Fanciful and unrealistic was, in 2008 and until 2012, a brand new incentives programme that rewarded users who wanted to buy a bit greener and more ethical, but who didn’t have a huge amount of time to do fundamental product research, or to check out the retailers’ or the brands’ ethical credentials.  Not only that, actively invited participation by its users, with ratings and such like.

Research just published by the Co-op bank, claimed the overall ethical market in the UK (in 2006) was now worth £32.3 billion a year, up nine per cent in the previous 12 months.  But for most of people ethical spending was still a very part time occupation, with around £600 per household being spent in line with those values.  The average household spend on green energy was a mere £6 a year, far less than it spent on Fair Trade bananas!

Unlike typical niche green service providers at that time, Ecomonkey’s stated aim was to help “mainstream” ethical consumerism using incentives.  

Ecomonkey made available a very wide range of products & lines, from the conventional and not so green, through to the very green, and set the incentives accordingly from familiar and not so familar shopping channels.

Ecomonkey offered a range of rewards in exchange for points accumulated, through shopping initially.

The idea was that users would have a greater choice and could buy from a wide range of lines and retailers, but could also green up their act at a pace which suited their needs and budget.

Ecomonkey’s target audiences were ABs and C1s, literate internet users, motivated not just by the reward programme’s objectives and ethos, and the incentives themselves, but are busy pragmatists who are more likely to change their behaviour if they can buy from familiar mainstream shops & suppliers and don’t have to track down well-hidden niche suppliers (though there was plenty of space for them too and these would get the best incentives).

Ecomonkey ratings were based on assessments and synthesis of information published by independent bodies and organisations who certify products and companies.  Ecomonkey takes on board and accept a wide range of opinions and views, including those of its users, and the retailers and brands themselves and campaigning organisations.