8 Apps to Help You Become a More Conscious Consumer

Apps for navigating the complicated world of conscious consumption.

When I vowed to become a more conscious consumer last New Year’s Eve, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Measuring the impact of your purchases can be a hefty task, between considering environmental impact, ethical manufacturing, animal cruelty, anti-trafficking practices, carbon footprints… it’s enough to make you reject shopping for good. But neither is the “Buy Less” philosophy a perfect one, and even the most ardent minimalists need to buy necessities like soap and toothpaste from time to time (we hope). These iPhone and Android apps can help you put your dollar where your values are.


By scanning a product’s bar code, the popular GoodGuide app lets you instantly access health, environmental, and social performance ratings for over 120,000 food, personal care, and household products. The app also provides customized product recommendations and lets you create your own personal shopping lists.

Available for iPhone and Android for free.

Fair Trade Finder

Discover and share fair trade products with the Fair Trade Finder app from Fair Trade USA, which relies on crowd-sourcing to spotlight fairly traded items available in local shops.

Available for iPhone and Android for free.

Green Globe App

Travelers can locate sustainable hotels, resorts, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, and other sustainable tourism projects that have received the Green Globe stamp of approval through the Green Globe App.

Available for iPhone for free.


Find products that haven’t been tested on animals with the Cruelty-Free app, which pulls from a database of companies approved by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program.

Available for iPhone and Android for free. 


Created by anti-trafficking organization Not For Sale and supported by the International Labor Rights Forum, the Free2Work app lets you instantly see how different products and brands relate to trafficking and forced labor with rankings on a scale from A to F.

Available for iPhone and Android for free.

Closet Swap

“Don’t shop – swap!” proclaims the Closet Swap app, which facilitates clothing swaps by letting you snap pictures of items that have been sitting in your closet and share them with friends.

Available for iPhone for free.

Thrift Buddy

If your ethical shopping strategy includes thrifting, the Thrift Buddy app can help you locate thrift and vintage stores in your area from a database of more than 10,000 spots.

Available for iPhone for free.

The Good Shopping Guide

Drawing from the popular print Good Shopping Guides from the U.K.-based Ethical Company Organisation, the Good Shopping Guide app lets you compare more than 700 brands across seven categories: Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, Travel, Energy, Fashion, Home & Office, and Money. Summary tables display the good, bad, and ugly within each product category.

Available for iPhone for £2.99 (around $4.75).


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Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.