Review: Two apps to help you shop more ethically

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Image is a mobile phone with the opening page of the Good on You app
I’ve been trialling two apps that are both designed to help you figure out if the item you want to buy is ethical or not. The first is the Shop Ethical! app for Australia and
New Zealand available for free download for IOS and Android.

It’s updated every 3 months or so and includes a rating system for:

  • Appliances
  • Baby items
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Food and Drink
  • Household
  • Office Supplies
  • Personal Care
  • Pet
  • Retail
  • Toys

The latest update also has a barcode scanner which is a fast and brilliant way to check a product when you are at the point of purchase. This app has an A-F rating system that rates a range of impacts including environmental, social, animal and business ethics. The website states that ‘Company ratings are based on information gathered from over 150 sources including the work of organisations such as Greenpeace, Choose Cruelty Free, WWF, Free2Work and Friends of the Earth’. For each product you search, it outlines praise, criticism, boycott calls and any other pertinent information.

It’s also got a ‘Get informed’ tab and a ‘Take action’ tab that allow you to go a step further in your journey to shopping ethically. I really like this app as it lists over 5000 products as well as information about companies.

The second app is the Good on You app, again available for IOS or Android and free. It allows you to search for a brand, a store or a category of item and provides you with a rating system. Launched in 2014 by Ethical Consumers Australia it currently has ratings for over 1000 fashion and accessory brands.

The rating system lists:

 

  • Great
  • Good
  • It’s a Start
  • Not Good Enough
  • We Avoid

Personally, I’d suggest avoiding anything below the ‘It’s a Start’ rating because if it’s ‘Not Good Enough’, then why buy it? When rating a product or brand, this app looks at the treatment of people, the environment and animals. The website states that when considering a rating, ‘the most reliable information about how a brand performs on an issue comes from certification schemes like Fair Trade, Ethical Clothing Australia and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)…we also take into account information from a large number of certifications on specific issues, NGO rating projects, multi-stakeholder agreements and industry initiatives’.

This app is definitely more of a fashion app and while it looks beautiful and is really intuitive to use, it’s not yet as comprehensive as the Shop Ethical! app.

It’s never been easier to check on a product or brand now that you can have all the info right there in your phone!

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