Privacy and Cookie Policy


Your personal information is just that – personal, so we always treat it with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, and rest assured, we never pass on, sell or swap your information with any other company for their own marketing purposes.

What information do we hold about you?

When you shop with us, register for an online account, ask us to keep in touch with you using your email address or choose to receive our catalogues, we collect information about you. We also collect information about you when you voluntarily complete Ethel & Em surveys, share your creations with us, provide us with general feedback or participate in any of our prize draws or competitions. If you browse, we may collect information about your website visits using 'cookies' – find out more about our Cookie policy below. 

How do we use your information?

Your information allows us to fulfil any orders you place with us, update you on the progress of your orders and assist with any future customer service queries.

If you have opted in to receive communication from Ethel & Em, we may send you patterns, offers, or communicate with you as you have indicated that you want to be communicated with.

We may use your information, including details of your Ethel & Em purchases, how you choose to interact with us, your recent Ethel & Em website browser history and geographic information, to help us decide what we talk to you about and when. We may also use your information to create profiles of, for example, our most loyal customers, or to identify key interest groups, for example, those of you who appear to love to crochet and those of you who love knitting. Ultimately, we want to make sure that our marketing communications are always relevant and interesting, and this information helps us do that.

Please note that there are some communications that you should expect to receive from us, whatever your marketing preferences – for example, order confirmations  and/or updates by email if you have shopped with us online or requested an email receipt in store.

We employ the services of other companies to support our business for specific functions, for example: despatching orders (using nominated parcel carriers), processing payments (using nominated payment providers). For certain purchases, we may need to verify your identity with a trusted third party for fraud prevention and age verification purposes, in order to protect your interests and fulfil our legal obligations.

To deliver our products and services to you, we may need to transfer your data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), for example if you are requesting delivery overseas or our service provider is based outside the EEA.

All third-party service providers we work with are carefully vetted and highly trusted by us, and your data is treated in accordance with applicable data protection laws. We only provide our service providers with the data that they require in order to perform the services that we have employed them to do – they will never use your data for any other purposes.

Unless otherwise stated, our processing of your personal data, as summarised in this notice, is in pursuit of our legitimate business interests as a trusted retailer, committed to providing you with an excellent shopping experience.

We will not retain your data for longer than necessary for the purposes set out in this notice. Different retention periods apply for different types of data, however the longest we will normally hold your data is 3 years.

Your rights regarding your personal data

If you receive email marketing communications, you can choose to opt out at any time, and without any fuss or delay – simply email us or click on the unsubscribe link that appears in every one of our email newsletters.

Please note that you may continue to receive our communications for a short period after changing your preferences while our systems are fully updated.

You also have the right to:

  • Ask that we correct or update any personal information that is incomplete, inaccurate or out of date.
  • Ask that we erase your personal data from our systems.
  • Ask that we stop processing your data or restrict processing where we haven’t compelling legitimate grounds which override your interests, rights and freedoms.
  • Request access to the personal information we hold about you.
  • Object to us profiling your data, where we haven’t compelling legitimate grounds which override your interests, rights and freedoms.
  • Request that any data provided by you in the context of actively consenting to some form of processing, be returned to you or transferred to another company in electronic form.
  • Lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK – please see below for more information.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us. Please note that we may ask for proof of identity before providing or updating any personal information we hold about you and if we have a legitimate reason as to why we are unable to fulfil any requests, we will always explain the reasons why.

How to contact us

Our Data Protection Officer is always happy to help and answer any questions you have about our Privacy Policy. Simply write to them at Ethel & Em Ltd., 24 New Street, Lancaster, LA1 1EG or alternatively ring on +44 (0)1524 65344 for other ways to get in touch. If you have any reason for concern, please contact us in the first instance and we will do our utmost to resolve the matter to your complete satisfaction. Alternatively, you can report a concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – click here for more details.


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site.

What are cookies and how do they work?

Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to your device’s hard drive to store and sometimes track information about you.  Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can change your browser settings to prevent that. However, you will not be able to take full advantage of our website if you do so.  Our own cookies are specific to the use of our website and do not track your movements around the internet. Some third-party cookies used by our website do track your movements on websites other than ours.  Although they do identify a user's computer, cookies do not personally identify users by name. Password and credit card information is not stored in cookies.

What sort of cookies do we use?

 We use the following types of cookies:

  • Strictly necessary cookies. These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website and under our terms with you. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
  • Analytical/performance cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us for our legitimate purposes to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
  • Functionality cookies. These are used to recognise you when you return to our website. This enables us, subject to your choices and preferences, to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
  • Targeting cookies. These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information, subject to your choices and preferences, to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose. Some of these cookies may track your movements on websites other than ours.
  • Sharing cookies. If you share any of our web pages on social media via the buttons provided on our website, this involves the use of a third-party cookie which collects information about your use of our website and other websites that you may visit, and uses this to target advertising to you based on your interests.

Where can you find more information about the cookies that we use?

More information about the cookies that we use can be found here.

How do you disable cookies?

The effect of disabling cookies depends on which cookies you disable, but in general the website may not operate properly if cookies are switched off.  If you only disable third party cookies, you will not be prevented from making purchases on our sites.  If you disable all cookies, you will be unable to complete a purchase on our sites.  See below for details of how to use common types of browser to disable cookies.

Disabling cookies in Apple Safari

  1. Choose ‘Preferences’ > ‘Privacy’
  2. Click on ‘Remove all Website Data’

Disabling cookies in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Choose the menu ‘Tools’ then ‘Options’
  2. Click on the icon ‘Privacy’
  3. Find the menu ‘Cookie’ and select the relevant options

Disabling cookies in Google Chrome

  1. Choose Settings> Advanced
  2. Under ‘Privacy and Security’, click ‘Content Settings’.
  3. Click ‘Cookies’