Now you can go green while spending some green.
DoneGood, which launched nationally on Nov. 28, is a new Chrome extension and app that helps users find ethical and sustainable places to shop online. Businesses the app favors include those that are green, make high-quality, long-lasting products and support their workers. The companies that work with DoneGood also offer discounts to people who use the app and extension.
To use DoneGood, all you have to do is download it for free. Once installed, shop online like you typically would by searching for a product — like buying baby gear — on Google or Amazon.
If there’s an ethical or sustainable company that makes baby products that are, say, natural or toxin-free, DoneGood will alert you.
And baby, that’s pretty much it.
Cullen Schwarz and Scott Jacobsen, DoneGood’s cofounders, met in 2007 while working in Washington D.C. After becoming friends, they soon discovered they shared a mutual frustration.
“We talked about how we wished there was something that made it easy to make sure the money we were spending was supporting the things we believed in. We decided we ought to build that thing."”
“Cullen was talking about how hard it was to find a hoodie he knew wasn’t made by a little kid or someone earning a poverty wage,”Jacobsen told The Huffington Post. “I complained that my favorite sandwich shop used plastic containers even for people dining in and didn’t even recycle so I had to stop going there. We talked about how we wished there was something that made it easy to make sure the money we were spending was supporting the things we believed in. We decided we ought to build that thing.”
In 2014, Schwarz and Jacobsen began to develop DoneGood as part of Harvard Innovation Labs’ Venture Incubation Program. While in development, the partners began talking to social enterprises and soon discovered why people had a hard time finding them.
Schwarz explained to HuffPost that these small to midsize companies don’t have the marketing budgets of the global corporate brands and get buried in searches by big-box stores.
“The extension solves that problem for them,” Schwarz told HuffPost.
As a way to rectify this problem, DoneGood shows its results on popular sites such as Google or Amazon when its users are searching for products. DoneGood also screens the companies they suggest by looking to social impact certifications like certified B Corps, fair trade certified and GOTS certified organic. But other factors also come into play. For instance, DoneGood also looks for companies that make high-quality products built to last in order to combat waste.
“Stuff made out of natural material by skilled craftspeople who are paid well is just naturally going to be higher quality than stuff mass produced in a sweatshop,”Jacobsen said.
Though the Chrome extension is a handy tool (which you can download here), the mobile app (which you can download here) takes responsible spending one step further. The app allows users to customize the app so that it searches for companies with values that reflect their own, such as “women-owned,” “cruelty free” and “made in the U.S.A.”
“The greatest tool each one of us has to create change is the dollars we spend,” Schwarz said. “When we support companies that do the right thing, we help them succeed, and the more other companies follow suit. The world gets better — just because we got something we needed to buy anyway.”