July 22, 2024

Frances Jordan

Disruptive Business Models

How to create ethical sourcing for your brand

6 min read


If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’ve heard about ethical sourcing and want to learn more about it. Maybe your company has already made a commitment to expand or improve its supply chain practices by incorporating sustainability into everyday business life. Or maybe you’re just curious about what ethical sourcing means for the future of your brand or product line. Whatever your motivation is, we’re glad that you found us! Ethical sourcing is an important part of sustainable business practices and can create opportunities for brands like yours in several ways:

Where to begin

First, you need to identify your mission statement. What are the values of your company? What are the values of your customers? What are the values of your suppliers? And finally, what are the values of your community (wherever that may be)?

Once you have this information gathered together, it’s time to figure out how best to incorporate those principles into an ethical sourcing strategy for your brand.

What is your brand’s mission?

Before you can begin to source ethically, you need to know what your brand stands for. Your mission should be more than just profits–it should reflect how you want to make a positive impact on the world and/or your customers.

This isn’t just a feel-good exercise; it’s also essential for creating an ethical sourcing strategy that aligns with the values of your company. When everyone who works at an organization is aligned around its mission and goals, they’ll have no problem taking action on behalf of those ideals when given an opportunity (or even if they don’t see one).

Know what you are trying to achieve with ethical sourcing.

The first step in creating ethical sourcing for your brand is to know what you are trying to achieve with it. You will need to take a look at the mission statement and goals of your company, as well as its values. Then, once you have this information on hand, it’s time to start asking yourself some tough questions:

  • What makes our brand different from all others?
  • How do we want consumers or customers perceive us? If there is no clear answer here (or if there are multiple answers), then perhaps it’s time for some soul searching before moving forward. If nothing else comes up during this process then just remember that ethics are important when creating ethical sourcing policies–even if they aren’t always easy!

How to develop a policy for ethical sourcing.

You can develop a policy for ethical sourcing that works for your business. The policy should be clear and easy to understand, as well as legally sound. You also need to consider how you will enforce the policy, so that it has an impact on your supply chain. Finally, ensure that you are prepared to deal with problems that arise from your new policy

The importance of transparency and communication.

Transparency is important for a company’s credibility, as well as the credibility of its suppliers. It helps build trust and rapport between parties, which is crucial in any relationship. Communication is also key–both within your own organization and between you and your suppliers.

Communication helps ensure that everyone knows what to expect from each other, so there are no surprises down the line when things don’t go according to plan or something goes wrong unexpectedly (and it always does). The more open you can be with your supplier base about what they need to do their job well or change their processes accordingly, the better off everyone will be in terms of maintaining relationships over time

What are the key elements of ethical sourcing?

What are the key elements of ethical sourcing?

When developing an ethical sourcing policy, you need to consider a number of factors. These include:

  • The country or region where your product is manufactured.
  • What working conditions are required by law in that country or region.
  • How those working conditions compare with those in other parts of the world where similar products are made (especially if yours is not a luxury item).
  • Whether there are any human rights issues associated with production in that location–for example, child labor or excessive hours worked without breaks as well as pay rates being too low for workers’ basic needs like food and housing costs being met without assistance from NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

Creating opportunities for suppliers.

  • Provide education to suppliers
  • Provide training for your suppliers
  • Provide access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the supply chain, so that they can invest in their business and grow it sustainably
  • Ensure that all workers have the right skills for the job at hand, through training or vocational education programs

How to work with local communities in your supply chain.

Working with local communities is a great way to create ethical sourcing for your brand. Communities are important because they can provide valuable feedback on your company, help you understand the needs of your customers and suppliers, and even give you insight into what’s happening within your own supply chain.

The triple bottom line approach to ethical sourcing.

  • The triple bottom line approach to ethical sourcing.
  • Traditional business models are often focused on the financial side of things, but they don’t always take into account social or environmental impact. A company that uses a triple bottom line approach will consider all three aspects of sustainability (social, environmental and financial) when making decisions about their products and services – including how they source materials for those products.

This means that when you’re sourcing ethically for your brand, you have more information at hand than just whether or not something is made in a sweatshop by exploited workers who lack basic rights like freedom of association or protection from discrimination based on race/gender identity/sexual orientation/etcetera ad infinitum ad nauseam…

Ethical, sustainable business practices can be implemented by using the right strategies and systems that take into account your values as a company, as well as the needs of customers, suppliers and communities where you do business.

Ethical sourcing is an important part of business. It’s the process by which you ensure that the products you sell are made in an ethical and sustainable way, from start to finish. Ethical sourcing can help your brand stand out from competitors and build loyalty among customers who care about these issues.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules for creating ethical supply chains, there are some best practices that will help guide you along the way:

  • Transparency and communication between all parties involved in creating a product (i.e., suppliers, manufacturer) is key to building trust at every level of your supply chain; this includes providing information on how materials are sourced or where they come from so everyone knows what they’re working with before any money changes hands
  • Use a triple bottom line approach when thinking about how much profit margins should be compared with environmental impact factors such as greenhouse gas emissions per unit produced
  • Work closely with local communities as well as other stakeholders within them–for example if someone lives near where one type of waste material ends up after being processed into another substance then this person may have ideas about how to improve processes further upstream so fewer harmful chemicals enter their environment


There are many ways to create an ethical supply chain and it all starts with knowing what your brand stands for. Once you have established your values, it’s time to develop policies that reflect those values so everyone involved in making your products can understand what they mean. Then comes the hard part: actually implementing these policies! You’ll need to make sure everyone follows through on their promises and makes good decisions when opportunities arise so things don’t fall apart down the road when push comes to shove (or rather push comes from above).

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