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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Whittard of Chelsea

How ethical and sustainable is Whittard of Chelsea?

The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Tea Ratings Table includes the tea brand, Whittard of Chelsea. Whittard of Chelsea does not now fulfil our ethical standard, but we expect to see the company make decisions in the future that will allow for more ethical practices and policies to be implemented within its operations. By applying for Ethical Accreditation, Whittard of Chelsea could boost both consumer and investor confidence in the brand. The Good Shopping Guide would then conduct a more thorough analysis of the company and make specific suggestions for ethical development that Whittard of Chelsea could put into practice. For more information on the significance of organic tea, visit The Good Shopping Guide to Ethical Tea. You can also compare Whittard of Chelsea to other brands in our Ethical Tea Rating Table.

What does Whittard of Chelsea do?

Whittard of Chelsea was founded in 1886 by Walter Whittard at the age of 25 initially producing tea, coffee and hot chocolate in his first store on Fleet Street. After the war, the main warehouses were destroyed resulting in the brand’s relocation to Chelsea in 1941. The brand opened its flagship store in Covent Garden in 1999 producing loose-leaf tea, aromatic coffee
and creative hot chocolate. Read more about Whittard of Chelsea’s history here. Whittard of Chelsea was bought by Epic Private Equity LLP in 2008. The brand now sells a large range of organic tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

For which criteria does Whittard of Chelsea perform poorly? 

Despite the progress that Whittard of Chelsea has made, there are still areas where the brand could operate more ethically. Whittard of Chelsea has a sustainability page that mentions recyclable packaging but does not lay out any specific targets or comments on any other environmental issues that the brand could tackle. As Whittard of Chelsea is a larger brand more information and targets would be expected, hence the bottom rating received. The brand also does not offer Fairtrade products. Whilst Whittard of Chelsea has received no criticisms for GMO-usage in its products there is also no statement against this causing the brand to receive a middle rating.

In which areas does Whittard of Chelsea score well for its ethics?

Whittard of Chelsea performs well in many categories, it has no Public Record Criticisms for Armaments or links to Political Donations. The brand also scores well for its inclusion of organic products, some of Whittard of Chelsea’s loose-leaf teas are certified by the Soil Association. With no links to any Animal Welfare issues this brand also scores highly in this category.

How can Whitard of Chelsea improve its ethical rating?

Whittard of Chelsea could raise its score and meet our basic ethical standard by updating its sustainability page to include goals to aim toward and add additional information on challenges the sector faces and what the company can do to address them.

Whittard of Chelsea should submit an application for Ethical Accreditation to receive more specific suggestions on how to improve.

If you work for or with a tea company that prioritises ethics highly, why not look into The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation? Tea manufacturers, such as Wunder Workshop, have benefited from this accreditation of sustainability and ethics. To learn more about this prestigious sustainability certification, get in touch with us, or fill out our quick form to get started.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating