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Eco Marketplace Ethical Community Gets Funding

Social marketplace aims to be the Etsy of eco-friendly and natural products.

Ethical Community, a marketplace for eco-friendly handmade goods, announced it has secured funding of 200,000 GBP from a group of “angel” investors.

The U.K.-based marketplace, which launched in October 2010 and has more than 850 registered sellers, intends to use the funding for technology development and marketing. Its plans include launching an improved version of the platform this spring and expanding to overseas markets, including the U.S., Canada and Australia.

‘Etsy for Eco’

Despite its ambitions for growth, the company hopes to maintain the more personal feel of farmers markets and artisan fairs, calling itself the “Etsy for eco and natural products,” according to a press release. It uses a built-in social network to let buyers and sellers interact on the site, and it offers sellers video and blogging capability.

“As well as promoting great products and fantastic causes, the site also enables shoppers and sellers to connect in a very personal way,” explains co-founder Liam Patterson. “People looking to buy eco-friendly and natural products, unlike those buying handmade products on Etsy, are more interested in the stories behind the products such as who made it, what from, and why? To conscious shoppers this story is more important than the visual appearance of a product.”

Qualified products only

But not just any handmade products qualify to be listed on the site. Products listed on EthicalCommunity.com must either be made from an environmentally-friendly material, such as organic cotton, or made in an ethical way, such as using fair trade labor.

Sellers can create a shop and list products on the site for free. When a product sells, Ethical Community collects a 10-percent sales commission on the total order value, including postage.

Learn more at www.ethicalcommunity.com.

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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