Amazon, the company that catapulted founder Jeff Bezos to billionaire status (and to the edge of space), has long been touted as environmentally unfriendly; the company emits the same level of carbon emissions as the country of Norway, according to a report released by Amazon in 2019.

Its impact on the environment, and on the lives of its warehouse workers, means that many conscious consumers have switched to alternative companies that are more ethical, environmentally friendly, and aligned with their personal values.

The good news about switching from Amazon is that there are plenty of options, thanks to the myriad of ethical alternatives available to consumers and customers.

A dozen small screenshots of ethical websites that you can shop that aren't Amazon

But it’s also important to acknowledge that switching from Amazon is a privilege due to all sorts of factors including affordability and accessibility. 

Many people use Amazon for its delivery speed, variety of products, accessibility in rural communities, cheap pricing, and wide range of products; that’s why it’s still a step towards progress if you’re able to switch away from Amazon for some of your purchases, if not all of them.

By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Reasons To Consider Amazon Alternatives:

There are a lot of reasons to consider minimizing or eliminating your support of Amazon. For the sake of simplicity, here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Amazon has a significant negative impact on the environment, despite its attempts to minimize (or greenwash) its carbon footprint.
  2. Amazon contributes to overconsumption, which harms both laborers and the environment.
  3. Amazon has historically treated its employees and contractors poorly (and knows it).
  4. Amazon doesn’t play nice with employees who want to unionize.
  5. Amazon collects data about businesses that sell on its site and then uses that data (and its monopoly powers) to create and promote its own competitors.
  6. Amazon’s vast scale and capital have allowed it to dramatically lower prices (maybe even at a loss). This predatory pricing puts competitors out of business — and may be an antitrust issue
  7. Amazon collects a lot of data about you.
  8. When you shop with Amazon, you’re missing out on the opportunity to support a local or independent business.
  9. There are a lot of great products and services that simply aren’t available on Amazon — but are sold by independent sellers (like our Goodnewspaper, for example).

The Best Alternatives to Amazon For Shopping

Package Free Shop

Package Free Shop Website: "There is only one Planet Earth"

Package Free is an online marketplace committed to helping consumers (you and me!) find the most sustainable versions of the items they use daily. You can say goodbye to single-use plastic and hello to high-quality, long-lasting products.

What this retailer sells: Sustainable home, beauty, and kitchen products

How this retailer does good: In addition to helping consumers reduce waste in their own lives, Package Free’s shipping materials are ​​100% completely plastic-free — and the company works with its vendors to ensure all B2B shipments are too. Package Free is also vigorous in curating only the most-sustainable products for its site.

The retailer practices what it preaches in its office and storefront, donates to like-minded organizations, and is committed to creating content that educates and supports people. It’s clear that Package Free is thoughtful about every aspect of business, from its return policy to subscriptions.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market Website: "Organic Without Overpaying"

Thrive Market is a bit like an online, ethical version of Costco. You can become a Member for roughly $5-$12/month (depending on if you pay annually or monthly) and easily do all your shopping through its site. 

Our team has found that the two most helpful things about Thrive Market are: 

1. You don’t have to think as hard about your shopping decisions. You can trust that a majority of Thrive Market’s offerings are going to be aligned with your interests. 

2. It eliminates a lot of grocery trips. Many of us started shopping online for a lot of our home and kitchen needs during the pandemic — but Thrive Market takes things to the next level. Rather than having a bunch of random one-off packages arriving at your house all week long, everything you need shows up in one Thrive Market shipment.

Screenshot of website, showing the words: "What values or causes are most important to you?" and "Animal welfare, food access, carbon impact, fair trade, sustainable sourcing, organic / non-GMA, no artificial intelligence, regenerative agriculture"
During the onboarding process, Thrive Market asks you to indicate the values you want to center when you shop

What this retailer sells: Thoughtfully sourced food, beauty products, cleaning supplies, wine, and more. (The kind of stuff you’d find at a grocery store — just no perishables.)

How this retailer does good: Thrive Market works to ethically source all of its products, ensures that 90% of waste in its warehouses is recycled, composted, or reused, and offers carbon-neutral shipping in sustainable packaging. The company is also a certified B Corp.

Other notes: Thrive Market offers a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. 

BLK + GRN

BLK + GRN Website: "An all-natural marketplace by all Black artisans"

There’s a long ‍history of harmful ingredients creating damaging effects for people of color. BLK + GRN set out to change this by creating a marketplace “to normalize access to non-toxic products targeted to Black women” and “to fund Black women entrepreneurs who create non-toxic personal care products.” 

BLK + GRN ensures that none of the products listed on its site include harmful ingredients like parabens, petroleum, coal tar, heavy metals, or any of the others on its "Toxic Twenty" list.

According to BLK + GRN, “all Black artisans are carefully chosen by Black health experts who know what an all-natural product truly looks like.” This retailer is providing a service to Black Americans looking for products that do-good — and for all Americans to support Black entrepreneurs and businesses.

When you shop the curated products from BLK + GRN, you're supporting Black-owned businesses and ensuring that your home is filled with products that are plant-based, sustainably made, ethically made, and cruelty-free.

What this retailer sells: All-natural bath, body, skin, and beauty products

How this retailer does good: This Black-owned business supports other Black-owned businesses. All products on BLK + GRN’s site go through a rigorous vetting process

→ Check out our other recommendations on how and where to find Black-owned businesses to support.

Made Trade

Made Trade Website: "Ethical. Sustainable. Beautiful" / "For the Conscious Home"

We’ve been huge fans of Made Trade since the company was founded in 2018. Made Trade makes it incredibly easy to ethically and sustainably shop for home goods, furniture, gifts, and clothes. 

All products sold on Made Trade are vetted for sustainability and equity — plus they meet at least two of Made Trade's eight core values: Fair Trade, Handcrafted, Made in USA, BIPOC-Owned, Sustainable Materials, Recycled or Upcycled, Vegan, or Woman-Owned

Made Trade also makes it easy to search for products aligned with any of those specific values. 

What this retailer sells: Ethical and sustainable home decor

How this retailer does good: In addition to a thoughtful vetting process, Made Trade is woman-owned, family-owned, and Climate Neutral certified.

Bookshop.org

Bookshop.org Website: "Best Sellers of the Week" / "Pride Roundup LGBTQ+ Writing of 2022"

Bookshop is hands-down the best way to ethically buy books online. Its website is easy to use, it makes discovering your next great book simple, and most importantly, every purchase supports an independent bookstore of your choosing.

According to Bookshop, “Amazon sells over 60% of all books in the US and is growing. That shift threatens the future of bookstores and will hurt readers, authors, and publishers who rely on a diverse, healthy ecosystem for books.” Founders created Bookshop to allow book lovers to shop online and do good at the same time.

What this retailer sells: Books!

How this retailer does good: Bookshop helps independent bookstores thrive. Plus, it’s a B Corp and Climate Neutral certified.

→ Looking for more online bookstores that aren't Amazon? Explore our guide.

Libro.fm

Libro.fm Website: "Special Offer - Free audiobook with membership - For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code GOOD, we'll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you'll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start."s

Libro.fm is like the ethical version of Audible (which is owned by Amazon). Like Audible, Libro.fm has an easy-to-use app, a $15 monthly membership cost, and operates on a “credits” model.

But unlike Audible, every time you download an audiobook, you directly support the independent bookstore of your choosing (instead of a trillion dollar corporation).

If you love audiobooks, you have to check out its free audiobook offering.

What this retailer sells: Audiobooks!

How this retailer does good: Libro.fm is fantastic at pointing readers (whoops — listeners!) to audiobooks from diverse and underrepresented authors. Plus, they’re a Social Purpose Corporation, committed to serving readers and bookstores above all else. 

→ Looking for more Audible alternatives for audiobooks? Explore our guide.

Grove Collaborative

Grove Collaborative Website: "Sustainable choice to transform your home"

If you used Amazon to mostly shop for home essentials like cleaning supplies, it’ll be easy to switch over to Grove Collaborative. Its site exclusively offers products that meet all four of its core values: uncompromisingly healthy, beautifully effective, ethically produced, and cruelty-free.

The Grove Collaborative site (and app) makes it easy to order products and get regular refills shipped at an appropriate cadence. The company will never sneakily charge you for a new shipment without letting you know (three times) first.

What this retailer sells: Cleaning supplies, personal care products, pantry staples, and more

How this retailer does good: All of Grove’s shipments are carbon neutral and its products are plastic neutral. It’s also a certified B Corp. 

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods Website: "We're all out of the ordinary"

Uncommon Goods is passionate about discovering creative and unique goods from all over the world. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift, this is the place to start. 

The company also makes it easy to shop for eco-friendly products, goods from Black makers, or women-owned businesses.

What this retailer sells: Mostly gifts, but also great for home goods, kitchenware, and jewelry

How this retailer does good: Uncommon Goods is a founding B Corp (meaning it’s been an ethical business for a long time) and donates $1 for every purchase you make. In addition to its products always serving a purpose and solving a problem, its offerings have always been leather, feather, and fur-free.

Etsy

Etsy Website: "Committing to a world of good"

One of Etsy’s taglines is “Buy directly from someone who puts their heart and soul into making something special.” This is what makes Etsy great. Rather than giving your money to big corporations, every Etsy purchase is an opportunity to support an individual creator or entrepreneur. It’s also a perfect place to find the next cool thing that’s not yet available anywhere else. 

What this retailer sells: Unique gifts, craft supplies, handmade items, and custom products

How this retailer does good: Etsy uses 100% renewable energy for the power used by its data centers, global offices, and its remote employees — plus the company offsets carbon emissions on all shipping and packaging. Plus, Etsy just helps creatives and makers make money doing what they love.

Other notes: We’ve been really impressed with how Etsy has shown up for global crises. Check out our feature article on a Ukrainian Etsy seller who used her boosted Etsy income to make a difference in her community.

It’s also important to mention that Etsy has been in hot water with many creators recently (see the Etsy strike in early 2022) — but it's still a good starting place to find artists you love and hopefully support them on their own websites too.

EarthHero

EarthHero Website: "We Walk the Walk" & "B Corp Certified"

EarthHero’s goal is to make sustainable shopping simple — and it lives up to that mission. Every product on EarthHero’s site goes through its “proprietary 5-Step Sourcing Methodology.” 

The online shop has a great selection of gifts, home goods, and kitchen supplies, but it goes above and beyond with thoughtfully curated products in tech, pets, sports, and travel categories.

What this retailer sells: All-things sustainable and ethical 

How this retailer does good: EarthHero is a certified B Corp, a member of 1% for the Planet, and allows you to shop by values like Vegan, Plastic-free, LGBTQ+ Empowering, Made in the USA, Black-owned, and more.

eBay

eBay for Charity Website: "Charity Shop - Find what you love. Make a difference while you shop."

Every year, the world throws away a significant amount of perfectly good products. It doesn’t have to be this way — and eBay plays a huge role in helping reduce this. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

When you choose to buy a used product (whether it’s tech, clothing, furniture, or whatever else) on eBay, you’re extending the life of that product and ensuring nothing new needs to be manufactured. Selling things you’re no longer using offers the same benefits.

Switching from buying new products on Amazon to buying used products from eBay can have a significant positive impact. (Plus, you’ve gotta love the dopamine rush of winning a bidding war.)

What this retailer sells: Basically everything

How this retailer does good: In addition to making it easy to buy second-hand products and extend the life of products you no longer use, eBay also supports two initiatives that give back. 

eBay for Charity allows sellers to donate all or part of their proceeds to a charity they care about. It also makes it easy for buyers to shop with sellers aligned with their values.

The eBay Foundation supports nonprofits that “address and remove barriers to entrepreneurship for people who identify with historically excluded groups.” The foundation has granted more than $76 million since 1998.

Credo 

Credo Beauty Website: "Where all beauty is clean beauty"

When we’re talking about “clean” beauty and home products, the word “clean” doesn’t carry a lot of meaning. There are no set standards for what ingredients do or don’t deserve to carry the label. That is, until Credo came along.

Credo created The Dirty List and The Credo Clean Standard to define products that don’t use ingredients that are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, environmental harm, and toxics.

Its online site only sells products that align with these standards — so it’s an easy way to cut down on the amount of time you do researching the products you buy.

What this retailer sells: Clean beauty products

How this retailer does good: A portion of every purchase on Credo is donated to the nonprofit The Lipstick Angels.

The Little Market

The Little Market Website: With icons showing values: US-based initiatives, the environment, HIV/AIDS, young mothers, homelessness, reentry programs, refugees + IDPS, human trafficking, domestic violence, disability rights, children, traditional techniques

While most of the marketplaces on this list are purpose-driven for-profit companies, The Little Market is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The organization’s primary mission is to support women’s economic autonomy — and this is done by selling fair-trade products from artisans and makers around the world.

The Little Market is currently sourcing from 70 artisan groups in over 25 countries.

What this retailer sells: Home organization, decor, kitchenware, and candles

How this retailer does good: Its core values include: empowering women, paying fairly & promptly, prioritizing marginalized individuals, promoting a safe and dignified workplace, ensuring cultural maintenance, cultivating environmental consciousness, and advocating for human rights & social justice. The Little Market has partnered to raise more than $100,000 for organizations like Homeboy Industries, Africa Outreach Project, and Human Rights Watch.

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages Website: "Purposeful goods and gifts crafted by hand for home and life"

Ten Thousand Villages celebrates craft and culture by bringing the work of global makers to the online marketplace. As a Fair Trade company, it pays all its artisans a living wage in safe work conditions. The company’s name comes from inviting shoppers to join in its work to empower makers in (now, way more than) ten thousand villages.

What this retailer sells: Artisan-made gifts and accessories

How this retailer does good: Ten Thousand Villages focuses on long-term relationships with all its artisans — and approaches all its work through a Fair Trade lens.

NOVICA

NOVICA Website: "The Impact Marketplace" and "Amplify Your Impact: Support the causes closest to your heart while you shop"

Describing itself as “the world’s largest impact marketplace,” NOVICA sells products handmade by talented artisans from around the world.

Every purchase helps artisans support families, uplift communities, and overcome adversity.

With investments and grants from the IFC and National Geographic — and more than 20 years of experience — NOVICA isn’t going anywhere.

What this retailer sells: Artisan-made gifts

How this retailer does good: NOVICA is a certified B Corp, is a proud part of the Fair Trade movement, allows you to support a cause as you shop, and supports the work of global artisans.

More Guides to Amazon Alternatives

What if I can't fully switch away from Amazon? — How To Shop Ethically On Amazon

If you can’t make the complete switch away from Amazon, that's okay. Amazon is cheap and convenient — and it’s a valuable tool for those who rely on it for its accessibility. It's still possible to make small changes that align with your goals and values.

Small changes you can make to shop Amazon more ethically:

Set up Amazon Smile

One small change you can make is to set up Amazon Smile to support nonprofits with your purchases. While this shouldn’t be an excuse to spend more, it’s a way to do some small good if you do have to shop from Amazon.

Change the packaging your shipments use

While we haven’t been able to independently confirm this, it’s been reported that you can request no plastic in your packaging by going to Amazon's customer service page and requesting that all future orders be plastic-free with minimal packaging (and when absolutely necessary, use degradable material).

Choose environmentally friendly shipping options

When you don’t need a product immediately, selecting the No-Rush Standard Shipping option will oftentimes allow your products to be shipped more efficiently and sustainably, depending on your location.

Buy from sustainable brands on Amazon when you can

While it's always a best practice to buy directly from brands' websites when possible, you can still be an ethical consumer by buying from companies you trust and believe in when you shop on Amazon.

Check out the Amazon stores for ethical and sustainable brands like (RED), Nisolo, Peak Design, and more.

Make purchases through affiliate links from publishers and creators you believe in

Amazon’s affiliate program allows publishers to make a commission when they refer a reader to Amazon and that reader makes a purchase.

Commissions range from 1% to 10%, depending on the product. And Amazon actually pays publishers for the entire contents of the shopping cart — not just the product that they referred to.

If multiple publishers refer a reader to Amazon, Amazon will pay based on the last click before checkout.

All of this means that if you have to buy something from Amazon, you should consider clicking an affiliate link from a publisher or creator that you believe in (like Good Good Good! ) right before you complete your purchase.

It’s a nice way to say thank you — and divert some of the money of your purchase from Amazon towards someone who creates valuable content you appreciate.

(By the way, here’s an Amazon affiliate link from Good Good Good — in case you want to bookmark this page.)

Lastly, cutting Amazon out where you can is just as important as not using it at all. It’s a luxury to be able to cut Amazon out of your life completely, but being able to make essential small changes to your order is a great way of promoting conscious consumerism and doing good where you can.