A desire for sustainable consumption is triggering a rise in forward-thinking tech solutions that help people to shop more ethically.
More than three in five consumers (63%) in the US feel that ethical issues are becoming more important (Mintel, 2015). Brands that allow people to track both the progress of companies and their own sustainable habits are set to succeed. Recent noteworthy initiatives include:
- Considerate Fashion: My EP&L is an app from the Paris-based luxury fashion company Kering and New York-based college Parsons School of Design that helps fashion designers to understand the impact their designs will have on the environment. Launched in October 2016, the app lets users compare multiple options to identify the most sustainable design, sourcing and production methods.
- Ethical Online Shopping: Available since November 2016, US digital-commerce company's DoneGood Chrome extension makes it easier for consumers to buy from companies they feel good about supporting. The extension recommends ethical alternatives while shopping online and provides discounts when purchasing from socially responsible companies.
- Fighting Food Waste: Tan Jun Yuan, a partner at The Happy World Café in Singapore, created the 11th Hour app for last-minute food deals to prevent waste. Released in October 2016, the app provides a win-win situation for both merchants and consumers. Eateries offer meals they otherwise wouldn't sell at a 30% discount and waste-conscious customers have access to affordable local food.
For more on how brands are helping consumers to cultivate ethical shopping habits, see Sustainable Futures 2017/18 and Retail: The Eco-Ethical Upsell.