Pin It
Good On You ethical fashion app
Plant died bamboo undies by Hara, one of the brands rated ‘good’ by Good On Youcourtesy of @hara_thelabel

This app tells you how ethical fashion brands really are

Good On You is a must-download for anyone trying to buy better

We all know the facts by now. That fashion is the world’s second-largest industrial polluter behind oil. That the majority of low-paid garment workers in developing countries are women. That sweatshops paying £3.50 an hour have been discovered in the UK. Still, when it comes to the fact you need a new pair of jeans like, right now, it’s not exactly easy to know where to look. Which brands are actually doing good, and which are all talk? How do you cut the hot air and get to the cold, hard, ethical facts?!

Enter Good On You. Founded in 2015 in Austalia, the app is on a mission to make shopping more sustainably easier, with an interface that allows users to type in the name of a label and instantly see an out-of-five rating and read a summary of how ethical the company really is, as well as why it has achieved a certain score. Users can search by a brand or particular garment, refining the results based on price and proximity.  

“We realised more and more people want to make more ethical choices when they shop but it’s hard to cut through greenwashing and to know what to look for,” shares Sandra Capponi, who founded the app with Gordon Renouf. “Fashion isn’t like food, where all the ingredients are on the label – it’s a massive, complex industry with opaque supply chains and it’s hard for people to unpick that.”

Good On You does all the work for you, sorting through masses of public data to asses the impact of brands on people, the planet, and animals. “This information includes industry standards, certifications and publicly reported company data,” explains Capponi. “We bring it all together in the one spot for shoppers and provide a simple five-point score. It means people don’t need to sit and work out whether their vegan leather is also sustainable, or whether Fairtrade is better than organic – it’s all been carefully weighted and scored.” 

Really, it all comes back to transparency – something that’s notoriously lacking in fashion, whatever price point you’re shopping at. If there’s more publically available information on a brand, the easier it is to rank them. If the brand releases nothing, it gets a lower score – meaning even if its practices are potentially less harmful than a major fast fashion retailer, a secretive high fashion house might score lowly for its total lack of transparency. “Consumers have the right to know (about product origins), and they want to know,” argues Capponi. “They’re becoming more aware of the fact that luxury is not necessarily synonymous with quality and care.”

“But I like to focus on that word – consciously. We can all just stop and think. Think about what’s really important to you”

The good news is that things are changing. Stella McCartney gets a shout out from Capponi, as Kering (owner of houses including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent), which is starting to take a lead on transparency and sustainability, bringing these ideas into its definition of luxury; “If you produce luxury products you have to take care of the people involved and you have to take care of our planet,” Marie-Claire Daveu, the conglomerate’s chief sustainability officer told us. Still, not everyone can afford to get their basics at Balenciaga – so what can you do to make sure your desperation for a brand new bikini to thot out on IG in this summer doesn’t come at a cost to the planet or the people on it? How can we be more conscious consumers?

“Well, buying less is one obvious, and important thing,” Capponi says. “But I like to focus on that word – consciously. We can all just stop and think. Think about what’s really important to you. Think about whether you’re OK with buying that new pair of jeans without knowing if it caused harm to other people and our planet. And think about the power you have to change that simply by the choices you make.”

So: stop, think, have a look on Good On You, and then work out where you want to spend your money. After all, shopping is like voting with your credit card. Who do you want to vote for?