Track : Healthcare and Environment
According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every single day. Most contain endocrine disrupters, which can affect hormonal balance and fertility. Some contain ingredients with clear links to cancer. Unfortunately, cosmetics and personal care products have little government oversight, which means many products, and the ingredients used in today's beauty and skincare products, are not well-regulated. This ultimately leaves the responsibility to the consumer to know what’s good and what’s not. (And if you’ve ever tried to discern the seven-syllable words on an ingredient label, you know that this is hardly an easy task.) Consumers are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of certain ingredients and hence there's a need for a robust solution that raises awareness about such chemicals and helps consumers choose the most environmentally friendly option out there.
Let's talk about some chemicals that are used very often in skincare products
- Sulfates can irritate your eyes and skin and they can prematurely clear off dye from your hair.
- There is also an ongoing debate about their use due to potential threats to the environment. Deriving them from natural sources like palm oil is causing the destruction of rainforests. When they have washed away, they can be toxic to the aquatic species.
Did you know that Most Mascaras available in the market contain Sulphates
- Parabens are found in a variety of products, from soaps to lotions and makeup. Research shows that they cause increased production of the hormone estrogen and interfere with reproductive and brain function.
- Some studies explain that parabens enter your skin and mimic estrogen that triggers excessive cell division in the breast. This eventually leads to breast cancer.
- Found in skincare products like perfumes, moisturizers, shampoos, cleansers, and conditioners, Frangrances are made with chemicals that are associated with respiratory disorders, skin allergies, dermatitis, and side effects in the reproductive system.
- There is no organization that restricts manufacturers from using fragrances. Fragrances are potential carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), irritants, and endocrine disruptors.
Well doesn't that sound scary? It's high time we think about what all goes in our skincare products.
🤳 What it does
Eco-classifier helps users identify hazardous, neutral, and good chemicals used in a product by simply clicking pictures of the product or its ingredient label.
⚙️ How we built it
We built this app using Flutter which is a cross-platform development framework that allows us to use the same codebase to make an app for multiple platforms. We used Firebase ML Kit for text recognition and extraction from the product label and then preprocessed the extracted data using python to get each ingredient and then we query to our database to retrieve more information about them. We also used a TensorFlow lite image classification model that can identify a product by its image. After identification, we query our database to get more details.
🤔 Challenges we ran into
Being in a different time zone was a big challenge for us. Finding the most suitable time for discussion and then check-ins were tough. We also faced some technical difficulties like finding the most effective way to query the identified product or ingredient to our database and get info.
🏅Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of finishing an MVP on time and managing everything in such a short time.
💭 What's next for eco-classifier
eco-classifier is something that can be very useful to everyone and we want to work on improving its user interface and adding more features like sustainable product recommendations, user ratings for different products based on how environment friendly they and how good they are for consumers.
- Multilingual support to make it more accessible to people all over the world
App Demo - https://youtu.be/w4te_iTAlNM