EBay launches 'green' online marketplace

"World of Good" offers products made from recycled or natural materials.

EBay this week rolled out WorldofGood.com, a new online Green marketplace offering products that are made from recycled or natural materials.

The site also allows shoppers to buy products built in developing nations. Thus, eBay said, the site has "a positive impact on people and the planet."

Products and sellers are checked by third-parties, such as trust providers Co-op America and Aid to Artisans, to make sure that they meet a core set of ethical and environmental standards, eBay said.

The site has a labeling system for each product -- which are all sold for fixed prices -- that will show shoppers the impact of their purchase on economic empowerment, energy conservation, animal species preservation. The label also shows if an item is made of recycled, organic or sustainable materials.

"We created the WorldofGood.com marketplace to enable shoppers to purchase socially responsible products with confidence," said Robert Chatwani, general manager of WorldofGood.com, in a statement. "Regardless of the social causes most important to consumers, they can easily shop for items according to a variety of different attributes, allowing them to customize their shopping impact."

The site offers products in 15 categories, including home and garden, art, jewelry, clothing and food items. Shoppers can buy accessories and home decor items made from recycled materials, organic clothing and animal-friendly beauty items on the site, eBay said.

All of the WorldofGood items are also available on the eBay e-commerce site.

The new site also includes an online community with blog posts, articles and Q&A forums focused on a variety of ethical shopping topics.

Sarah Perez, a blogger at Read Write Web noted that the site has the potential to " make some serious money " for eBay.

"The selling of fair-trade/green products is a US$206 billion business here in the US," she noted. "Shopping at WorldofGood may not be as worthy a cause as just giving money directly to a charitable organization, but it certainly will make you feel better about your online shopping sprees. It also appeals to the socially conscious shopper who doesn't want to support the potentially unsavory practices of today's large, international corporations."

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