Apps To Make Voting with Your Wallet Easier
Being a conscious consumer can be difficult. Companies aren’t always transparent about their products, and doing research into food ingredients or the supply chain of a large corporation can be cumbersome. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to uphold one’s moral values in regard to where your money is spent. Luckily, several apps exist that make it easy to judge whether or not the product you’re buying is ethical. In this article, we’re going to dive into ethical consumerism and apps that help you vote with your wallet.
What Does it Mean to Vote With Your Wallet?
Buying a product from a particular brand or company means that you are investing in their future. You are stating that you agree with the brand’s values and ethical standards. Even if you have reservations about the brand’s social or environmental impact, by continuing to buy their products, you are voting for them to stay in business.
When a company’s poor ethical standards outweigh the value you receive from their products, you stop purchasing their products. You divest from their brand, as you no longer agree with their morals. If companies don’t adapt to the shift in consumer sentiment, they can take heavy losses.
Apps for the Ethical Consumer
Companies are hardly ever transparent about their products, and doing the research can be time-consuming. Trying to find out if the palm oil in your favorite dessert is sustainable (hint: it’s probably not) can be a difficult task.
Thanks to the rise of the ethical consumer, several apps have been developed to shed light on the origins of your favorite products.
The most popular apps are listed below.
Buycott was released in 2013 in response to the ever-growing demand for corporate accountability. The app allows shoppers to make an on-the-spot decision when they’re out shopping. Buycott users can join “campaigns,” which create a profile built on the causes they care about. The user can then scan products while out shopping. The app then shows the brand’s corporate “family tree,” and tells the user whether or not the product conflicts with their values. Boycott is highly rated by its users, with a 4.6 rating on the App Store and a 4.1 rating on Google Play.
Buycott is available on iOS, Android, and Chrome.
Good on You
Good on You is for the ethical fashionista, made to help shoppers find clothing brands that are sustainable and ethically sourced. The app rates brands on environmental impact, animal welfare, and worker’s rights, and gives users the ability to build their preference profile based on what issues they find important, and offers ethical alternatives to popular fast fashion brands. It also features loads of information pertaining to the ecological and ethical concerns behind the manufacture of certain materials. Good on you has a 4.2 rating on the App Store and a 4.0 on Google Play.
Good on You is available on iOS and Android, and also hosts an online brand directory.
EWG’s Healthy Living
EWG is an activist-run research group focused on the health and safety of foods and cosmetics. The organization hosts a massive online database of common products, rating them on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (worst). Their Healthy Living app allows users to scan over 120,000 products while shopping at the grocery store, giving consumers instant access to a load of information, including the possibility of toxic ingredients, harmful manufacturing processes, and various other food safety measures. EWG doesn’t have the best ratings, with a 3.6 on the App Store and a 2.6 on Google Play. It’s still worth a shot given its massive database.
The Healthy Living app is available on iOS and Android, and you can search their database for your favorite products on their site.
The Cares app was developed by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), a partnership between several anti-cruelty organizations to bring transparency to conscious consumers. The organization awards the Leaping Bunny standard to companies that meet their animal welfare criteria. Approved brands sport their iconic rabbit logo. The CCIC released the Cares app to make it easier for consumers to instantly find sustainable products while shopping. The app allows users to scan products to see if they meet the Leaping Bunny standard, and hosts a comprehensive database of companies that are partnered with the CCIC. Cares is highly rated, with a 4.8 on the App Store and a 4.6 on Google Play.
The Cares app is available on iOS and Android. You can also find an extensive list of cruelty-free brands on their site.
Faer helps bring sustainable fashion to consumers using the power of their phones. Users can use the app’s voice function to search for products, or they can upload a photo of a style they like and have the app find something similar. And on the occasion that a user sees an ethical clothing brand they want, they can use their GPS to find a store location that carries their products.
Faer is available for iOS and Android.
Think Dirty was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Lily Tse. Motivated by the high rate of cancer in her family, she set out to create an app that allowed consumers to find the safest beauty products on the market. Users can scan the barcodes on their favorite cosmetics and see if they contain any potentially hazardous ingredients. The app canl also help shoppers find safe alternatives to products that contain harmful chemicals. Think Dirty has a 4.8 rating on the App Store and a 4.4 on Google Play.
Think Dirty is available for iOS and Android.
HowGood connects its users to a database of over 200,000 food products and rates them based on the level of processing, potential for harmful ingredients, environmental impact, agricultural practices, and company conduct. Users can scan their favorite products at the grocery store and access data from NGOs, farmers, scientists, and industry experts. They can then decide if the product meets their standards. Besides hosting an app for ethical consumers, How Good gathers intelligence pertaining to sustainability from around the globe to help build ethical solutions for consumers and businesses. How Good has a 4.3 rating on the App Store.
How Good is available for iOS.
Now that conscious consumerism is making waves, several organizations are creating apps to make finding products from sustainable sources easier. These apps can help you determine if your favorite brand is as eco-friendly as they advertise themselves to be, search for alternatives to unethical products, or learn about the harmful ingredients in your food, all from the palm of your hand.