This Chrome extension helps you find ethical shopping alternatives
This Cyber Monday, as you hide your screen from your boss while searching for the best deals imaginable, do your part to save the world at the same time.
DoneGood, a new browser extension and mobile app, helps you find ethical and sustainable alternatives when you shop for anything online. All you need to do is download the free extension, and when you search for an item ("men's dress shirts," for example), DoneGood will pepper your search results with better businesses that support workers' rights and environmental protection.
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As a company, DoneGood's mission is to build tech products that lead U.S. consumers to "new businesses you can feel good about supporting."
"We built the browser extension because it literally means people don't have to spend any more time or do anything differently than they already do when they shop online," Cullen Schwarz, cofounder of DoneGood, said in an email.
"Just search ... and when there's a DoneGood company that has what you're looking for, the extension shows it to you."
"Just search on Google or Amazon or visit company websites, and when there's a DoneGood company that has what you're looking for, the extension shows it to you," he said.
DoneGood is currently working with hundreds of companies and social enterprises that make high-quality goods — no sweatshops or harmful pollutants in sight. Examples include Tuckerman & Co., which focuses on a cleaner supply chain and fair labor, and The Root Collective, which aims to empower women in Guatemala to lift themselves out of poverty.
The quality is something Schwarz wants to stress: These companies aren't just doing good, they're creating unique products made from better materials, all by skilled craftspeople who are well-paid.
But these are smaller businesses, which means they often drown in the SEO from larger companies, and that makes it harder for customers to find them. The new extension and mobile app give these companies more visibility.
As a result, they're offering deals to DoneGood users to save you money. The extension will automatically show you discounts in your browser, which means more bang for your buck.
The DoneGood mobile app has the same goals, but the experience puts you in the driver's seat. You can choose causes and issues that you care about most, whether it's a company that's green, owned by women and people of color, makes products in the United States or actively promotes cruelty-free practices.
Then you can choose what you're looking for — men's shirts, women's jeans, shoes — and you'll get a tailored list of businesses that are right for you.
Schwarz and cofounder Scott Jacobsen developed DoneGood as part of Harvard Innovation Labs' Venture Incubation Program. Monday's national launch follows a successful pilot program they completed in Boston. They also raised a seed round of funding earlier this year.
The pilot taught them that the easier it is for people to discover socially responsible companies, and the more options they have for doing so, the more they'll shop with them.
"The greatest tool each one of us has to create change is the dollars we spend."
"That's why we decided to build the browser extension to go along with the app," Schwarz told Mashable. "The extension is a way for people to find amazing companies that literally takes no additional time or effort on the user's part, and it gives people another way to join in."
The company has won a slew of awards, including top prize in the 2015 Harvard Tech for Democracy competition, and was a finalist at the 2016 MIT $100K launch competition.
"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."
You can download the DoneGood Chrome extension here, and the mobile app for iOS here. The company will release an app for Android devices soon.