How labelwise are you when you shop? Do you know how the products and services that you are supporting came into being?


Did that toilet roll that you are willfully using originate from the destruction of an ancient indigenous forest?

LABELWISE is a campaign that aims to help South Africans understand what impact the content of their shopping baskets and smart devices can have on saving the planet and empowering local communities.

Concern for social and environmental issues among South African consumers is on the rise, from challenges related to deforestation, climate change, and overfishing to unethical labour practices and sharing of benefits, more people want to be part of the change they’d like to see in the world.

For that purpose, four of the world’s most credible and ubiquitous eco and social labels have joined forces in a unique South African campaign: LABELWISE.


The objective is to help everyday shoppers identify products that are kind to our planet and foster a more ethical society, simply by making them aware of the different sustainability labels that exist.

“Whether you’re looking for anything from paper to loo roll, coffee to wine, seafood to holiday destinations, our ultimate goal is to increase the South African demand for environmentally sustainable and ethical goods and services.” says Leán Terblanche, Executive Director at Fairtrade South Africa, LABELWISE’s leading partner.


Working on the premise that while individually each of the four labels are effective, together they are a force to be reckoned with, the LABELWISE team is excited about the new collaboration.

It is the first time that four eco and social labels – Fairtrade SA, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and Fair Trade Tourism – have joined forces to increase public awareness around sustainable products.


“This partnership is more than just a campaign, it is a strategic alliance fuelled by a need to boost eco and social label awareness in South Africa,” says Terblanche. “An active and engaged consumer is the most powerful ally to a disenfranchised producer. Each partner advocates for the empowerment of beneficiaries in different sectors, but we have one goal in common: we all want to grow the local market for sustainable goods and services through increased consumer consciousness. This campaign pools our voices to create something never seen before in South Africa – a stronger, common message that aims to increase awareness of the need to make better choices.”

Raising the consciousness of society as to how our addiction to consumerism is interconnected with the world around us can only be a positive thing. It’s obviously a long continual process, but good to see that the various local stewardship councils are collaborating to be more effective in their efforts.