Sustainable Marketing Agency & Design Studio

In today’s world, sustainability and ethical practices are becoming increasingly important in the creative and marketing industries. As consumers become more conscious of their choices’ environmental and social impacts, businesses are pressured to adapt to these changing attitudes. In addition, we owe it to you, and the future of children and the planet to do the right thing and make ethical business choices. For us, as a Sustainable Marketing Agency & Design Studio, this means not only creating beautiful and effective work but also doing so in a way that is sustainable and ethical.

sustainable and ethical design agency

What does it mean to be a Sustainable Marketing Agency & Design Studio?

It starts with a commitment to minimising the environmental impact of our work. This can include using recycled or sustainably-sourced materials, reducing paper usage and waste, and using energy-efficient practices. It also means considering the social impact of your work, including fair labour practices and supporting local communities.

As a creative agency, we are committed to sustainability and ethics and focus on working with clients primarily in the impact-driven and sustainability space by creating positive social change through our work. We work with clients who are committed to sustainability and ethics, and we use our creative talents to help achieve their goals and objectives.

Being a sustainable and ethical creative agency is good not only for the planet and the people but also for business. By focusing on sustainability and ethics, we attract clients who are also committed to these values, which leads to more meaningful and fulfilling work all around. Additionally, being sustainable and ethical can help reduce costs and increase efficiency, as companies that prioritise sustainability often find ways to use resources more efficiently and waste less.

Overall, being a sustainable and ethical creative agency is a win-win: it’s good for the environment, good for the people, and good for business. By committing to sustainability and ethics, creative agencies can create work that is not only beautiful and effective but also has a positive impact on the world.


Our commitment as a sustainable and ethical creative agency

  1. We are founding signatories of Clean Creatives (South Africa), whereby we decline to work with companies in the fossil fuel industry
  2. We choose our clients carefully and will not work for companies or organisations whose actions harm the planet or people
  3. We offset our carbon emissions each year and, in addition, plant 50 trees per year.
  4. We purchase renewable energy to offset the entire business’s energy usage each year
  5. We encourage our clients to print their marketing assets using recycled or FSC-approved papers and non-toxic vegetable inks.
  6. The Ethical Agency is proud to be South Africa and Africa’s first and only organisation recognised by The Green Web Foundation as providing green (renewable energy powered) website hosting to its clients
  7. We run a paperless office
  8. We respect fair pay and diversity and have implemented appropriate policies within our organisation

Contact us now for a free consultation

Sustainable marketing

What is sustainable marketing (also known as eco marketing)? Sustainable marketing is the hiring of a sustainable marketing agency for the marketing of environmentally and socially responsible goods, services, or practices and information – but its more than that – it’s the amplification (marketing) and movement of organisations towards a sustainable future, through the genuine adoption of sustainable business actions woven into the DNA of an organisation to operate as a sustainable business with a lighter footprint on the planet.

Sustainable marketing/eco marketing amplifies ethical practice and environmental responsibility in modern business. Embracing sustainable marketing fosters a positive brand image and cultivates long-term customer trust and loyalty. By strategically implementing sustainable practices, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, minimize energy and waste, and actively uplift their communities, thus doing the right thing and resonating with conscientious consumers. Sustainable marketing prioritises the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit—ensuring harmony between business objectives and global well-being. By integrating sustainability into marketing strategies, companies enhance online visibility and contribute to a greener, more equitable future for future generations.

The Ethical Agency is a sustainable marketing agency that helps clients communicate their brand stories aligned to their sustainable objectives, actions, and services. Our copywriters are carbon literacy trained on how to best write about sustainability, climate change, environmentalism, and circular economies.

Sustainable digital marketing

What is sustainable digital marketing? Sustainable digital marketing is the application of sustainable marketing through digital channels. It is the formulation of a digital marketing strategy and implementation thereof that will communicate your sustainable objectives and services through digital marketing channels – social media, paid media, video, influencer marketing, email marketing, website optimization and SEO.

The Ethical Agency are expert digital marketers and can tailor a bespoke service offering designed especially for your organisation.

Sustainable design studio

The Ethical Agency is a sustainable design studio. Our design studio has operated since 2017, designing world-class work primarily in the sustainability sector. No other agency works for as many clients in the sustainability, climate change, environmentalism, and circular economy sectors in South Africa and internationally, and as a result, we understand how to communicate effectively through design in these sectors; we align with our client’s values and theirs with ours. As a sustainable design studio, we understand the nuanced requirements of our clients and can deliver high-quality yet unique visual communication that cuts through the digital clutter and effectively communicates our client’s stories and objectives.

Contact us now for a free consultation

Ethical agency

What makes The Ethical Agency an ethical agency? We choose our clients carefully and work with organisations whose actions positively impact people and the planet. Quite simply, we undertake business with the lightest possible footprint and try to do the right thing in every situation.

We work with ethical clients (if you are peddling tobacco, pornography, arms, gambling, fossil fuels etc., then you are not for us. If you care about people and the planet, then do get in touch 😉

We prioritise the environment in our business decisions. We encourage clients to consider sustainability throughout the marketing process, and we practice what we preach by reducing our carbon footprint in every way we can.

If working with an ethical agency resonates with your own business objectives, then let’s chat…

Socially responsible marketing

What is socially responsible marketing? Socially responsible marketing is where companies and organisations engage in social responsibility practices and marketing to communicate their positive social and environmental behaviours to their audiences. What started as a need for some companies to spin positive reputational content has slowly become essential to most large organisations in first-world countries. It is not enough to have a sustainability department; sustainability must be at the core of your organisation’s DNA for good business practices and intentions to take hold and resonate through an organisation. Sustainability must be part of your WHY and be a feature of your values, mission, and purpose. People can see through bullshit, and authenticity is the holy grail of Socially responsible marketing – let’s do good for people and the planet, and our authentic actions will shine through effortlessly.

The opposite practice of socially responsible marketing is greenwashing, which companies commonly use to take credit for environmental commitments and behaviours that aren’t necessarily true. Big companies have been caught stretching the truth about their sustainability, environmental credentials, and actions, leading to negative online criticism. Ensure you communicate the facts within your socially responsible marketing and do things for the right reasons; the rest will take care of itself.

Socially responsible marketing is also known as environmentally friendly marketing.

Sustainable advertising

What is sustainable advertising?

Sustainability advertising is communications (and advertising) designed to promote the social, economic, and environmental benefits (sustainability) of services or products through paid media (advertising) to encourage responsible consumer behaviour – contributing to all three pillars of the triple bottom line: people, plate and profit.

At the end of the day, marketing and advertising, sustainable or not, rely on finding common ground and resonance with human beings – at The Ethical Agency, we take a human-centric approach to all advertising and marketing efforts, from graphic design to copywriting and content generation.

Human-centric marketing and advertising put human needs at the centre of communication – what solution are we solving for our clients and customers?

Instead of leading with “my product is awesome because…”, human-centric marketing and advertising leads with empathy, demonstrating that we understand your customer’s challenges and that our solution can help solve their issue.

This is where storytelling comes into play—rather than offering your clients/customers something to buy; we offer them something to buy into—think Apple, think Nike. We are advertising an experience, not a product.

sustainable advertising human centric design

adjective eth·i·cal \ ˈe-thi-kəl \
1. Pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality;
2. Conforming to accepted standards of conduct ethical behavior;

Unashamedly Ethical
At The Ethical Agency and website design, we further commit to uphold the principles set out by the Unashamedly Ethical organisation and campaign. View our certificate of commitment (right).

Our sustainable design practices


We let people know that there is a sustainable solution to most of their business practices. For example, most people are unaware that you can host your website on renewable energy website servers or that printing on recycled paper using vegetable inks can be cheaper than conventional printing.

We practice what we preach

We live and work by our ideals.

Paperless office

We only print when absolutely necessary. We only purchase recycled paper and print using environmentally friendly practices.

Paper free campaigns

We encourage our clients to choose digital campaigns over print campaigns.

Net positive

We are a carbon neutral company, offsetting the company’s electricity usage with renewable energy credits and plant trees each month to give back to the planet.

Renewable energy website servers

We host our websites and client websites on web servers powered by renewable energy. If we host your email then this means it will be powered by renewable energy too!

Ethical suppliers

We use ethical suppliers where possible and encourage everyone else to use them as well through our list of ethical suppliers.

We buy local

Buying local means you are helping someone in your community survive whilst also reducing the carbon footprint of the products you purchase.

Sustainable alternatives to plastic

We encourage our clients to seek sustainable alternatives to plastic.

Working for good

We actively seek to work for clients who are making a positive impact to our society.

Environmental policy

Our environmental policy sets out our existing efforts at environmentally-conscious practices.

  • We use ethical suppliers where possible and avoid companies with poor environmental records. We encourage people to use ethical suppliers as listed on our ethical suppliers page. Should you know of such suppliers, please feel free to suggest them for this list.
  • We host our websites powered by renewable energy, a service we provide to all our clients.
  • In addition our websites are routed through CloudFlare which is a carbon neutral organisation.
  • We use the Google eco-system in the running of our company which has been carbon neutral since 2007.
  • We offset the company’s carbon and purchase renewable energy from Darling Wind Farm to offset the company’s electricity usage.
  • Where possible we maintain a responsible waste office environment through recycling, composting and the production of eco-bricks. We consciously purchase products with none or the least amount of packaging.
  • We keep our water usage to a minimum and recycle as much water as is possible through a greywater system.
  • We have reduced our paper usage and only print when absolutely necessary.
  • Through remote working practices, we have reduced the use of transport for business.
  • 50% of the company eats a plant-based diet.
  • We use natural and environmentally friendly cleaning and office products.

Ethical policy

Our ethical policy sets out our existing efforts at ethical practices.


  • Kindness. Be nice.
  • Integrity. Be honest and ethical in our conduct.
  • Proactively promote ethical behaviour through all business dealings.
  • Work in a responsible way that is not harmful to people, animals, and the planet.
  • Promote animal welfare and prevent cruelty to animals.
  • Use methods of working which are beneficial to the environment.
  • Rally against discrimination. 
  • Transforamative hiring policy
  • Support equal pay for women.
  • Support local trade.
  • Deal fairly and honestly with customers, suppliers, competitors and employees.
  • Provide accurate information.
  • Comply with applicable government laws, rules and regulations.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of information entrusted to us.
  • Accept responsibility for preventing, detecting, and reporting all manner of fraud.

                            Our digital marketing services

                            Digital marketing services

                            Digital marketing services – digital marketing strategies & campaigns: social media, SEO, Google Ads, PPC/Paid media, content creation, influencer marketing, video marketing.

                            Branding and graphic design

                            World-class branding and graphic design services for both digital and print. Specialising in brand development, stationery, publication design, social media, digital and website design.

                            Website development

                            Experienced WordPress website design and development, website maintenance and renewable energy powered hosting. Ensuring security and stability of your robust website at all times.