The apps that make it easy to shop ethically
I don’t know about you, but wherever there’s an app to simplify a task in my life, I download it. Venmo has got me covered when splitting a pizza with friends. The Skimm, The New York Times and The Guardian buzz me my news feed. Lyft drives me home after too many glasses of wine and I even have Wunderlist to share the grocery list with my husband. Sure there are lots of great websites to guide you through the Narnia like, hidden world of ethical shopping, but until recently I couldn’t find an app that makes mindful shopping choices really accessible. In the last year or so, however, the ethical world is catching up in the tech game with a really exciting offering of services you can access on the go. Here’s our roundup of some of our favourites.
Good On You is all about brand transparency, making it easier for the consumer to make responsible choices when shopping for anything from jewelry to bags to kids wear. They rate each brand for ‘labor’, ‘environment’ and ‘animal’ which sits alongside a2 re detailed description of their processes. Designed for both those in the know and those who are just getting to grips with responsible fashion, you can search by category to find someone new, or check up on your favourite labels by searching them directly.
It’s as easy as scanning your favourite beauty products. Think Dirty gives you a breakdown of the product ingredients, and rates its overall toxicity with their 10 point rating system, as well as breaking down the rating into ‘carcinogenicity’, ‘developmental and reproductive toxicity’ and ‘allergies and immunotoxicity’. It will even point you to healthier alternatives, should you find a nasty surprise.
One of the most wasteful stages of the manufacturing process is in the cutting room, with 15% of the total fabric for a garment ending up in the landfill. Squirrelz has found an ingenious solution, connecting designers to brands. Brands like A Bernadette, who uses donated fabric from Kenneth Cole, and Study 34, who uses remnant yarns, are already using this system but have both cited making that connection as a real challenge.
Selling clothes online is no revelation. But the social media inspired layout and function of Poshmark makes the process much easier and a lot of fun. Users are invited to follow wardrobes and connect with each other as well as shopping or swapping clothes.
Not My Style connects your clothes with the people who made them in a bid to make the manufacturing process more transparent. By simply searching your favourite brand, or letting the app find stores near you, you can read up on exactly how their supply chain works, or if the brand refuses to disclose that information.
If like millions of girls in the 90s who lusted after Claire Horowitz’s wardrobe organiser in Clueless, you will be excited to hear that new service Finery has made your dreams come true. Scanning your email receipts to populate your wardrobe (or you can upload manually) makes finding that forgotten sweater at the back of your wardrobe a rarer occurrence. Whilst not technically designed for ethical purposes, the problem of repeat buying styles because you’ve forgotten it in the sea of new purchases could be resolved. Looking at what you already own, may make you hesitate from buying something new.
Not apps but worth a note!
Project Just is a search engine that gives you the rundown on how big brands operate, laying out their labour conditions, environmental impact, intention, community, innovation and more. Exposing large, high street brands connects the consumer with the information they need to make an informed choice when shopping, without bias.
I imagine single socks and holey pants are one of the most discarded textiles, which exactly why the founders of Nice Laundry imagined a service where you can easily send your unwanted undies and then refill your drawer, slowly, with their subscription service. By teaming up with 2ReWear Inc and including a recycling label with every shipment, means there is no excuse for your socks or underwear to end up in the bin.