Hello ethical movers!
We are back after a few weeks of taking care of our lives, our businesses, our families, our minds. Even more intenion, less ‘shoulds’ came out of our reflection when we got back together.
And so much clarity on what’s important to us as a movement, as a community. Isn’t that always what happens? Rest is an inherent part of great work!
In our socials, we’ve alluded to changes that we’ve been prepping for.
Soo… here it is.
the ethical move news.
We’ve got some pretty big news to share.
At first glance, it might look like a setback, but it has opened all the doors for us to move in the direction we’ve been meaning to go all along.
We have realized we are not able to create a measurable certification-type standard similar to Fair Trade, Organic, etc. – even though that was the original plan.
1. We can’t empirically measure whether taking our pledge (or an expanded version of it) makes the difference we want it to. There are clear links between unethical tactics and the harm they cause, but we can’t isolate our pledge from other elements (such as markets, regulations, culture, etc.) to prove causality – and that evidence is needed for an ISEAL standard. Maria has been writing a paper on manipulation, and their research led to the conclusion that creating a certification isn’t feasible for us.
And we are so glad it isn’t.
2. Making new rules to replace old ones is a patriarchal approach. We are here to break the system. Creating a standard that companies can use to tick boxes and get ‘85% there’, is not what we’re here for. We want a true shift in consciousness; for businesses to own their actions. We don’t want for them to ‘pass’.
3. Standards are a powerful tool for good, and they can be used to dominate, to manipulate, to deceive. And we’re not super into that, obviously. 😉 Taking responsibility for the power that we have as enterprises (of any size) requires intention, courage, and deep willingness. That’s what we need.
Yes, I’ve spoken about how rules are sometimes necessary to protect the most vulnerable. How a standard will change things. …And I learned I was wrong about a lot of it. The most vulnerable don’t need ‘our’ protection, they just need us to take the foot off their necks (sound familiar?).
So, what’s next?
Our pledge was supposed to become a measurable certification. Since that is no longer the case, we realized that it didn’t have to be tied to individual tactics.
It could go much deeper.
→ As we speak, we are creating what we’re calling an Intention Pledge to replace what we have now. It will BE our new standard. No more waiting for the future. This new pledge will not be empirically measurable, but infinitely meaningful. And it will open the door to all of you making your own creative choices instead of us dictating them to you.
We’re writing it now, and it is glorious. I am 100% certain that you will join us in our new pledge.
new on medium.
One of our new writers for our Medium publication, Claudia Kozeny-Pelling, wrote an article called After the pledge: how to start running a more ethical business. A great example of what else is possible outside the pledge with data ethics, going ‘greener’, and who to work with.
We’d love to hear about the moves you’re making that we haven’t covered yet! We are (continuously) building a big list of tactics and how to flip them to support you in the creation of a new marketplace.
our pledgee highlights.
Yes yes yes! I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. I hate the false nature of online sales, social media, etc, and always aim to show the truth behind my business. The good and the bad. The joy, the ugly tears. The wins, the losses. It is so important we fight this over-filtered, scarcity tactic driven world. As someone who has had issues with anxiety in the past I also think all of this is a huge contributor to mental health issues and we need to push back.
I am making the ethical move because I am tired of mindless consumerism killing our planet, our people, our mental health. I don’t want to be part of the problem anymore.– Ely Bakouche, ebsnotebook.com
Find more pledgee WHYs on our website:
what we’re reading right now.
We’ve gotten a bit fed up with dark patterns.
Quoting the website darkpatterns.org, they are “..tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something”. If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve come across them.
Here is an example of ‘confirmshaming’:
We don’t like pointing out the ‘wrongs’ and would rather focus on amazing examples, but enough is enough. This sucks.
Here are two resources if you want to dig a bit deeper:
- darkpatterns.org, a page created by Harry Brignull dedicated to raising awareness of deceptive digital practices.
- Dark Patterns that Mislead Consumers Are All Over the Internet, written by By Alfred Ng and Sam Morris, is an article/quiz to find out if you can actually identify dark patterns.
*We share resources to broaden our horizons, deepen our knowledge of our industry, and learn how to market ethically. The ethical move team does not agree with every opinion, nor do we claim to have found the best resources on the subject. What support or resources would you like to see from us? Hit reply and tell us!
what we’re working on.
We are writing our new Intention Pledge.
If you’ve pledged and are worried about the rug being pulled out from underneath you, don’t 🙂 it will be a declaration of what you’re already doing with a lot more freedom of what ethical marketing looks like for you and your unique circumstances.
AND we’ll ask you to push further into what’s possible. But more of that when we’re actually ready to share!