In the 90s, autocorrect was our solution to please nitpicky editors and strict professors. Then came the next wave of tech, apps like Grammarly that kept our emails, texts, and rapid-fire communications in check.
As our writing has hastened, the technology that makes it easier for us to play by the rules has kept up. I can’t say the same for shopping, especially ethical shopping. And now that we’ve climbed out of the recession, we need something to keep us in check and prevent us from falling back into patterns of thoughtless consumption.
DoneGood is a company with a solution. It’s a Chrome browser extension, in the same vein as Grammarly, that suggests ethical alternatives when you shop on Google, Amazon or a prominent brand’s site.
Is Zara.com your go to for an edgy look? DoneGood suggests Modavanti. Prefer Madewell for New Englander vibes? DoneGood introduces you to Raven+Lily. Take your Shavasana in Lulu? DoneGood thinks YogaDemocracy would add some color to your asanas. I could go on…but I’ll let you try it yourself.
The beauty of DoneGood is that you download it once and it works in the background forever.
A realistic approach to ethical
The more I study ethical shopping and consumer habits, the more my views evolve. If you’ve been around The Peahen for a while, you know I used to push the idea of ‘slowing down’ and ‘buying less’ a whole lot. You probably thought, “What, is this girl preparing to decamp from society and into the cloisters?” Nope, but the austerity did eventually drive me mad. If I burnt out, how can I expect that approach to work for you?
The problem with reverting backward and “slowing down,” in some cases, is that it’s hard to reconcile with modern living. Choosing brands that respect slow processes is one thing, but striving for complete life transformations like going zero waste or converting your entire closet to ethically-made clothes may set you up for failure.
Furthermore, these drastic changes can actually deepen the troubling divide that’s growing between “ethical” and “conventional” consumer societies. And more division is the last thing we need right now.
The truth is, we’ve become accustomed to the ease and convenience of fast fashion and online shopping. But, concurrently, we’ve also gotten savvier about asking the right questions of retailers. Is this zero waste? Is it made from reused or dead stock material? Can you trace your supply chain?
Good ‘ole accountability is coming back! Promising. But with it comes a fun new issue. How the heck do you marry these two demands – our insatiable need for convenience with our ethical questions – when they seem, well, diametrically opposed?
There is a middle-ground and great brands do exist that are transforming the lives of makers and solving complex environmental issues. The challenge is, they’re hard to find because they’re still in the minority. Even the most devoted ethical shoppers give up when their search seems endless for a brand that fits their values.
“This is DoneGood’s sweet-spot – taking the headache out of ethical shopping and making it seem, well, more normal.”
Wondering who’s on the platform?
Mostly, they’re ‘underdog’ companies. DoneGood brands are the ones who are staying nimble and refusing to rely on offshoring or shady practices to deliver cheap products. They go beyond bottom line.
The range is also noteworthy. There are now hundreds of brands on the platform. For lifestyle, you’ll find bigger box retailers you may have forgotten about, like Method, to smaller indie brands like Under the Canopy. Same goes for fashion. You may recognize trendy LA-brand Reformation, but be less familiar with denim newcomer, DSTLD.
The caliber of brands also proves DoneGood has a grasp on this niche space. You’ll see overlap with my shopping page.
If you’re looking for a particular brand or want to shop by ethic, you can do that too. Just enter the product you’re hunting for and select values that are important to you like “eco-friendly”, “empowers workers”, “woman-owned”, and more. Plus, you can use the app or browser extension to get exclusive deals, like $20 buck off certain sites! See it in action.
More to hurrah about
Austin brands on the platform! I’m so proud to see the fashion community blossoming here and getting recognition on a mainstream app. Search for these homegrown ATX brands: Purse & Clutch, Fortress of Inca and Slumlove.
Going Beyond Slacktivism and #NotMyPresident by using DoneGood to make sure your money isn’t supporting Donald Trump. The extension automatically lets you know when a company sells Trump products or otherwise supports Trump. Call it Shoptivism – if you will.
Images: DoneGood, Unsplash