Fashion Without Harm: The Good on You Shopping App
When we made the decision to transition to more thoughtful, and ethical purchases as a family, the biggest challenge was knowing what brands to trust and which ones we needed to move away from in the future. Our process always started with identifying a need, then doing a great deal of online research to try and find a company that offered both a quality product and a transparent business model.
Though the time spent researching a product has always been worth it in the end, it can feel daunting and confusing to know what factors to consider when making a purchase. Some of the questions I kept asking myself were:
What type of information should a business be disclosing to their consumers?
What materials should companies be avoiding?
What certifications do I need to look for within an organization to feel more comfortable with my purchase?
Previously, I would have looked in multiple places to find this kind of information, but now there is a free app that streamlined the process and has already done the research for consumers. The Good On You app is a resource that takes the guesswork out of shopping, by providing a simple, data-backed ethical rating system for more than 1,200 small and large brands.
The Good On You app launched globally in March of 2017 by CEO Gordon Renouf and fellow Co-Founders Sandra Capponi and Fayçal Fassi-Fihri. The tool looks at three key issues when rating brands from an ethical standpoint. These areas include: People, Planet, and Animals. With these three categories as the foundation, the team at Good On You created a rating system based on extensive research on a brand’s certifications, standards, public statements, independent ratings and third party reviews that relate to these issues. Everything from materials, energy use, emissions, and supply chain practices are taken into consideration when evaluating a business.
What this means for us as consumers it that with a simple word search, users instantly see a 1 to 5 rating on a brand ranging from “We Avoid” to “Great,” along with a detailed description on the company and how the rating was determined. In the past, I’ve made notes on brands I wanted to look into further, and now through the app I can easily and quickly get a factually based look at a business without a big time commitment. If I like what I see, I can “favorite” brands that I discover in the app, easily building a go-to list for the future.
"In the past, I’ve made notes on brands I wanted to look into further, and now through the app I can easily and quickly get a factually based look at a business without a big time commitment."
There is more to the app than just brand searches, though. In fact, my favorite feature is the way Good On You has created an open line of communication by allowing consumers to send questions and feedback directly to a brand. There are several brands I know that are doing great things, but their website information doesn’t necessarily let consumers in on their process. This communication feature is a great way for me send a note encouraging them on the areas they are making strides in, yet challenge them in other aspects where I think they can improve. This is the type of collaborative relationship that helps push us toward a world where transparency isn’t a unique trait in businesses, but a foundational element for all their work.
"This is the type of collaborative relationship that helps push us toward a world where transparency isn’t a unique trait in businesses, but a foundational element for all their work."
If searching by brand seems overwhelming, Good On You also allows users to search by category as a way to discover new businesses. I was also able to update my profile to reflect my current style choices as well as rate my ethical preferences on the issues that most interest me. Each of these selections helps the app to better tailor the information and businesses it selects in word searches.
As I’m learning more about the issues that are negatively related to the fashion industry, such as human and sex trafficking, resources like this help me to feel empowered in my purchases and decision making.
Though the team at Good On You has done a lot of the research for us already, I would still encourage others to use this tool as a starting place for learning about brands. From there, don’t be afraid to look closer at a company’s website and consider asking the tough questions through the app if you’re not comfortable with the information you are finding online. Together, our questions and research are pushing companies in a direction that places the emphasis on human life rather than just profit.
If this app has peaked your curiosity, you can read more about Good On You’s rating system and methods through The Good On You Ethical Brand Rating System by following the link below.
About the Author
Michaela Judge is a military veteran and Southern transplant. As a Public Relations specialist by day, she is overjoyed to use her love of writing to help fight for freedom and justice through Dressember! Her favorite moments are spent with her husband, Phil, and daughter, Ellie, adventuring in Charleston, South Carolina, and spreading hospitality