While glass is great because it is recyclable, as are metals, it can be less economic and cost more to transport because of the weight. Plastics are light and cost effective to transport yet can be hazardous to manufacture and also contain BPA that can leach into products. Aluminium packing is often lined with plastic and contains BPA and how this affects recycling is anyone's guess.
Going into a shop and bringing your own packaging is ideal though not always possible, yet, when possible supplying your own packaging is a very economical ways to shop.
Natural fibers are better in that they allow skin to breathe and are often more fire retardant than man made material. Certain fibers are better than others though, for example cotton takes a greater amount of water to produce than does bamboo.
Buying second hand is a good thing to do for a number of reasons. Firstly and primarily it STOPS us using up the earths resources and polluting it further - they way we do when we purchase something brand new. Also we get to support the charities that sell second hand items and most of these charities support people with limited financial means. Reusing also stops a large number of items going in to landfill (rubbish dumps produce a huge amount of methane as they decompose and methane is the number one cause of global warming).
Locally / Hand Made
Supporting local / hand made businesses is good for our economy. It keeps our money in our country and we can put that money back in to infrastructure and more locally produced items and resources. Plus it produces jobs. More than that, though, it is good to know where your product came from and be able to ask the manufacturer directly about the ethics behind the items they produce.
This relates to things such as how much water it takes to produce a product, how big or small is the carbon foot print, were toxic dyes and other substances used to product the item? Choosing organic and natural where possible is a great start to being environmentally friendly.
What ethics are you looking for in a product? Does the company you're purchasing from have the same ethics as you? For example are you all about Animal Friendly and does the company you're purchasing from support this value?
Research Research Research
What ideas do you have about shopping ethically?