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woman christmas shopping online with her cat
Credit: Sally Anscombe / Getty

I have a confession to make, one that's particularly embarrassing during the holidays when sales are the talk of the town. I hate online shopping. It doesn't matter if it's a fantastic deal or will arrive in two days, nearly everything about it makes me squirm.

Not only do I love being able to touch and feel things before I buy (it's a heck of a lot easier to find the right sweater size for my dog when I can hold it in my hands, and give it a little tug to see if it'll stretch and stand up to those romps in the backyard). In addition to the tactical part of buying in-person, ethical questions about workers' rights, where things are made, and the environmental impact of all those delivery trucks make it tough for me to justify clicking "add to cart" unless it's a real necessity.

It makes me feel like Scrooge himself this time of year while everyone else is ordering adorable Christmas collars for their cat and unboxing Advent calendars filled with treats for their dog. So when I heard about a new online retailer that lets folks shop for products that are selected based on their alignment to certain values, I was intrigued. 

The Verticale offers an online shopping option that only features items that align with a set of core values, including sustainability, ethics, equality, and health. (All of the above, please!) The shop was founded in 2020 by Jaclyn Grauman and Michelle Silverstein who developed an evaluation program for everything they sell. It's called the ″Vetted by The Verticale″ stamp of approval and works like a certification that requires any product featured by the brand meet at least one of those aforementioned values. 

All this vetting and selective selling means shoppers at The Verticale's online store aren't likely to find discount prices on the site. The extra dollars shoppers pay for these items go toward retailers who prioritize issues like worker health and safety, limited environmental impact, and women-owned businesses. If it sounds expensive, you're not totally wrong: This dog leash by Wild One sold in The Verticale shop will set you back $58, a notable difference compared to similar products sold at big box store prices.

But if Wild One and The Verticale's commitment to ethical production standards aligns with your personal values and you have the financial means to support them, The Verticale just might be your new favorite place to shop. (We know this isn't a fit for every pet parent—we recognize the great privilege it requires to be a values-based shopper in today's world.)

In addition to Wild One, other brands in The Verticale's pet product lineup include Rowan pet shampoos (women-owned and clean ingredients), Pawzzle pet toys (reducing waste), Reggie pet wellness (ethical production), and Finn pet supplements (clean ingredients).

Our 3 Favorite Pet Products From The Verticale

rowan dog dry shampoo
Credit: Courtesy of The Verticale

The Dry Shampoo by Rowan

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Designed for the dog who hates baths, this dry shampoo for dogs is specially formulated to get the stink out without all the drama of getting wet. Meets the Vetted by The Verticale standards for clean ingredients and is a women-owned business.

 Shop Now: The Dry Shampoo by Rowan, $25;

finn calming aid

Finn Calming Aid

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This blend of herbal supplements is meant to help nervous dogs or pups who need a little help chilling out. Ingredients in the bacon-flavored chew include passion flower, tryptophan, and chamomile, which may help calm dogs who deal with issues like separation anxiety. All of Finn's supplements meet the Vetted by The Verticale standard for clean ingredients.

Shop now: Finn Calming Aid, $28;

pawwzzles pawzzle
Credit: Courtesy of The Verticale

Pawzzles Interactive Cat Puzzle Toy

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This interactive cat puzzle is made from repurposed wood cuts and is designed to keep your kitty's instincts engaged while they bat for toys and treats. S/O to the gorgeous modern minimalistic design—this would fit right in with any neutral home decor.

Shop now: Pawzzles Interactive Cat Puzzle Toy, $66;

The company hopes their efforts to create a more conscious version of consumerism will reach shoppers who prefer to spend their money on brands who are working to make a positive impact on their community and the world. Even though I still prefer to handle my purchases the old fashioned way at the store, The Verticale definitely makes my list of online retailers that are worth browsing this holiday season.