Christchurch entrepreneur Carl Selby launches ethical marketplace Dirty Hippies
A CHRISTCHURCH tech entrepreneur has launched an ethical online marketplace where only sellers who meet strict criteria can list their products.
The guilt-free shopping site Dirty Hippies was built by Carl Selby who hopes to create an online community in which traders with a similar outlook can congregate and sell their products – and attract like-minded shoppers.
Each selling partner must meet a number of standards, including correct treatment of employees and having an ethical supply chain.
And each product must meet at least one ethical goal, such as being carbon neutral, educational or being recycled or upcycled.
Products so far on the site include clothing, bags, embroidery, food and drink, skincare products and homeware.
Carl said people were becoming increasingly concerned about from where their purchases were coming.
“They want to know that they are ethically sourced, environmentally friendly and created by workers treated fairly and paid well,” he said.
“I decided to build an online marketplace and app where shoppers can go and be confident that everything they browse has been checked against a list of values.”
Dirty Hippies uses partner self-certification and spot-checks to assess whether companies meet its standards, but is also developing an independent supply-chain audit system.
“This will add to the reassurance we offer buyers that everything listed on Dirty Hippies is ethical,” Carl added.
“And it will also reassure our partners that their products are listed alongside those of other sellers with similar outlooks. As far as I know we will be the only marketplace to offer such an assurance.”
Carl said Dirty Hippies provided a shop window for many people who had launched businesses during lockdown.
“This year, for the first time, global online sales are set to make up more than 50% of all online spending – and it’s a trend that will continue,” he said.
“While most sales are channelled through the online giants, there is definitely a place for a purely ethical marketplace.
“We want to establish Dirty Hippies as the go-to online marketplace for all sustainable products – and when people start Christmas shopping we want them to search for us.”