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Shaping Tomorrow: Ethikis Ad Civis, A Consumer-First Approach


EIT Community witnessed an exhilarating surge of innovation as the EIT Circular Economy Prize call drew a massive 125 applications from dynamic SMEs and start-ups spanning 23 countries. 

Ethikis clinched the prize in the Circular Economy Assessment Methodologies category with their product LONGTIME, a revolutionary methodology designed to champion product longevity and embolden consumers in their purchasing decisions. 

Exhilarating Surge of Innovation

What do we mean when we talk about innovation? This is a question Elsa Lomont thinks about often. In the realm of sustainability, where green claims sometimes seem to multiply like rabbits, one trailblasing social enterprise has emerged with a pragmatic approach to consumer empowerment for a greener future.

Ethikis Ad Civis, co-founded by Elsa and Florent Preguesuelo back in 2018, is on a mission to reshape the way we interact with companies, aiming to shift the narrative around consumer products from disposability to durability.

Delving into the vision, approach, and future ambitions of Ethikis, Elsa talks passionately and with great insight about their collaboration with the EIT Community on Circular Economy, and her consumer-first vision of Europe.

Discussing Ethikis’ aspirations for Europe-wide expansion, Elsa beams with enthusiasm. 'Very soon, we want to have consultants or employees in each part of the continent making an impact for consumers across all Europe,' she says.

This ambitious vision is at the heart of Ethikis, where their goal is to make a tangible impact on Europe’s maturing sustainability landscape. As well as deploying experts across the continent, the organisation is fostering connections with businesses and collaborating with similarly-minded organisations to finetune their methodology.

While the organisation tends to work B2B, giving them direct access to the needs of SMEs and businesses, Elsa is acutely aware of the importance of navigating the political landscape - and there’s that word innovation again. 

The solutions are not always about revolutionising the field. It can also be about working closely alongside businesses and regulators, on the political side of things.

 Elsa Lomont, co-founder of Ethikis Ad Civis

With the idea of a ‘right to repair’ gaining political traction within the EU, Elsa explains, 'it's essential that political decisions have representation from all of society and producers; not just the big companies, but also the SMEs that are very ambitious, and have the agility to transform and innovate at the scale needed.'


Ethikis’ founding traces back to a long-standing and fundamental problem: the lack of information available to consumers when choosing products. Elsa elaborates, 'As consumers, we often lack vital information. For example, when buying a coffee machine, we typically base our decisions on brand reputation, marketing claims, and price. But we don't know if the machine will be reliable or repairable.'

This information gap inevitably leads to premature waste, with countless products being discarded when they could be repaired or otherwise kept in use. Moreover, the production of these goods consumes substantial resources, compounding their environmental impact.

In response to this challenge, Elsa and Florent decided to create a certification for products designed to last. Their vision was to empower consumers with information that extends beyond brand marketing and price tags. The pair set out on a mission to ensure that product longevity becomes a guiding principle for manufacturers.

In a consumer landscape inundated with sustainability certifications, Ethikis stands out through its no-frills approach. 

While there are many sustainability certifications, our approach is pragmatic. We've developed a comprehensive set of criteria that cover product design, repairability, after-sales services, and the label's mechanisms.


And by choosing a B2B approach from the outset, partnering directly with manufacturers looking to enhance their product practices, the organisation is able to embed sustainable principles into the heart of the production process, making a tangible impact on product durability.

Now you might wonder, what truly sets Ethikis apart in the consumer-focused sustainability field? Elsa's response centres on their methodology and approach. 'We combine scientific and pragmatic approaches, focusing on the consumer's perspective to address product longevity across various categories. It's a social innovation that aims to empower citizens to make sustainable choices.'

This emphasis on the consumer's perspective is a key differentiator. While many sustainability initiatives focus on industry practices, Ethikis keeps the end-user, the citizen-consumer, at the forefront of their efforts. Their goal is to facilitate informed choices that resonate with people's desires for durable, reliable, and sustainable products.

I really believe connection with the EIT Community improved our way of working. Our research collaboration on how we can connect with the community to improve our impact, has been vital to us. 


The partnership with EIT Community offers Ethikis a valuable opportunity to leverage resources and expertise, which is critical for their European expansion plan.

Elsa's eyes sparkle with enthusiasm when discussing the future of this collaboration. 'In the next few years, we aim to expand our presence across Europe,' she reveals. 'We want to deepen our collaboration with the EIT Community to conduct research and accelerate our impact. We also hope to engage more with regulators to influence policies favouring durability and sustainability.'

Consumer Empowerment through Innovation

The true measure of any initiative lies in its impact. Elsa explains that they are currently conducting an impact study on the manufacturer's side. 'For example,' she begins, 'in France, extending the lifespan of televisions by one year can have substantial environmental and economic benefits.' While exact statistics are pending, the early signs look to be promising.

Elsa and Florent have come a long way from their initial idea. 'We coined 'Ethikis Ad Civis' by merging Latin and Greek words, essentially meaning ethics for citizens,' Elsa recounts. 'It reflects our mission to create practical tools by citizens for citizens, promoting ecological and social transition.'

Before founding Ethikis Ad Civis, Elsa and Florent had diverse backgrounds. Florent worked as a nurse, while Elsa was closing her previous company. However, their shared vision of sustainability and durable products brought them together in 2017 to embark on this transformative journey.

While university partnerships haven't been a primary focus, Elsa notes their collaboration with design and engineering schools in France. They are also exploring potential collaborations with research institutions like the Fraunhofer Institute, recognising that university partnerships could be invaluable for their future growth.

In the world of sustainability, where lofty ideals often meet complex realities, Ethikis Ad Civis shines as a beacon of practicality and consumer empowerment. Elsa, Florent, and their team are on a mission to transform the way consumers engage with products and manufacturers embrace sustainability.

Their European expansion, in collaboration with the EIT Community, holds the promise of making a significant impact on product longevity and, consequently, the environment. With a methodology grounded in pragmatism and a vision rooted in citizen-empowerment, Ethikis Ad Civis is poised to lead us toward a more sustainable and durable future.