January 20, 2021
Informed Fashion: How Good On You Makes an Ethical Wardrobe More Accessible
With reviews of over 2,000 fashion brands, including Stella McCartney and Patagonia, it empowers consumers to make informed choices about their style so that anyone can help shape a more sustainable fashion industry. Originally launched in Australia in 2015, the app has become the largest of its kind in the world, with over 600,000 downloads and the support of ethical fashion advocate Emma Watson.
We at Casper Magazine have been watching the fashion industry struggle with sustainability for a long time, and like us, Capponi and Renouf recognise that many shoppers want their money to go to brands that pay their workers liveable wages and use sustainable materials. However, with so much information scattered in different places, many simply don’t have the time or means to figure out which brands are making real changes. To make it all simpler, Good On You compiles the public data and uses a clear rating system so you can support businesses that match your morals.
Fashion isn’t like food, where all the ingredients are on the label – it’s a massive, complex industry with opaque supply chains and it’s hard for people to unpick that.
– SANDRA CAPPONI, CO-FOUNDER OF GOOD ON YOU.
Every brand is given an overall rating along a scale of ‘We Avoid’, ‘Not Good Enough’, ‘It’s a Start’, ‘Good’, or ‘Great’. This is then broken down into three categories: People, which looks at worker conditions across the supply chain; Planet, which analyses resource consumption and pollution, including microplastics; and Animals, which highlights whether and how the brand uses animal products. The founders highlight that some lower ratings are the result of information not being publicly available, emphasising that a lack of transparency is part of the problem: you can only ‘do the right thing […] if you have relevant and accurate information.’ Ultimately, it’s about giving you the power to know that what you’re wearing has a positive impact on the world.
In the app, users can search for specific brands or explore what labels make the top of the list for different clothing items. If a brand has a lower rating than you’re hoping for, the app recommends similar brands with higher ethical standards that you might consider instead. However, Good On You also acknowledges that, while brands are improving, some items simply aren’t available in perfectly ethical ways yet. When this happens, the app gives you the information you need to make the best compromise based on your personal values. As well as influencing businesses through purchases, Good On You allows users to contact many brands directly, whether for encouragement to do better or for congratulations on how far they’ve come. They also frequently publish articles about the environment, business practices, and their assessment criteria, encouraging everyone to stay up to date on how we can keep moving fashion forward.
While it’s amazing to be able to see how your favourite brands measure up, the best thing about Good On You is that it lets consumers directly influence the fashion industry to be more ethical and sustainable. We at Casper Magazine love that it allows us to make small but meaningful changes to our style choices, and we hope it encourages more brands to do the same.
For more on sustainable fashion, check out our article on industry-leading brand Pangaia.
Archive feature, originally published 4/9/20