Technology has made shopping more personal, connected and accessible. It can also take the effort out of making more sustainable choices.
From finding ethical fashion brands to sourcing local vegan restaurants and plant-based produce direct from suppliers, we’ve rounded up the top five apps to help you buy better.
Good On You
Supported by actress Emma Watson, Good On You helps you choose fashion brands that have a positive impact on people, the planet and animals.
Its aim is to connect customers who want to make better choices when buying clothes – whether it’s to have a
better impact environmentally or to make sure the company they’re buying from is kind to animals – to the companies that are committed to sustainability and ethical practises.
The free app ranks each company’s labour standards and environment and animal conscience, explaining how and why they have graded each company. It also has articles suggesting sustainable trends you might want to invest in, like “Power Dressing: Our favourite Ethical Blazers”.
An online platform rather than an app, Vegan Arborist makes plant-based products – including food, clothing, toiletries and cleaning supplies – available to consumers direct from suppliers. It also supports businesses in the vegan sector to scale up and meet increasing demand by matching them with impact investors.
The business, which launched its platform for consumers in April, aims to be the “Apple Store” for sustainability products. The idea is to create an ‘eco-system’ for growth by taking the industry full circle – providing support to producers, investors and consumers.
CEO John Creaton, a former technology director at Goldman Sachs, told Good With Money: “Small changes made at scale have a large effect. We are focused on making plant-based options available to everyone regardless of whether they are vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians.
“Through our guidance, involvement with producers and our support of the full product development life cycle we believe we can significantly increase awareness, volume and affordability.”
Faer aims to take the effort out of ethical fashion by searching the internet for sustainable clothing brands and looks so you don’t have to. If you know an ethical brand that you like, Faer will search for a business near you that stocks it.
You can even use a screenshot from social media or your own photo and have Faer find you similar looks from ethical and sustainable brands.
Faer, launched in 2017, is based in Berlin, Germany but can match you with ethical fashion brands worldwide.
Farmdrop is an online grocer that delivers fresh produce to your home directly from local farmers, fishermen and other suppliers. The London-based company, launched by an ex-city broker Ben Pugh in 2014, secured investment in 2018 to open a warehouse in Manchester after expanding to Bristol and Bath the previous year.
It uses a fleet of electric vans to deliver directly to homes. Pugh says the company gives its 300-plus producers a bigger share of profits than the supermarkets by keeping costs low and using high-tech apps to make ordering, processing and delivering goods as efficient as possible.
Farmers, most of whom come from within 150 miles of shoppers’ homes, keep 70 per cent of the retail price, compared with just over half at traditional retailers such as big supermarkets. This is partly because many of them only harvest and ship to order, reducing waste.
Pugh says giving them “the lion’s share of the value” enables farmers to look after the environment and their animals more effectively.
Happy Cow finds vegan restaurants, cafes and grocery stores local to you. Active in more than 195 countries, it is a useful hub for the vegan community with reviews and photos that help you select the perfect place for you.
Through its interactive map, the app can even locate bakeries, coffee shops, health food stores, farmers markets, catering and juice bars. With handy filters like ‘vegan’, ‘veggie’, ‘gluten-free’ and ‘cuisine type’, it will cater to your individual taste. It’s also the perfect companion to take travelling, enabling you to search for food in new areas, and you can save places for when you’re abroad and your data’s turned off. Supported by many languages, Happy Cow makes clean, conscious eating stress-free.