Shop Ethical with Ethicli

Ethicli helps you making better ethical decisions when shopping online.

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What's your background?

Billy and Cosmo have a background in computer science, Linda in design/web development and Amy in sustainability/conservation.

What does your extension do?

Ethicli displays an ethical rating and provides other data to help people make ethical decisions while shopping online. The rating is a score out of ten produced using a data-driven algorithm that so far covers labor rights, animal rights, sustainability, social contributions and environmental impact. We plan on incorporating datasets such as Fair-Trade certification or if they pay their employees fairly, and we have badges for companies that are Black-owned or POC-owned. In the coming months we will implement a system to suggest better products from more ethical companies. Our main goal is to save shoppers the time and energy it takes to be sure their purchases reflect their values.

Which browsers do you support?

Google Chrome is live and Firefox is coming soon!

What motivated you to get started?

I was shopping online one day when I thought to myself, "I wish I could know which products were more ethically produced than others." I realized it is too hard for one person to track all the ethical decisions of every company, but I thought this kind of tool would be super useful not only for myself, but for the millions of people like me who want to support ethical companies. Together, our shopping has a massive amount of power. Billions of dollars are donated to charities every year, but trillions are spent purchasing products. If those trillions of dollars shift towards more ethical companies, then all companies will work to be more ethical. And that's when the idea of Ethicli was born.

What tech stack do you use?

Spring-boot for our backend. We're using vanilla JavaScript for the extension and jquery on our website.

Do you have a monetization strategy for your extension?

We do not have plans to monetize our extension to users, but we plan to earn revenue from meaningful ads from companies with higher scores to shoppers viewing products from lower-scored companies.

What are some of the challenges you've encountered in building the extension?

There are many companies that aren't transparent about their business practices, which can sometimes create a challenge when scoring them. Luckily, however, there are many companies that are transparent and doing right by their consumers, and those are the more important companies to platform within the extension while we build our algorithm.

Learning how to talk to users in ways that are productive and getting objective feedback

What do you do, besides building extensions?

Billy T. freeskates and makes short videos, Linda designs and builds websites and illustrates children's books, Cosmo makes music, and Amy gardens!

What have you learned through building your extension?

How to get/send messages, API calls, file and function organization. We have also learned how to work as a team and how to work remotely.

What's your favorite part about building extensions?

Having it show up on the Chrome webstore and having people be able to use it is very rewarding.

For Ethicli specifically, allowing users to see how different online businesses rank on our calculated scale (and using our extension the way it was meant to be used) is really awesome.

Extensions offer a great opportunity for good user experiences that otherwise wouldn't be possible.

What goals do you have for the future?

To become a reputable source offering shoppers a robust and comprehensive scoring system for every company and to streamline transparency in companies' practices. We want to change the world by supporting peoples' consumer power and incentivizing companies to be more transparent and ethical in their business practices.

Where can readers learn more about you and your projects?

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