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EESI Method Logo, a black cloud like shape on the left with white flowing arrows going through it. With the text EESI Method on the right in black.

ethical, ecological, stylish, inclusive

There are tons of design methods out there, and really no wrong way to practice design. Challenges arise when it comes to knowledge gaps, especially large ones that feel seemingly segregated.

The EESI Method (pronounced eżee) is a tool created in the form of a checklist that can be completed in part or in full, in whatever order works for you. It is intended as a guide, but who doesn't like checking things off right? So, that's why it's in list format... because some of us may be more Type A than we like to admit.

By creating a one-stop-shop of sorts for guidance in the areas of inclusively, environmentally and aesthetically inclined design efforts the EESI Method aims to provide a loosely structured pathway that one can meander. If you are looking to start a business that incorporates all of these elements, we sure hope this is a helpful resource!

The EESI Method was developed by researcher Em Harmsen while creating and  researching for her MA in Cultural Studies at Queen's University.

Image by Ethan Bodnar


How and where are products made? Safe conditions, fair wages?

Image by Mukuko Studio


Trends come and go, style is personal - it maintains. Let's face it, aesthetics matter.

Image by Dim Hou


Greenwashing - get out of here... Environmental responsibility here we come!

Image by Jon Tyson


Size, age, ability, sexuality, race, culture, you name it - the aim is inclusion.

What is EESI?

what is eesi?

EESI • eesi  EESI • eesi • EESI • eesi  EESI

the checklist

Ethics Related Considerations

Intention & Responsibility

What is at the core of your brand ethos?

Are there any aspects of your company that could be deemed or viewed as unethical? In what ways?

How can unethical aspects that may arise be mitigated or avoided altogether?

End Users

Why is it important and appropriate for you to be selling your product/service?

How will your product/service/company affect its end-users?

Business Structure

How is the structure of your business ensuring ethical and equitable practices will be upheld?

Outreach, Research & Advocacy

What are some ways that you can engage with others to help provide continuing ethical and equitable guidance to your business?

What types of research has been done surrounding the ethical landscape of the industry you are in?

Sourcing & Manufacturing

Where are you intending to purchase supplies from and what are the ethics of these suppliers/companies?

Where do you intend to have products made and can you easily visit this location(s)?

Are workers being compensated fairly?

Are working environment conditions safe?

Shipping & Receiving

Are you able to find out the ethics of the shipping provider you want to use?

Are there ways to streamline the shipping processes for workers involved?


Marketing & Branding

Is the way the product/service/brand is being marketing truthful and authentic?

Is the branding mindful of cultural appropriation and representing itself in an ethical way that is not stealing from or misrepresenting other cultures?


EESI Checklist Downloads

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