Our theory is this:
Every morning we decide who makes our clothes.
Every day we choose how our food is farmed.
Every time we spend money, we vote for the type of world we want to live in.
Let’s make our choices count.
What we do
We do a lot of hard work, we just make it look easy. Our job is to seek out the best restaurants, fashion brands, beauty products and more. Fun, right?
But here’s where we get serious. Alongside eating and drinking, our aim is to cut through the crap around sustainability and report on the latest developments with honesty and transparency.
We want to help you recognise when a brand is talking the talk and walking the walk. One that’s good for you, good for people and good for the planet.
Why we exist
We’re here to help you live the good life. Everything you see featured on our pages looks good, tastes good and does good. Got it? Good.
Live Frankly is not an accreditation. We’re a community of like-minded brands curated by cynical journalists. A robust appraisal system underpins all content on our site but we don’t have a rating system. Brands either make the cut or they don’t.
We take the best of certification schemes and add our own layer of requirements (here’s some examples of the forms we’re asking brands to fill in for food, fashion, and beauty), developed with the help of experts in each field. Brands that haven’t been certified can still be included but have to answer the full questionnaire, and we ask them to provide proof in terms of invoices and testimonials from business partners.
We don’t demand perfection (we’re yet to find a brand that’s perfect) but we do demand honesty.
We do a mass refresh annually and updates on an ad hoc basis as new information is disclosed – this may mean brands are added or removed from our site. We also constantly review and refine our appraisal system to ensure it’s as fair and as objective as possible.
How we’re funded
It’s completely free for you to use our site. We also list a lot of brands for free on our site. But, to grow and support pioneering, sustainable brands we need funding.
We have two options:
- Advertising, perhaps from brands who are just OK but have cash to burn
- To partner with the brands we love anyway
We currently choose option two. Does that make us biased? Absolutely not.
We’re already unapologetically biased towards the brands we feature. If we like them enough to put them on our site anyway, it makes sense to support each other. It’s kinda like the circular economy.
Who we are
Lizzie Rivera, Founder
Lizzie is the founder of Live Frankly bringing a decade’s worth of journalism experience with her. Lizzie launched ethical lifestyle website BICBIM five years ago, building up an extensive network and understanding in sustainability, food and fashion. She still regularly writes for the Independent and Evening Standard.
Lizzie is as passionate about equality as she is sustainability and has been mentoring young girls for more than six years.
Lydia Winter, Editorial Director
Lydia is a journalist and editor focusing on lifestyle for the likes of Foodism, Escapism and FT Weekend Magazine. At the age of 11, she tried to join Greenpeace and set up her own sustainability website.
17 years on, she’s swapped WordArt, pink PowerPoint shows and sparkly gel pens for writing about the chefs and producers championing a more sustainable food industry.
Alisha Miranda, Advisor
Alisha Miranda sits on the board. Alisha has focused her career on helping innovative programmes build scale and become sustainable, particularly when they support women and girls.
She is the CEO of I.G. Advisors, a London-based strategy consultancy focused on the social good space.
Alisha is a trustee of B Lab, the hub of the movement to certify and support B Corps in the UK, and Women Win.
1. To create content you can trust
Live Frankly is a trusted brand, created for the consumer. We validate brand claims and fact check in a world of greenwashing and fake news.
We believe our society can benefit from a couple of top-quality central resources (a monopoly isn’t good for anyone, right?), and we aim to be one of them. Basically, if Which? was cool and did lifestyle this is what it would look like. Probably.
2. To lower the tone of sustainability
The sustainability movement has been accused of being an expensive, middle-class ideal – and we can see why. But the fact is, unsustainable products are responsible for the destruction of the rainforest, the devastation of our seas and human poverty.
It’s undeniably a class issue. Did you know 50% of emissions are created by 10% of the population? That’s you. That’s us.
What’s more, people at the top of companies selling fast fashion and rubbish food are getting rich from the exploitation of people and the planet. And we’re all allowing them to do so by blindly buying what they’re selling – be it ideals or products.
Our goal is to get behind the clever marketing and reveal the truth about what we’re all eating and wearing. Our aim is to empower you to make a decision based on genuine facts, not clever marketing – and our hope is that this makes sustainability more accessible and more appealing to everyone.
3. To build a platform for thought leadership
There are many brilliant people who are doing business differently and better, and we’re creating a platform for their many voices to be heard.
These people don’t necessarily get access to mainstream media because they’re not media savvy and they don’t have the contacts or the marketing budgets to pay for the people who are.
For years, we have been growing our networks on the fringes of fashion and beauty, food and farming. It’s a refreshing and optimistic place and we’re excited to bring this thinking more into the mainstream.
4. To inspire environmental action – today
There’s a lot of talk about environmental sustainability, especially carbon goals and plastics, and these are hugely important. Massive. Essential. What frustrates us is that companies are talking the talk, without walking the walk.
What are all these 2030 or 2050 goals? Their actions are devastating animal habitats and communities now, while you’re reading this. Yet there are so many brands that have already achieved these goals and they’re the ones we support.
We’re asking you to put your money where your values are and support them, too. You can still buy that top from Zara – when* it’s achieved its goal of creating 100% of their clothes from sustainable materials in 2025.
5. To inspire human-centered action
Do you know what all the brands talking about their ambitious environmental targets are pretty silent about?
The people in their supply chain.
In fashion, a staggering percentage of the 75 million people (mainly women and children) who make our clothes live in poverty and are victims of abuse. When it comes to food, modern slavery is rife in coffee and cocao production. So much human suffering for chocolate or a cheap top!? It’s crazy!
We think basic human rights should be a primary goal along with sustainable materials and processes. Simply put, don’t exploit people for profits. Don’t pay George Clooney a reported £31 million to be the face of your coffee campaigns when you have child slave-labour in your supply chain.
6. To inspire better animal welfare
Protecting people and the planet is something you really can’t disagree with (if you do, we’d love to hear why at firstname.lastname@example.org).
But meat vs veganism is a highly contentious issue. Our premise is this: we would never pack chickens so tightly in a shed they have more space dead in the oven than they do when they’re alive. So, why are we eating chicken farmed this way?
We’re not a vegan site because we know there are amazing farmers up and down the country who have animal welfare at the heart of their businesses. Have you heard about the vegetarian Black Welsh Lamb farmers, for example?
However, we’re huge advocates for eating less meat and better quality. Especially as there is some evidence that suggests this can be done in a way that benefits the environment.
We’re not convinced all vegan solutions are better for people and the planet. In fact, we think the term is being appropriated by some corporations who are touting their highly-processed products as vegan without much consideration for people or the environment.
But, we’re aligned with the vegan ideals of protecting animals, being healthier and better for the planet. And we will continue to research and discuss, and remain a platform that is open to these debates and presents the best of both.
7. To inspire purchasing behavioural change
Does Live Frankly inspire you to live better? Does it give you hope? Does it make you feel that the choices you make matter? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of those, then we’re doing our job.
8. To speed up industry change
All consumer-facing brands are driven by consumer demand. As soon as we refuse to play by their rules – i.e. feel good about wearing the same outfit twice (well, 30 times, is actually the sustainable aim, but we’ll take baby steps), ask #whomyclothes and where does my food come from? – the quicker they will find the solutions they have apparently been searching so long and hard for.
We know that for change to happen at scale the Nikes, Adidas’, Primarks, H&Ms, Sainsburys, Tescos and M&Ss of this world need to be on board.
We like to think of ourselves as a ‘critical friend’. We appreciate it takes time to change but we’re not going to congratulate token efforts. Simply put: it doesn’t matter if they have an ethical line of products if most of the other things they do are harmful.
The baseline for us is does your company do more harm or good in this world? And how quickly are you actually changing?
9. To speed up legislative change
How many supermarkets changed the rules on plastic bags before the government forced them to? How many no longer provide them at all?
The government needs to enshrine sustainability in law because – shocking though this is – businesses tend do whatever they can get away with to make money.
In 2019 the Parliament’s environmental audit committee published a “Fixing Fashion” report. They recommended a tax of 1p per garment to help curb the throwaway culture and mandatory environmental targets, among other proposals. It was refused.
Do you know how many proposals the government implemented? None. Not one. Zero. This needs to change and fast.
10. To give back
Isn’t everything we’re already doing already enough!? We’re joking, of course.
Our whole reason for being is to make the world a better and kinder place. That starts with people being more informed.
We try to be conscious in everything we do. For example, we don’t hire interns unless we can pay them, so we can create equal opportunity for people from all backgrounds.
In our personal lives, we mentor, work in food banks and give our time and energy to causes we believe in. We do a lot of work for free, promoting the brilliant work and being a critical friend to people like Fairtrade, Fashion Revolution and the Soil Association.
How we create impact:
- Only champion the brands who have sustainability embedded into their business models
- Create honest, engaging content in collaboration with thought leaders
- Give people the tools to ask informed questions
- If we get anything wrong, hold our hands up and correct our mistake as soon as we find out
- Host events, pop-up shops and supper clubs so people can really see, taste and feel the difference
How we measure impact:
- Measure the number of people engaging with our articles, videos and podcasts (coming soon)
- Regularly speak with and survey our readers to make sure we’re providing what they want and need
- Track how many people click from our site to the brands we recommend
- Regularly engage with our brands to see if their market share is growing – and take a small part of the credit if so