This Web Browser Enables Consumers to Make More Ethical Purchases

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Photo credit: Impakt

Finding ethical and sustainable products online could be challenging, but Impakt is making it easier for consumers with its new browser extension.

Last month, the Brooklyn-based startup launched a Kickstarter campaign, calling for consumers to join the ethical product movement, shop consciously and urge companies to become more transparent about their supply chains. The browser extension, which works with Chrome and Firefox, will enable consumers to find and buy ethically-made products, while increasing the production visibility of businesses worldwide.

“We believe that an educated consumer is a good consumer. But currently, it’s too hard to know the real effect of what we buy, and too easy for companies to hide from the effect they have on politics, the environment and on people’s lives,” Impakt writes on its Kickstarter page. “So we’re changing that.”

Unlike other browser extensions, Impakt gives consumers access to a company’s sustainability and social background, in addition to ethical product alternatives and item recommendations tailored to the things and causes they believe in.

When consumers view a company’s products online, the browser extension instantly provides them with the company’s profile, which shows relevant alerts and news articles. Here, consumers can click to view information about the company, including its environmental and social markup. For example, consumers would have access to an alert about the company’s potential child labor abuse or a news article reporting about the company’s excessive carbon dioxide use.

[Read more on the ethical product movement: When Made in China Means Ethically Made]

If consumers find a somehow tainted product, the browser extension provides them with ethical alternatives and product recommendations that align with the values they specify. The browser extension’s settings are customizable, so consumers can choose to learn about a company’s environmental sustainability or anti-child labor efforts. What’s more, it works for a variety of e-commerce platforms, including virtual marketplaces, online retailers and brand websites. Consumers can even use the browser extension while they shop at places like Amazon, H&M or Macy’s online.

Impakt will offer two memberships to consumers—Impakt Freemium and Impakt Premium. Consumers can have access to businesses’ environmental sustainability rankings and ending child labor efforts on the freemium membership, while the premium membership for $1 per month, grants access to other categories—like corporate lobbying, health risks, ending animal cruelty, women & minority owned companies, diversity in hiring & management, and made in USA products.

Since starting its Kickstarter in September, Impakt has raised more than $15,000 towards its $29,950 goal. Once the Kickstarter ends on Oct. 31, Impakt plans to release the browser extension to Kickstarter backers in May 2018.

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