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With all of the frightening information about the fashion industry these days, many shoppers are looking for alternatives to fast fashion. We know that fast fashion is harmful to our planet as well as the people who make our clothing, but we don’t always know where to look for better options. Rampant greenwashing and clouded supply chains make it difficult for consumers to know whether they are spending their money in the right place or not.
Since we have written about a number of stellar brands who produce their wares with people and planet in mind, we know that doing all of the research required to uncover the truth can take a lot of time and effort. So in the interest of making conscious shopping a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite apps and online tools that do the research and filtering for you. With these tools at your fingertips, conscious shopping will become a breeze!
1. Project Just (Website) – www.projectjust.com
Update March 2018: This organisation is no longer operating.
Launched earlier this year, Project Just is a groundbreaking website where shoppers can find information about almost any brand – fast fashion or otherwise. Head over to their website, type in the name of the brand that you are interested in, and access the wealth of information that Project Just has diligently researched for you. Consumers who are particularly interested in human rights can head straight to “Labor Conditions,” while those looking for a general overview can simply read a digestible “Summary,” which provides pros and cons for each brand.
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Project Just is still very new, so many brands have not yet been fully researched and added to the website. Their team is continuously searching for more information and aims to become the Wikipedia for fashion. Users are encouraged to contribute relevant information to their research and soon, Project Just will be launching a new section of their website titled #JustApproved, where shoppers can simply find a database of all of the conscious brands that have already been vetted and given the stamp of approval. Could conscious shopping get easier than that?
2. Good On You App – www.goodonyou.org.au
If you live in Australia, United States and Canada and have a smart phone, you can now take your values with you wherever you go out shopping. Thanks to Good On You, shoppers can easily discover how a fashion brand ranks on a simple scale of 5 different ratings. A rating of “Great” gives shoppers the go-ahead to purchase their wares in good conscience, while a rating of “We Avoid” tells them that this item is probably more harmful than helpful.
The Good On You app breaks down its rating system by evaluating each brand’s impact in terms of people, animals, and planet. By looking at information presented by brands themselves, in combination with third party labels and certifications (think Fair Trade, PETA and GOTS), Good On You creates a detailed rating. The best thing? Users can decide which issues (like animals, human rights, or pollution) matter most to them and Good On You will suggest brands based on those values.
3. Avoid (Web-Plugin) – www.avoidplugin.com
With one ingenious tool, online shoppers can easily avoid products that are suspected to be made with child-labor. Simply install this plugin in either Safari or Google Chrome and watch products disappear while shopping online. Avoid researches brands and specific products that have a high probability of being made in factories where child-labor has been discovered. If you are shopping on Macy’s, Yoox, Target, Amazon or Asos, Avoid will hide all suspected products from your view.
4. GoodGuide (App) – www.goodguide.com
Founded in 2007 and amassing reviews on over 200,000 products, GoodGuide is the most comprehensive, authoritative website for information about the health, environmental and social impact of consumer products and companies.
The GoodGuide team consists of scientists and technology experts ensuring that the rating system is the most sophisticated of its kind.
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And while you can use the GoodGuide’s website to search for specific products and brands to find their overall scores, the GoodGuide app (which is available on Android and iOS) contains a barcode-scanning feature that you can use while shopping, which enables you to instantly find out how environmentally and socially responsible a product is.
5. Dollar Speak (App) – www.dollarspeak.com
Though not focused on fashion products, Dollar Speak is an exciting app that tells shoppers exactly what kind of political donations are coming from what companies. Users can search specific brands and products, including clothing, beauty and home, and choose which ones to buy based on their political preferences. Dollar Speak presents users with information on what group a brand has donated to, who from the brand made that donation, and which political affiliations those donations went to. Many shoppers would be shocked to learn that Richard Hayne, the CEO of Urban Outfitters (as well as Anthropologie and Free People), has donated over $14,000 to homophobic candidates and campaigns. Shoppers can easily avoid contributing to undesirable politics such as these by downloading Dollar Speak and seeing where the money is really going.
So what apps and online tools do you use to make ethical shopping easier? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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