In 2012, Ivan Pardo, a young Los Angeles programmer, launched buycott.com, an app that allows you to scan the barcode of an item you want to buy and then presents you with several bits of information: The parent company, a description, and whether it is included in any of the 400 or so campaigns in buycott’s database.
The rest is up to you. Not cool with Yuengling’s support of Trump? Put down that six pack. Want to show you are against child labor? You’ll want to skip the Hershey’s, and the Coca Cola. Anti-animal testing? The list is long, friends.
The aim of buycott.com is to make it easy for you to shop ethically. But even Pardo admits it’s still hard to make all the right choices, all of the time. In fact, he says, it’s impossible. “I don’t believe there’s a way to shop ethically,” Pardo says. “There are just ways to shop less unethically.”
His advice, and ours: Pick one thing you’re passionate about and try to go all in. You can’t solve every problem in the world, but you can make a difference.
Here are some ideas for ways to shop ethically, by issue, in Philadelphia. Have others? Let us know.
At its Old City storefront, and online, sells all products that are handmade locally.
A local staple since 1993, combining their passion for good bread and local sourcing. Also provides training for low-income individuals, students, parolees, and formerly homeless adults.
Incorporates their Philly love into quirky designs for shirts and accessories, all reflecting the neighborhoods, cultures, and traditions of the city.
Four Birds Beauty
Erica Root's two-year-oldall natural scent and formula combinations have garnered a fanatical following in the city and on Etsy.
A discount card for close to 300 black-owned local businesses in Philly.
Part café, part retail store, the only African American woman-owned comic shop in the entire country.
Maryam Pugh and Donte Neal's online shop, committed to social justice, particularly of African American political empowerment.
Pound Cake Cosmetics
Philadelphia entrepreneur Camille Bell's makeup for all skin tones, a disruption of white beauty standards that dominate the industry.
Color Book Gallery
One of the United States' oldest multicultural children's book stores.
Flower Crowns By Husnaa
Husnaa Hashim, Philly youth poet laureate, uses her voice to speak up about issues facing black women and Muslims. She also sells crowns made with freshly cut flowers.
First they help you find an environmentally friendly garden container. Then, they sow your plant of choice for you and deliver it to your door!
West Oak Design
A zero-waste company that aims to reduce its environmental impact by creating sustainably handcrafted clothing, bags, and housewares.
United by Blue
An outdoor brand with the mission of reducing plastic pollution in our world's oceans, this B Corp has collected 250,000 pounds of trash through volunteer cleanups.
B Corp that creates fair-trade, sustainable and biodegradable furniture and furnishings.
A female-owned jewelry store that promotes sustainable and ethical sourcing practices for precious metals and gemstones and manufacturing.
Sisters-owned Moroccan clothing and accessory shop, with products made by hand, mostly by women.
Baltimore Pet Shoppe
All natural pet store in West Philadelphia dedicated to combating animal homelessness.
Amelie’s Bark Shop
Eco-friendly shop for snacks and accessories, including many products that are locally-made.
ROAR for Good
A B Lab created with the hopes of combating sexual assault.
Founded by Penn grads, it provides a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased.
A South Philadelphia-based streetwear company that gives 25 percent of proceeds to charities.
The homeless-fighting group also has a shop, with items made by its residents.
Analog Watch Company
With every locally-designed watch sold, a donation is made to an environmental organization.
The business incubator wing for youth of The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philly, which aims to provide a platform of artistic expression.
Yards Brewing Company
A Philly staple since 1994, the local sustainable brewery collaborates with charity partners like Garces Foundation and ActionAIDS.