Care About Social Justice? There’s an App for That…

At our “Slumdog Professor” series of events this winter, the Newman Center committed to being a community resource for social justice action, a place to figure out how we can each work toward a more just world every day in big ways and small.  Since then, we’ve been compiling social justice resources like they’re goin’ out of style.  We have pamphlets! We have websites! We have information sheets! It’s like a smorgasboard of social justice action all up in here.  A buffet, if you will.

One little section of this smorgasboard deals with something we like to call “Social Justice On The Go”…you know, when you’re at Target looking for a new top but that angel on your shoulder keeps going “Psst….is that made with slave labor? You probably shouldn’t support that.”  The question we keep hearing over and over again when it comes to consumer-driven social justice is, “I want to make sure I’m supporting businesses that aren’t involved in slavery or human trafficking…but where do I start? It’s so complicated!”

We hear you.

Luckily for all of us, there’s an app for that!  Here are a few that we’ve found particularly helpful (and conveniently FREE!) when you’re trying to put your money where your mouth is:*

The Good Guide  A resource to check thousands of products for social and environmental practices, harmful chemicals and more.  Just scan a product’s barcode and get all its ratings! It’s especially helpful when you’re looking for a clear answer on how different companies score when it comes to environmental justice.

Free 2 Work  Similar to the Good Guide, this app rates companies and brands on their “efforts to address the issues of forced and child labor through out its supply chain”.  Keep it on hand while you’re browsing clothing brands especially!

Buycott  This app is genius: simply pick a few causes you really care about (and this app has causes from Environmental Stewardship to Recognizing the Armenian Genocide to Animal Rights), scan prospective purchases in the store, and Buycott will tell you if the parent company or brand supports or fights against the things you care about.  It also includes charts of parent companies so you can tell when your L’Oreal shampoo is actually owned by the Hershey company, which doesn’t have a stellar track record when it comes to child labor or fair trade practices.

If these apps have sparked your appetite, be sure to check out the rest of our social justice resources!

*these apps are for iPhones, but many of them are also available for Android phones!

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