Apps Pushing Boundaries in Slow Fashion
Despite the online world allowing us to get up-close and personal with our favourite brands, there is something lacking when it comes to transparency of the supply chain. We can see so much, yet many consumers are still at a loss when trying to find legitimate information on where their clothing came from. This is where a select group of Apps are offering to shed some light, guiding consumers through the tricky world of conscious shopping…
TECHNOLOGY & CONSCIOUS SHOPPING
As technology continues to move our industry forward, consumers are presented with new mediums to explore and engage with brands. From food, travel and entertainment through to fashion, you name it and there is an app for it.
When it comes to fashion, technology and online social platforms have certainly done wonders in breaking down barriers and building personal relationships between brand and consumer. However, despite the online world allowing us to get up-close and personal with our favourite brands, there is still something lacking when it comes to transparency of the supply chain. We can see so much, yet still know little to nothing about the ethics & origins of a product, and many consumers are still at a loss when trying to find legitimate information on where their clothing came from.
While the question of sustainability, ethics and traceability in the fashion industry are building momentum, there are still only few channels to find adequate information on a brand’s supply chain. If the brand does not itself offer transparency and product knowledge, it is left up to the consumer to seek it out. This is where a select group of Apps are offering to shed some light, guiding consumers through the tricky world of conscious shopping. We take a look at Good on You and Orange Harp…
GOOD ON YOU
Founded by Gordon Renouf, a conscious consumer advocate, Good On You is a detailed app that currently offers ratings on 872 brands sold in Australia. The app includes hundreds of mainstream fashion brands that consumers would see almost daily, as well as more niche and unique clothing stores with specialty items.
The ratings are broken down by three main categories; Labour, Environment and Animal. Brands each receive an overall grade out of five, and the app offers some information about each category to help you understand why they gave their rating. The research is found from a number of different sources, including Baptist World Aid’s Annual Fashion Report, Ethical Consumer Group and Business Social Compliance Initiative. These organisations make up a large part of the auditing body of the fashion industry.
The app is extremely user friendly - even for the non-tech savvy! As a user, you are able to make your own account and the app will offer suggestions based on your previous searches. Users can also request that the app creators investigate new brands that are yet to be rated. As well as brand searching, the app also focuses on educating the consumer, posting feature articles throughout the day in a ‘newsfeed’ style lay-out that cover a broad range of topics in the slow fashion industry.
As a concept that developed as a Start-up, Good On You has picked up momentum quite quickly and is certainly leading the way in educating consumers on brands, in a user friendly way.
Another leading app with a similar concept is Orange Harp, although instead of focusing on big brands, their point of difference is that they are an online shopping app, selling local and small specialty designs. Orange Harp have a number of small brands who pride themselves on having a sustainable approach to design and production, and who put the environment, and people at the forefront of their business models. The great part of this app is that these items are all available to purchase directly through the app, while offering a solid description of the brand and the product. It is also used as a networking app for like-minded designers who want to collaborate and support each other in industry.
Orange Harp receives their brand transparency research directly from the sources, and they include on their blurbs whether the brand has ethical accreditations or not. The app leaves the rest up to the consumer to find more information, with most of the brands being easily found online.
Orange Harp is user friendly, and laid out like a standard online shopping app. There is a features section, as well as a ‘products and makers’ section offering insights into the brand stories. Gold Harp is certainly gaining attention in the world of sustainable fashion blogs and the curated database is well thought out, though for now, is quite small in comparison to Good On You.
MORE APPS FOLLOWING SUIT
These apps are leading the technological approach to slow fashion and breaking down brand transparency for the consumer, and it is exciting to see more apps like this following suit. Some others that are still in the development phase but are available for download are The Social Impact, Free2Work and Making. They all offer slightly different areas of slow fashion, but remain similarly goal-oriented, that being to help shoppers understand who and what they are buying from. Another bonus is that these apps are all free to download for us consumers!
By Tiarnie Gilbert
My name is Tiarnie Gilbert and I am living in Melbourne, Australia. I am 24 years of age and I relocated to Victoria from Bundaberg around 4 years ago. I have studied Fashion Design and Business at the Melbourne School of Fashion as well as worked in numerous parts of the industry, and I am now moving into Ethical and Sustainable Clothing design. The topic is something I have found myself continuously come back to and very passionate about, and I now consider myself an educated consumer of clothing, although there are always a million more things to learn. I’ll be writing content for the wonderful Sustainability Hub from time to time, and watch this space for an exciting Ethical clothing line coming soon! Please feel more than welcome to email me if you have any questions about my content!