Our Approach

We seek to convey information and alternatives in a manageable way with an approach that is realistic, positive and empowering.

  1. We seek to engage people on various levels. From preferred products shopping list (just tell me what to buy), to broad summary of assessment (what are the related issues), to specific details (give me the facts). These are linked to sources & further information.
  2. We promote values-based decision-making. This means that the ‘right’ purchasing choice is likely to be different for each person, depending on what they value. Our ratings are a guide or starting point; however we seek to help people understand the issues connected to their own purchases and to find a ‘best buy’ according to what they value.
  3. We seek to use accurate information, well-sourced, in the public domain. In a process that is transparent. Broadly speaking, our criteria for using sources is that they are :
    • independent and impartial (separate from an organizations own claims)
    • recognised and reputable (not someone’s blog site)
    • systematic and reasonable (have methodology)

A key goal is to make information ‘user-friendly’, easily understood and able to be  applied in everyday living.   Consumers are often faced an over-abundance of  information leading to a sense of simply being overwhelmed. Considering this, we acknowledge that:

  1. ‘More’ information is not necessarily better. The best information is that which reaches people and inspires them to action. We seek to give people ‘enough’. People need space to process new information, and find answers that connect with their own experiences.
  2. Information is only as useful as it can be applied in real life. ‘Good Information’ is not always useful. It becomes useful when there is a positive action step that can be taken from it. We therefore seek to provide practical alternatives.
  3. Change takes time. There is a need to fast-track change but the reality is that actual change usually occurs with each of us making small and simple, yet significant, steps. The process of change is not a single step but rather an ongoing journey.
  4. People learn best by doing. Therefore we seek processes that are participatory. Our workshops are interactive, with questions and comments encouraged.

More on the Ethical Consumer Group and our Statement of Purpose.