Three inspirational University of Brighton graduates are now bringing a new way of shopping to the city, creating an online platform that bridges the gap between ethically minded individuals (like you) and local retailers making a difference in the way they do business.

“Simply sign up, shop and get rewarded; it really is that easy,” says Charlie Jordan, who together with close friends Matt Denford and Ryan Hudson, set up collaborating on Ethicul after finishing their Business Management degrees this summer. The online platform and app is simple – when someone purchases with an Ethicul partner, they receive Ethicul tokens for doing so. As they continue to shop, these can then be redeemed for a mystery Ethicul reward from one of the 30+ retailers part of the scheme, which is growing weekly. Spanning across a wide range of sectors, these so far include: Brighton Lace, Hisbe, Purezza, Harriets of Hove, Old Tree Brewery, Nadarra Cosmetics, My Green Pod and more. There’s no doubt that Brighton is known for its ethically minded brands and shops, but even so, many of us still shop with the retailer powerhouses that often ‘greenwash’ their reputations. And often factors such as convenience and price can get in the way of ethical shopping habits.

“This is where we recognised the problem.” says Charlie. He continues “We did not know where these ethically minded organisations were, nor what they had to offer.” Having sat on the idea, support from the university relit a spark for taking Ethicul forward into the new decade. Now the scheme helps give ethically minded retailers the exposure, visibility and reach they deserve, and rewards their customers too – encouraging audiences into a new way of buying. Matt, Charlie and Ryan quickly found that despite all three of them living in Brighton for three years, their network predominantly consisted of university contacts when they were seeking to transition Ethicul from a concept into a reality. As they started having wider conversations, they quickly found how supportive and helpful members of the Brighton and Hove community were; particularly within the sustainability space. “Every single person we work with are on a shared mission to drive positive change; not only for us, but for generations to come,” says Charlie that also states despite launching Ethicul on the 11th June (bang in the middle of a global pandemic), over 200 people within Brighton and Hove have already joined the scheme.

With Ethicul being featured in the press and subsequently more companies getting on board, the Ethicul platform could not have come at a better time, where small businesses (and the planet) require support to create a societal shift in the way we buy, especially during turbulent times. Although Covid-19 has been a moment of reckoning for many retailers, Ethicul think otherwise, and have witnessed significant changes in purchasing behaviour, with many individuals shifting towards shopping locally by already reaching and redeeming their Ethicul Rewards. Charlie goes on to say “Despite the destruction and upset it has brought to our lives, it has certainly been a lesson to us. It is crucial that this emphasis remains as we transition back to normality. At Ethicul, we are continuing to propel this mindset forward. Every penny our community spend with our retailers helps fight for the sustainability of our planet, enhance our wellbeing whilst improving local communities as well as those around the world.” If you would like to get rewarded for shopping at ethical retailers in Brighton – sign up to Ethicul’s token scheme via the website on www.ethicul.co.uk.