Want to know if your fashion is ethical?

By jay

A Dunedin-based social enterprise is planning to bring ethical fashion rating app Good on You to New Zealand.

The project is a partnership between Sustainable Projects and Good On You Australia, a social enterprise run by Ethical Consumers Australia. Fittingly, it was launched with a PledgeMe crowdfunding campaign on Earth Day, 22 April.

Bec McMaster from Sustainable Projects says: “Ethical fashion is fast becoming a hot topic in New Zealand. Kiwis are seeking more information about the clothes they’re buying. But they’re finding it challenging to determine just how sustainable or ethical brands really are.” 

The innovative app will provide ethical ratings for more than 350 fashion brands available in New Zealand. It uses a simple four-point rating system. This focuses on a brand’s impact on people, the environment and animals. The ratings are informed by third party industry certifications like Fairtrade and the Global Organic Textile Standard. 

The app can be tailored to your personal style and values. It helps find the closest retailer. You can send a message to brands inside the app, congratulating them or urging them to do better. 

“Fashion is self‐expression,” explains Bec. “It can be much more than just looking great. It can be an expression of our moral and ethical values via the products we buy.”

Founder and designer at WE’AR Jyoti Morningstar says she is thrilled this app is coming to New Zealand. “It shows that we are a country of curious people who aren’t afraid to go a little bit deeper to find out what’s happening in the industry and be part of cleaning it up for the greater good. Connecting fashion lovers with the lives and stories of fashion makers builds a community. This community can value the people and ecosystems involved and therefore make intelligent decisions about what we vote for when we spend our dollars. Fashion can be a force for good.”

Sustainable Projects is seeking $12,000 to develop the app for New Zealand brands and shoppers. If successful the project will launch the app for free this August – but only if the target is met.

Keen to help? Head to the PledgeMe campaign. Or you can attend a fundraising screening of the fashion documentary The True Cost. It’s showing in Auckland on 5 May, Dunedin on 10 May or Christchurch on 12 May.

The True Cost is hosted by Sustainable Projects and the Sustainable Business Network. 

SBN has several members working in ethical fashion in addition to Sustainable Projects, including Thunderpants, We’ar, Child Labor Free, Little Yellow Bird, Kate Sylvester, Senorita Awesumo, NZ Eco Fashion Week and the Oversew Fashion Awards.