can sometimes be performative marketing – meaning that it’s just a claim and nothing more. At Atlys, we dig deeper and look for greater transparency by brands regarding their actual working conditions. The more visibility a brand has into the way they treat their workers, the better.  

Ethics – Promoting Equality

Yet another ethical consideration that we look at is whether a brand or company is doing anything to promote equality for marginalized groups. Racial and gender inequalities are still rampant in our world, and thus we think it’s really important for brands to do their part to create positive change. Some brands are now partnering with charitable organizations that themselves support racial or gender equality. Other brands are working to promote inclusion in their brand representatives and who is represented in their marketing imagery. Others are focusing on creating businesses that directly hire and offer pathways into leadership for people of marginalized groups. All of this is what we like to see!

Sustainability – Acting Ethically for the Planet

Of course, it would be remiss of us to ignore the interplay between ethics and sustainability. Taking care of our planet – we only have one, after all – is the right way to act, and thus, ethical. That’s why we cover numerous elements of sustainable conduct by brands, with five different criterion that we rate brands for.

It’s a lot to keep in mind when shopping and trying to be a conscious consumer, that’s for sure. But the more consumers demand from brands, the better these brands will act, and that will benefit all of us.

Be sure to check out our directory for our growing database of brands we’ve rated for ethics and sustainability!