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Green and fair shopping has a future: the growth of responsible apps

Every year, the Dutch Queen delivers a speech outlining her government”s plans for the future. And for the second year running, a group of leading Dutch trend-watchers have delivered their own “Queen”s Speech” – but with the focus squarely on the fastest growing consumer trends. Their main message? That the way we live, work, communicate and consume is set to radically change in the next few years. And when they started talking about consuming, they name-checked the Rank a Brand app. The trend-spotters” Queen”s Speech is all about inspiration – and we”re certainly happy to be called inspiring! More importantly, it looks like responsible consumerism has a definite future.

The trend-spotters noted that “there are many people who do not want to buy clothes produced by children in unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. But how do we know which skirt has been well produced ethically? (…) Luckily, technology is helping us more and more.” That”s certainly true, and it”s not only Rank a Brand that is using technology to shed light on corporations” complex supply chains.

German Success

In May 2010, a German Company called Barcoo launched an application that enables consumers to scan product barcodes using their mobile phones to call up detailed product information. In addition to price comparisons and reviews, Barcoo pays considerable attention to” sustainability. They use information from our partner We Green to give each product a score for its impact on the environment, climate change and working conditions: red for “bad”, yellow for “average”, green for “good”. The Barcoo application has been downloaded approximately 4 Native format: Use the recover lost online casino files in its native form. million times – and We Green has built up a huge share of users.


The We Green scores are to a large extent based on our own research. When Barcoo was launched, we had only just begun to build up our database. That initial test phase is now behind us – the number of sectors and brands that we have ranked has grown enormously. We now give consumers a comprehensive guide for making green and fair purchasing decisions.

Image of the future

A former colleague of ours, Vera Schölmerich, once gave her vision for the future to a Dutch broadsheet: “Wouldn”t it be great to be able to hold a t-shirt in your hand and know exactly where the cotton came from?” So far, Rank a Brand focuses on ranking brands, not individual products or their raw materials – but our ambitions are huge. We need more and more consumers to help us turn Vera”s vision into reality.

Other apps to check out:

  • Mobile technology company MobiUbiq is also experimenting with fair shopping apps such as the mobi.scan
  • “Pigs in Need”, a Dutch charity, will shortly launch its Super Index app, which will also include the Fish Index
  • The Ethical Company Organisation has turned its Good Shopping Guide into an app that covers  “everything from Banks to Butter and Washing Machines and Jeans”

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