I don’t know about you, but the idea of having my very own Shopping Assistant really appeals to me! So you can imagine my delight when I was reading a blog by Gordon Renouf from Good On You the other day, and found out that this reality is closer than I thought!
I’m a big fan of their website that rates high street clothing companies on their actions to protect human rights, animal rights and the environment. But now they want to do something even bigger. They want every Australian shopper to have their very own Ethical Shopping Assistant in the palm of their hand. Well, in their phone to be precise.
They are running a crowdfunding campaign for the app at the moment. This app would enable you to search for a product you’re interested in. It lists all the brands near you, shows their ethical rating, and where to buy them. Or you can search for a brand and see how rates and compare with other brands that do better. Once you’ve made a choice, the app helps you find stores near you.
The potential of an app like this is huge. It is incredibly exciting!
The widespread existence off forced and child labour in the cotton growing and harvesting industry has been well documented. And tragedies like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh re-focused attention on the appallingly unsafe working conditions that many garment workers face. Combine that with the fact that the global garment industry is the second most polluting industry after the oil industry, and you can see why it is so critically important that fashion companies clean up their act.
Whilst some of you may already make a habit of choosing ethically sourced products, when it comes to the high street fashion industry, sadly ethically sourced goods scarce. Of course there are the exceptional stand-out clothing companies like Etiko and Jinta Sport that are fully Fairtrade Certified – and I would always advocate these as the first choice for ethical shoppers.
But the majority of the fashion industry are lagging way behind and let’s face it, that’s where the majority of Australians shop.
So giving shoppers a tool that will enable them to understand which companies are helping or hindering social and environmental justice, is a really important step in waking Australians up to the issues and changing the way we shop. For those people who are only beginning to understand the enormity of these issues and the impact that their shopping can have, this app will help them shift their purchases to the better option available on the high street. As they become more confident that shopping ethically is easier than they initially thought, they may start to only seek out the most ethical alternatives.
I hope Australians see the benefit of this important tool and support this campaign – I for one, look forward to the day when I can take my Ethical Shopping Assistant everywhere I go!
You can chip into the campaign to get the Ethical Shopping Assistant up and running – it runs until 3rd July.