As the fashion industry grows, sustainability decreases and unethical practices skyrocket. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, but it can be difficult to target brands directly. However, reaching consumers is possible and can increase the popularity of ethical shopping.
Consumers have the choice to stop buying from companies that abuse the environment, animals, and workers. They also have the choice to support companies that implement fair and safe practices.
Good On You is an app that rates the sustainability of over 3,000 brands in hopes to give power to consumers and make these choices easier.
The global fashion industry currently faces problems such as child labor, environmental degradation, and animal cruelty.
To increase income, some clothing companies employ workers in developing countries and don’t pay them enough to meet their basic needs. Others implement child labor — sometimes in unsanitary conditions.
Environmental degradation can also occur due to the mass production of clothes and unmonitored waste.
Another large issue with the production of clothes is animal cruelty; many companies use animal fur or skin to make certain products.
These are only a few issues within the fashion industry and this business model is broadly known as fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to outline a business model that focuses on profit and mass production, which is what usually results in the problems listed above.
The negative effects that fast fashion causes are some of the issues that Good On You focuses on in order to rate clothing brands.
Good On You Ratings
People, the planet, and animals are the three main issues Good On You considers when looking into brands.
First, Good On You looks at how the company impacts workers across the supply chain. This includes “policies and practices on child labor, forced labor, worker safety, freedom of association (the right to join a union), gender equality and payment of a living wage” and how well policies and regulations are implemented.
When looking at the environment, Good On You considers brands’ “resource use and waste management, and their policies to address energy use and carbon emissions, impacts on water, microfibre pollution and chemical use and disposal.”
Lastly, this app traces how animal products are used within a company and how animal welfare policies are implemented. They identify “the use of fur, angora, down feather, shearling, karakul and exotic animal skin and hair.”
After looking at these issues, Good On You rates clothing brands on a scale of 1(avoid) to 5 (great).
- Great: The brand “demonstrates leadership” in all three categories and is transparent about its supply chain and policies.
- Good: Demonstrates leadership in at least one area and adopts “policies and practices” to address supply chain issues.
- It’s a Start: Is making adequate progress in one or more area, and is transparent about practices used to manage issues
- Not Good Enough: Discloses some information in at least one area, but is not actively managing supply chain issues.
- We Avoid: Discloses no information about sustainability practices.
Once downloading the app, most users discover that brands they know and love are not as ethical as they thought.
For example, popular shops in the Raleigh area such as American Eagle, Hollister, and PacSun are all rated “Not Good Enough” by Good On You.
Expecting these discoveries, Good On You allows users to discover sustainable and ethical fashion brands. The app allows you to discover sustainable clothing based on price, location, style, and more.
Good On You also offers deals and exclusive offers from high-rated sustainable fashion.
A Brighter Future
By rating fashion brands and giving users sustainable fashion options for ethical shopping, consumers are given the power to choose ethical brands to purchase from. This presents a brighter future for the fashion industry — rewarding sustainable clothing brands can drive the industry towards more ethical and sustainable practices.
Good On You also allows its users to send feedback to clothing brands. This feedback could pressure companies to move towards more ethical business models sooner rather than later.
The effort presented by Good On You to create a more sustainable future for the fashion industry does not go unnoticed.
This app has a 4.3-star rating on the app store and is supported by public figures such as Emma Watson. The Guardian and The New York Times also support Good On You.
Good On You is free to download and promotes ethical shopping. If you want to change the way you buy clothes, this is a great place to start.