Changing the world, one choice at a time – with the Good On You App

For quite some time Keiralee has asked herself “how can I change the world?”, which isn’t easy to answer when you’re fired up with inspiration but feeling ill-equipped. She realised how her personal buying choices impact our wider community, then made the decision to buy ethically. This is when she signed up to be an Ethical Detective for Good On You – who encourages businesses to be conscious, sustainable and fair by focusing on their stakeholder engagement. Below, you’ll find her thoughts on how to put your passion into action and find the means to contribute towards a global movement.

We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
– Howard Zinn

My own free will is a tool that I already have to make a change, and everyone else has it too. So I wanted to do more than just buy ethically myself… I wanted to help others do the same. This is when I signed up to be an Ethical Detective for Good On You, a leading advocate for ‘fashion without harm’.

Currently seeking to become a B Corporation, this ethical advocate encourages businesses to be conscious, sustainable and fair by focusing on their stakeholder engagement. My job as an Ethical Detective is to research the lengths that brands and businesses go to in fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. Currently focusing on fashion, footwear and accessories, Good On You rates each brand covering fair labour, environmental impact and the treatment of animals so that everyday people can be empowered to shop their values.

GOY campaign picture

Founder, Gordon Renouf said himself that “It’s too hard to find the information we need to make a better choice in the moment we most need it”, so Good On You decided to make ethical shopping mainstream by developing a platform for consumers like us to shop ethically, easily. Beginning as an online directory Good On You launched an app within Australia in 2015. They then expanded to New Zealand, and most recently the United States and Canada, so that they, along with shoppers using the app, really can transform the world through the ‘small act’ of making thoughtful consumer choices.

After the infamous Nike sweatshop scandal during the 90s, conscious consumerism became an important value to our community, however, it wasn’t until the Bangladesh Factory Collapse in 2013 (where over 1100 people died as a result of poor working conditions) that more consumers became interested in keeping their favourite brands accountable and the Ethical Consumer Movement, as it is today, began to flourish.

Without questioning a business’ impact on the things that matter, businesses don’t see that it’s a factor in our decision-making, and processes carry on was they were, unethical practices and all. Baptist World Aid’s 2016 Ethical Fashion Guide is solid proof that conscious shopping really does make a difference.

According to this guide 30% more companies are working to trace where their fabrics are coming from, 20% are tracing where raw materials come from, and the number of companies investing in paying fairer wages to workers has almost tripled since 2013.

So all in all, our personal choices really do matter.

However, it’s not all on us, it’s on business too. While our buying choices can influence business, businesses can also use their platform to inspire and encourage consumers. If a business can motivate our buying decisions through a million-dollar campaign for a pair of jeans, why not change the world at the same time?

Good On You hasn’t just given me the resources to buy ethically; it showed me that my passion and choices could bring hope, and that all along I held the power to inspire positive change. Organisations like Good On You enable our community, like they have enabled me, to use what we have and realise that it’s us that holds the hope for a better future in our hands. We can show businesses that we care about more than day-to-day income and profit, and without compromising ethics, they too can drive a world-changing movement.

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