3 Ethical Shopping Apps

Mobile eco shop apps

Although it’s better than it used to be, shopping ethically isn’t always easy. In large part this is because it’s difficult to find the information we want from mainstream brands and retailers. Ethical products aren’t the most readily available on the high street, we might have to go online to buy organic cotton clothing, or sneak down a side street to find a good veggie restaurant. Online makes it easier to find information but still means we have to go searching for it. This is where apps come in. Something quick and easy to access from your smartphone, there is an app for everything! Here are 3 ethical shopping apps you should get now.

  1. Balu

Balu is a recently launched social enterprise and works as your very own ethical shopping assistant. Balu pops up when its users are shopping online and presents ethical alternatives to the products they’re searching for. It's not yet mobile compatible but you can download it for free from Google Chrome and the team are working on versions for Firefox and Safari. If you head to the ASOS dresses page, Balu immediately drops down from the Google toolbar with 21 ethical alternatives from the likes of Braintree Clothing, People Tree and Kuyichi. It’s a nice little reminder of the options available to you and a great way to introduce customers to new brands. They are adding new products every day, so it’s only going to get better and better.

  1. Good Shopping Guide

The Good Shopping Guide have been producing a printed book guide for years; it’s the world’s best selling ethical consumer guide. The app is just as good and only costs a snip of the price of the full book (£3.99). Over 700 famous brands are ranked in 72 product-specific league tables under the 7 main sections of Food and Drink, Health and Beauty, Travel, Energy, Fashion, Home and Office and Money. The Ethical Company Index scores give an overall ‘ethical rating’ to easily identify the best performing brands or companies and set your mind at rest.

  1. Buycott

Many of us choose to boycott a company for a particular reason (animal testing or tax avoidance for example) but complicated webs of ownership make it difficult to trace one brand back to its corporate parent. That’s where Buycott comes in. This nifty app allows you to scan a barcode and find out who owns that brand. Buycott will then trace the product's ownership back to its top parent company and cross-check this company against the campaigns that you've joined before telling you whether it found a conflict. They are also a platform for campaigning, the latest being ‘Demand GMO Labelling’.

Emma Waight