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Top 5 Ethical High Street Shops

We list the top 5 ethical mainstream brands, to help you support the high street. The list is compiled using our unique Ethiscore ranking system.


You can smell Lush shops from a mile away and their ethics are as sweet-smelling as their products. This company refuses to test on animals and supports various campaign organisations and initiatives such as the Hunt Saboteurs Association and The Lush Prize, a yearly event that funds research to replace animal-testing.

It tries to use only natural ingredients and most things are made in the UK so you know that their workers are unlikely to suffer. And the reason that you can smell them from a mile away is that they minimise packaging with some of their shops only selling products that are packaging free.

Image: Lush cosmetics

Ethical score: 11

You can find Lush in a selection of our beauty shopping guides:


The Co-op Group

The Co-op sell everything from food to electricals. They now have food stores in most town centres and are a leader in supermarket ethics. They are also owned by an active membership (rather than shareholders) and have a strong internal democracy.

They have started publishing a yearly report and action plan called the "Co-operative Way". This sets out their latest commitments to a tackling a number of issues including climate change, loneliness and waste.

Image:co-op blue branding shop front ethical consumer

Ethical Score: 6

While they have a low score of 6, they tend to be the best out of a bad bunch when it comes to brands on the high street. 

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer is a cornerstone of the British high street. It is now a leader in terms of high street ethics and has been applauded from all sides for its commitments to the environment. In our recent guide to supermarkets, it came top of the mainstream supermarkets. It also got a Best rating in our supply chain ranking in our clothes shops guide. 

Image: marks and spencer sign reflecting edinburgh

Ethical Score: 6

See how M&S score in the following guides:

WH Smith

WH Smith is the only bookseller to score a best rating in our 'Alternatives to Amazon' bookshops guide for their environmental reporting and supply chain management. While the company might not shout about its ethics it is clearly taking its social and environmental responsibilities seriously.

Image: wh smith

Ethical Score: 11

WH Smith feature in the following guides: 

John Lewis

The John Lewis' Partnership company structure make it one of the most progressive shops on the high street. The Partnership is an employee-owned business with the workers sharing in company profits and having a say in how the business is run.

Image: johhn lewis st pancras store front

Ethical Score: 4.5

John Lewis feature in many of our home and garden product guides: 

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