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This app can help youknow where your fashion comes from


You may be eating a farm-to-table, organic brunch every weekend, but do you know if your sandals were ethically sourced? A new Australian app can help with that.

Launching free on Android and iOS, Good On You helps shoppers find out more about the environmental, labour and animal protection standards of many major fashion brands, and helps them make better informed purchases.

Awareness regarding the fashion industry’s problematic business practices has grown in recent years, particularly after incidents such as the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh in 2013 that left more than 1,100 people dead.

So many of the items we consume everyday are problematic, however, so why the focus on clothes? “Fashion is an industry that has a big impact on the environment, labor rights and animals, and is said to be the second most polluting industry in the world,” Gordon Renouf, CEO and founder of the company, told Mashable Australia.

The Good On You team have looked at more than 3,000 clothing, footwear and accessories brands found at Australia’s top 100 shopping centres, Renouf said, and have provided ratings for 30% of those brands so far, with plans to rapidly expand that number.

Search for a brand in the app, and Good On You will show you a rating according to five possible assessments, which include “great,” “good,” “it’s a start,” “not good enough” and “we avoid.” The app also lets you know where the closest store is for those brands, and will let users personalise their ethical preferences so it can recommend brands that best suit their interests.


Good On You

For launch, the company chose some of Australia’s most popular brands to assess, including Witchery, Country Road, Zara and Sportsgirl. On Good On You, H&M, for example, is rated “it’s a start” based on its “slow action” on labor protection, and for using leather without disclosing its source. Australian swimwear brand Jets is rated “good” because it’s certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and doesn’t use animal products.

The app also rates sportswear brands such as Nike as “it’s a start,” while Dunlop and Lonsdale are labelled “not good enough.” Renouf said Russell Athletic is “a little better than the others,” with a rating of “good.”

“We’ve got more and more ethical brands that you can only buy online,” Renouf added.

To make its ratings, Good On You relies on publicly available information. The company starts with any accreditations or certifications a brand has received from third parties, such as Fairtrade certification or the Global Organic Textile Standard. It also takes into account whether brands have signed up to self-enforced agreements on trade and environmental issues, such as the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

In the future, it may also consider whether brands are having a positive social impact, such as “one for one” brands that make donations based on sales like shoe brand Toms or eyewear company Warby Parker, as well as corporate transparency.

“Our trick is to save you the time … by putting it all together in one place,” Renouf said. “Our aim is to be useful to the vast majority of shoppers.”

The app is free, so Good On You is looking for funding to help grow its reach. It will also allow certain retailers to pay to promote brands on the platform, but only if they are rated “good” or “great.”

Ranking fashion brands is only the start, however. Good On You will be ready to look at cosmetics and personal care products in the new year, Renouf said, and then homewares and electronics. Many fashion brands have a global presence, so he believes it won’t be too much of a leap for Good On You to become an international resource.

Now you can be ethical top to toe, as well as inside and out.

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