the amazon pamphlet

finding alternatives to amazon is a daunting task. there's a plethora of tech blogs with top 10 lists covering the subject for the purpose of affiliate linking you elsewhere, but finding true sustainable options that are affordable can be hard to find. because going outside of the amazon ecosystem typically means more expensive items, unfortunately; the price that is paid for low-cost consumption is subsidized through exploitative labor (and actual subsidies from the US government, it turns out).

in order to help unplug from the amazon ecosystem, i've compiled this list of alternatives to help me (and, hopefully, others in the US*) stop contributing to the $3.2 billion** codependency that the company has exploited. i'll keep updating this list as i find and confirm alternatives that fit my ethical criteria.

please note that i do not make money from listing any of these websites, and there are no affiliate links included here.

i would be remiss if i did not, also, say from the jump that the best thing you can do is shop locally at a small business near you.

for the sake of this list, these are the price ranges:

inexpensive; most affordable
moderately priced
high-end
luxury; top-of-the line prices

last updated: dec. 31, 2021






a little bit of everything

earthhero

price range: -
shop for: almost everything

i was genuinely surprised at how much stuff i could replace getting from amazon at earthhero instead. i consider it a digital department store, since they have so many different categories and hundreds of products: home and office, beauty products, clothing, travel, outdoors, pets, audio and tech, baby, maternity, and kids. you can also organize the site based on what values mean the most to you when it comes to sustainable products.

donegood

price range: -
shop for: almost everything

donegood actually has been called the "amazon of social good," and i actually love the fact that they're not just focused on sustainability with the environment; they also really value workers' rights and fair trade. each brand is vetted by the team at donegood, and i really love the wide variety of products available like mattresses, accessories, clothing, decor, kitchenware, kids and baby, and tech accessories.

natural collection [uk-based]

price range: -
shop for: everything (including groceries)

i was kinda psyched to see natural collection has groceries! natural collection could really be a true amazon replacement for those in the UK, especially if you've had issues with amazon shipping in the past. natural collection has a slew of ethical causes it's committed to: animal welfare, sustainability, fair trade, organic, plastic-free, UK-made, and vegan. check out their "shop by ethics" feature.

books

better world books

price range: -
shop for: books (and textbooks!)

better world books puts its mission where its name is, striving to be as equitable and sustainable as possible. books purchased through the site contribute to book donations globally with over 26,000,000 books donated to those in need. they also do literacy grants, recycling programs for books, and creative solutions in the wake of disasters, like helping the libraries in texas recover after hurricane sandy.

bookshop

price range:
shop for: books

bookshop is an awesome way to support local bookstores and save them from being killed by amazon. you can select one near you (or not!) and shop their collections. it's a win-win, you still get a book delivered to you, and you still supported a independent bookstore. it's also worth noting, however, that because of the covid-19 pandemic, a lot of bookstores have transitioned to online shopping—so try looking up bookstores near you to see if they already have online shopping available.

clothing

for days

price range:
shop for: closed-loop recycled clothes

for days has a circular system: every purchase gives you 'closet cash,' and once you fill a bag of your worn out or torn clothes (of any brand), you'll earn even more towards further purchases. they have straight sizes, with a max size of XXL, for men and women. the site is full of neutral basics, but there are some colorful, casual pieces that caught my eye.

the girlfriend collective

price range:
shop for: 100% recycled wardrobe staples

if you're looking for women's athleisure, the girlfriend collective is a great sustainable brand to shop with. there's multiple collections that are all super cute and on-trend, and i'm really impressed with their inclusive sizing, up to 6XL. the biggest draw for me is their total transparency about their business practices, fair work ethics, and their sustainability efforts!

gifts

uncommon goods

price range: -
shop for: personalized gifts, handmade trinkets, jewelry, household items, kitchen goods

i love shopping at uncommon goods for gifts and presents for friends and family. the store is a curated collection of unique and, often handmade, gifts with individual sellers and small business owners. i love their ethical business practices, and because of that, i'm willing to pay a little more. the wares at uncommon goods are not inexpensive by any means, although there are lists for gifts under $25.

etsy

price range: -
shop for: custom gifts, handmade goods, decor, jewelry, vintage items

etsy is so great for supporting small businesses online, especially if you have niche interests. just watch out for foreign resellers if you are trying to shop small. i've gotten some really stellar, creative items from various sellers on etsy!

household, health & beauty

blk + grn

price range:
shop for: bath and body products, skincare, haircare

this black-owned marketplace is full of all-natural products, ranging from maternal care to protein powder. all the collections are curated by artisans, folks who are chosen by black health experts to help others follow a more sustainable lifestyle. i love the wide variety of self-care products.

brandless

price range:
shop for: skincare, personal care staples, cosmetic basics

brandless also used to sell groceries and pantry staples, so keep an eye in case that ever comes back. for now, they're respecialized into skincare, beauty products, and personal care items. they buy online companies and incorporate them into the brandless brand (ha) to sell them affordably. i really like their ethics, and they're transparent about their product acquisition process.

package free

price range:
shop for: household items, health and wellness products

what i love most about package free is that they really are sustainable and devoted to reducing waste. however, this does come at a higher price for some items. i really like the variety of items they have available, including personal care, wellness items, kitchen products, eco-friendly storage, office supplies, and pet toys.






other lists

- alex sirac, french & global amazon alternatives
- threshold, us-based amazon alternatives






* apologies, i will try to continue this list with global alternatives as i come across them.
** 2020