This month our Business Editor, Pam Bryan, spoke with Sandra Capponi, Co-Founder of Good On You, an Australia-based company on a mission to transform the way we shop by giving us tools to enable buying decisions aligned with our values. They have started out in the fashion world, with plans to expand across a full range of consumer products worldwide.
Parvati Magazine: The modern shopper has a dilemma. We know our choices have a huge impact on the planet, for better or for worse. And yet we have limited information to help us choose brands aligned with our values. How is Good On You changing this situation?
Sandra Capponi: That’s exactly right. Most people want to make better choices when they shop but don’t know where to start. Good On You solves this problem for shoppers. We provide ethical ratings for thousands of fashion brands based on how they treat people, the planet and animals.
With the Good On You app, shoppers are empowered to find out how their favorite brand rates, and discover new brands that do better on the issues people care about.
There are now over 55,000 people using Good On You to make a difference when they shop.
PMAG: How did Good On You come to be?
SC: In 2013 we formed Ethical Consumers Australia with the goal of making it easier for people to make consumer choices that match their values. People wanted to shop more ethically but found it too hard to know how a brand performed on important issues. So we began building easy-to-use tools to bring this information together in one place.
First we created a way to rate brands based on publicly available data including independent certifications and rankings, and credible information published by brands, the media and NGOs.
Next we learnt that shoppers needed more than just a list of which brands are more or less ethical. People need practical options when they shop – brands that match their preferences for style and price as well as their values.
In 2015 we launched the Good On You app in Australia. Within eight days over 10,000 people had downloaded the app, and we knew we had created something that would help people act on their desire to make a difference in their everyday lives.
PMAG: I was intrigued to learn about the Good On You community where your users give feedback to brands and volunteer to research. Can you tell us more about this?
SC: Our big vision is for a world where consumers’ choices drive businesses to be more sustainable and fair. So the Good On You community is at the very centre of our dream for a better future.
Our users have a direct impact every time they buy from a better rated brand. They can also take action by using the Good On You app to send a message directly to brands to urge them to do better or ask questions about their ethical performance.
When millions of people use Good On You to demand more of brands and make better decisions when they shop, together we can create real change.
PMAG: Why have you recently launched Good On You in North America?
SC: Now, more than ever, people around the world want to know what’s going on behind the scenes of big business – including the fast fashion industry. And North Americans are at the forefront of this shift in consumer sentiment. Research tells us that the majority of Americans say they stop buying from brands they believe to be unethical.
At Good On You, we’ve had great success in Australia and New Zealand over the past 18 months. But to have greater impact, we need to scale and build on our community of conscious consumers around the world.
That’s why we’re really excited about launching Good On You in North America as the next important step to achieving our goals – it’s free for download now on iOS and Android!
PMAG: What’s next?
SC: More brands, more users, more positive change!
First up, we’re focused on rating many more brands so that Good On You users can access ethical ratings on any retailer and discover new, better alternatives.
Then our plan is to keep spreading Good On You around the world so we continue to grow our community and truly shift the face of the global fashion industry to do good, not cause harm, for people and the planet. Long term plans include expanding to other consumer product categories, starting with cosmetics and personal care products where we know our users are keen to find out the impacts.
Sandra Capponi is the co-founder and Head of Business Development at Good On You. Previously Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at a major bank, Sandra has long been concerned with sustainability and supply chain issues in big business. Despite the challenges, she remains optimistic that business can be a powerful catalyst for positive social and environmental change. Sandra founded Good On You as she sees huge potential in driving businesses to be more responsible through the everyday purchasing decisions we all make. Download the free Good On You app here.