Social Startups

Was My Chicken Happy? Five Startups That Give You The Good Facts On The Goods You Consume

Is this Chicken local? This is not just a scene out of the show Portlandia, where the couple dining in a restaurant in Portland, drives the waitress nuts by demanding all kind of information about the sustainably raised chicken they are about to eat (you can enjoy the clip below).  There is a growing consciousness amongst people world over to know the story behind the goods they are consuming. With buyers preferring fair trade and organic products over regular items, they are keen to know whether the claims made on the packaging are true. Whether the fair trade coffee they are buying is really from Peru and how the community is being helped? As the shoppers pay a premium for the ethical products, positioned as good for them, the producer and the planet, they desire to go beyond the label to establish that trust.

Five startups providing a complete back story on goods they are selling  – Where its made? By whom? How and what goes in? How the purchase impacts the lives of the makers?

Abe’s Market:  An online marketplace selling all things organic and eco-friendly. Offering a wide range of products  in the category of bath, beauty, home care, health, baby and food. The uniqueness of this marketplace is that it facilitates a deeper interaction between buyers and producers. Buyers are provided the opportunity to learn the story behind the product, straight from the product creators. The site provides detailed information of each and every  seller, their stories and even direct chats with sellers to ask specific questions so you know that you can trust and be comfortable with the products you bring into your home.

Hoop Fund: Hoop Fund goes a step further in facilitating the connection between buyers and producers. They are engaging shoppers  right at  the beginning of the product’s origin. Hoop Fund offers a wide range of fair trade products on their website and provides the buyers the unique opportunity to make a small loan to artisans and farmers who are making the goods. By making a loan to the producer, you become a part of the good that you’ll enjoy right from the start, in addition you get your loan money back over the period of time. Furthermore, when you buy a good along with making a micro loan to that buyer, you get a great deal on the price.

INDIGENOUS: The pioneers of eco fashion, works with the artisan network of Latin America to bring organic and fair trade clothing to the world. To provide a view to their shoppers into how the fibre is raised and the artisan communities they work with, INDIGENOUS recently introduced a mobile app. The app let shoppers see where garments originate and how fibers were raised; to meet the artisans who hand-make them and to learn about INDIGENOUS’ positive social impact. INDIGENOUS will begin shipping its 2012 Fall line with a QR code on hang tags that connects to the garment origin traceability tool via any smart phone.

Honest by: Belgium based Honest by is the world’s first 100% transparent company that shares the full cost breakdown of its products. The word Honest refers to the way in which the Honest by store operates, with an 100% transparency policy. It collaborates only with designers which are open to share their personal production information from yarn and button origin to fabric and manufacturing details, information which honest by then communicates to the client. In communicating all information regarding a garments production process, Honest by wants to shed light on the questions: where is it made and by whom. Products in the Honest by store are made with consideration for all beings.

Glore Store: Germany’s first sustainable store, committed to help small sustainable brands from all over the globe. Glore has number of outlets in Germany as well as offers online shopping  They’ve recently partnered with India’s The Tipping Point to offer  complete information on the organic cotton clothing sourced from India. Buyers are presented with precise information on how the cotton was farmed, where, by whom and how this purchase will impact the life of the farmer. The 2012 Unreasonable Institute finalist, The Tipping Point is sourcing the stories of India’s organic cotton farmers and inputting it into a software so that the stories are carried along the supply-chain and presented to the shoppers at the point of purchase.

Do you know of other sellers who provides such precise information on the origin of goods and would you be more likely to purchase from such stores?  We’ll love to hear in the comments below or tweet us.

Filed under: Social Startups


Deepa Chaudhary

I have extensively worked at grass-roots from working in the slums of Mumbai to being on the frontline of numerous disaster relief efforts. I'm passionate about social entrepreneurship and I love discovering and writing about new trends in the social good space.