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By Lauren Harrigan
September 19, 2016
By Lauren Harrigan
September 19, 2016

Ethical and sustainable practices are, thank goodness, finally becoming a focus for the fashion industry. We live in a society where fashion is worth three trillion dollars, accounting for 2% of the world's gross GDP. However, it is still the second most environmentally damaging industry behind oil. Most importantly, fashion lacks a set of comprehensive ethical regulations to maintain consistency across the manufacture and environmental impact of garments.

A range of fashion start-ups are doing more than making this debate "trendy".  They're also making ethically-produced clothing accessible, and rounding up the information to let their users distinguish between ethical and fast fashion. Well Made Clothes, an internet marketplace uses principles of locality, fair trade, and sustainability to market garments in a mindful way; immediately accessible, merchandised beautifully and complemented by effortlessly cool editorial to raise awareness of how important ethical practices are.

Now, Good on You is available: an app that provides shoppers with the information to make informed decisions around how they consume. It's a powerful concept, and an important part of keeping companies accountable for maintaining an ethical outlook and high standards of conduct in manufacturing and representing their brand. After a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, lead catalyst of the project Bec McMaster twisted CEO Gordon Renouf's arm to to bring the app to New Zealand. The app launched during NZ Fashion Week and is already engaging successfully with consumers.

Good on You works within a ratings system focused on three main issues: people, particularly wages, forced labour, child labour and the right to association; the environment, looking at direct and indirect impacts considering wider implications on climate change, materials, packaging, waste and water use; and animals - including the use of fur, angora and leather.

GOY works within existing certification schemes and independent rating projects such as Fair Trade, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and NGO rating projects and industry initiatives; among them Baptist World Aid- Beyond the Barcode, Free to Work, Greenpeace Detox and the Ethical Consumer Group. If a specific brand is not able to be found through these channels, a weighted consideration is made from the company's statements.

If a brand receives the classification "we avoid", the brand's retailers are not displayed on the app. This aids users in avoiding brands with poor practice who don't consider the impacts of their supply chain and its effects. Users can also set their preferences to see only brands that align with their values, and question brands directly through the app. It's a check on the fashion industry that speaks to the strong belief in ethical fashion Good On You tries to encourage from their users. The sense of collaboration and collective thought adds to the importance; a platform which puts the power to decide back into the hands of shoppers.

Bec reckons that, "Every time we buy, we vote for the kind of world we want to live in." Minus 'greenwashing' or bias, it's simply a platform that offers its users the choice to shop consciously, in consideration of issues they deserve to be informed about. Pretty powerful stuff.cp-line

Find Good on You on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Published on September 19, 2016 by Lauren Harrigan


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