SEATTLE, Washington — Most people just go to the store and buy clothes without thinking about where they come from. Often consumers remain unknowing of the human and animal rights abuses that went into the clothes purchased. The ability to end these abuses starts with an informed individual. The app, Good On You, can teach consumers how to shop ethically and responsibly.
Good On You is an organization that seeks to help consumers shop more ethically by educating the public about companies’ ethics. They primarily educate the public through rating brands based on how ethical they are. Additionally, the organization has a website as well as a stellar app. This organization works to support many of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals including one fighting for gender equality, endorsed by Emma Watson.
How it Works
Good On You has rated 2,593 brands ranging from Forever 21 to Chanel. They analyze brands thoroughly about how they treat their workers, animals and the planet. The organization then compiles the findings into one rating. The ratings of this company range from one to five smiley faces. One being brands to avoid and five being brands that are great.
The analysis of brands consists of using the information from the brand’s reported data. It uses “certification schemes, such as Fair Trade and Global Organic Textile Standard, and investigations from NGOs such as Greenpeace.” If these data points do not cover the specified issues, then Good On You considers the brand’s public statements and whether they live up to their claims. For example, H&M, a popular brand, received a three out of five in every rating category.
The Issues Addressed
Some of the ethical injustices addressed by Good On You include 50 percent of workers in the fashion industry not being paid minimum wage in countries like India and the Philippines. Further, Good on You also addresses the 168 million children trapped in child labor in 2015.
One person cannot wave a magic wand and rid the fashion industry of all it’s issues overnight; however, one person has the power to make conscious choices that can make a genuine impact. Like Emma Watson, a Good On You ambassador states, “we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”
Statistics show that sustainable shopping is growing. In addition, more and more people are joining the ethical shopping movement. This movement has proven to be successful. Now 56 percent of Americans have stopped buying from brands they perceive to be unethical. Child labor dropped by one-third between 2000 and 2012. Finally, 24 percent more fashion companies have committed to paying their workers a living wage.
Americans spent $130 trillion on purchasing items; there is major potential if the $130 trillion were spent on making ethical purchases. Just imagine the potential progress of ending fashion injustices if everyone came together to spend money on more ethical clothing. Educated shoppers mean real social change in consumerism and the fashion industry.