5 of the most ethical and sustainable drinks companies you need to know about

Looking for a sustainable tipple? Here’s a selection of eco-conscious libations.
Interested in consuming your favourite food and drink with as much of a clean conscience as possible? You’re not alone.

In fact, the ethical food and drink market saw a growth of nearly 10 per cent in 2016, according to an Ethical Consumer report. “We have noticed an increase in drinks social enterprises, which give their social or environmental values equal importance to tasting great and making money,” says Chris Young, editor of ethical food magazine Jellied Eel.
With that in mind, here are some beverage brands committed to quenching your thirst with only a minimal carbon footprint..

1. Karma Cola, www.karmacola.co.uk

This New Zealand-based brand makes Fairtrade organic cola, lemonade and ginger ale. Three pence from each sale goes back to the cola nut growers in Sierra Leone, who provide the drink’s base ingredient. Since it was founded in 2010, Karma has sold 12,000,000 drinks in 23 countries, and been able to pay for five teachers in Sierra Leone who have educated 265 children per year, as well as providing bursaries for a further 75 girls to go to school.

2. Fourpure Brewing Company, www.fourpure.com

Launched in 2013, this Bermondsey brewery puts environmentalism at the fore. It was the first London brewery to can its entire range, preferring the lighter, more durable and more recyclable material to glass. It has also halved its water usage per unit of beer made, sends its spent grain to an urban farm, all its empty cans are delivered in reusable packaging, and all products and food waste in its tap room are fully recycled. Jethro Holman, sustainability officer at Fourpure, says: “Sustainability was a driving force when we started, and the more we go on, the more integral it’s becoming.”

3. Get Wonky, www.getwonky.com

Get Wonky is a Welsh juice company that makes its drinks from wonky or misshapen fruit. It started when co-founder Maciek Kacprzyk discovered that over 4 million apples are thrown away every day in the UK. With his partner Karina Sudenyte began making making juice, using packaging made from recycled glass. The drinks don’t require refrigeration, and the business model supports growers whose produce can’t reach the exacting aesthetic demands laid out by supermarkets.


4. Ugly Drinks, www.uglydrinks.co.uk

The makers of Ugly saw a gap in the market both in concept and name with completely natural fruit-flavoured sparkling water. It has no sweeteners, sugar, artificial ingredients or calories. It recently broke out of the confines of London with a Tesco launch, which included plastic-free packaging that is completely recyclable. Co-founder and CEO Hugh Thomas, says: “We realised that plastic packaging was not a sustainable route for the business. We see that consumers care about their health and the environment, and we do too. ”

5. One Gin, www.thespiritofone.com

One Gin was launched in 2017 in partnership with the One Foundation, which was founded in 2005 and has raised (through a percentage of its profits) over £16.5 million for clean water projects around the world, with the aim of reaching £20 million by 2020. Sage, whose genus name is derived from the Latin salvare, which means “to save”, is at the heart of its distillation. Ian Spooner, managing director of One Gin, says: “The name One comes from the idea of changing one life, one day at a time, one bottle at a time. When we came up with the idea, there was very little going on in the charity space with premium spirits, so we set about developing the gin.”