A Sydney startup has created an app to make ethical buying much simpler for everyday consumers.
After spending a large part of his life raising awareness of and promoting ethical shopping choices, Good On You co-founder and CEO Gordon Renouf discovered a major roadblock that was stopping people from making ethical choices in their day-to-day shopping.
“I could see how consumers were not being well served [by brands] about the information they were getting on ethical standards,” Renouf tells StartupSmart.
Though most people don’t want purchases of things like clothing and electronics to come at a cost to other people or the environment, Renouf says until Good On You, the ability to find the right data in context has been difficult.
Good On You has more than 32,000 brands on its app and 1000 of these have an ethical rating, built on data from a range of sources including World Vision, Fair Trade and Behind the Barcode.
“We put that ethical information in context of other information you need,” he says.
Once users search for their favourite brands and see their rating, they are shown alternative brands that perform well in a similar style and price category.
Users can also message poorly performing brands directly to tell them they won’t be shopping there anymore due to these standards.
Since launching in November last year, Good On You has attracted more than 20,000 registered users from across the country.
Renouf says he was hoping for only half this number after a whole year.
“We had them in eight days,” he says.
A big part of this early success stems from the thorough research that Renouf and his team completed early on.
“When we first got going we had a few different ideas and we tested them with potential users,” he says.
After really listening to his potential users, Renouf says he realised that an app would the best solution.
“I don’t have a tech background [but] we’ve been really pleased that a couple of tech guys have come on board,” he says.
“They’re taking way less than their worth to do this because of their commitment to the social cause.”
Good On You team will soon be expanding into New Zealand with the help of a second successful crowdfunding campaign on Pledge Me where they raised more than $10,000, with a launch into North America also in the works.
“We have some partners there who are very interested in working with us who have expertise on the subject matter and in digital marketing,” Renouf says.
Heading the development of his first app and startup has been scary but Renouf says he is excited by the future.
“The big vision is that millions are using Good on You to shop not just in clothing but other categories like cosmetics and electronics,” he says
“I think that people are more and more aware of the impacts of what they buy.
“They want to make choices [and] feel good that they’re not causing harm.”