Inspiration

Online shopping makes decisions quick and easy for consumers but places ethical concerns in the background. We believe that ethics should be a priority. So, we built Equity in order to provide consumers with the data they need to make informed decisions quickly.

What it does

Equity is a chrome extension for Amazon.com that provides ethical scores for products. The scores come from The Ethical Consumer, an independent, not-for-profit, co-operative, based in the United Kingdom.

How we built it

We scraped company ratings from ethicalconsumer.com using Python and the HTML parser, Beautiful Soup. We then transferred the data into Javascript, which we used to construct the extension. We also used HTML and CSS to build Equity, as well as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create graphics.

Challenges we ran into

All four of us are beginners at Javascript and HTML, so building the chrome extension was a challenging but rewarding experience. One specific challenge we ran into was parsing the HTML. There were multiple ways we could have gone about scraping the company data, and we were unsure which would be the most effective and simplest to implement. So, we spent a fair amount of time testing out different techniques and comparing our results. This experience was a bit long, but we were able to figure out how to parse what we needed!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Coming into Cal Hacks, we didn't expect much out of our final project. However, as a result of our commitment and the resources available to us, we were able to finish with a functioning product that aligns with our interests in computer science and social good.

What we learned

What didn't we learn! We learned how to use an HTML parser, Javascript, and how to create a chrome extension. We also learned how hackathons work, as well as how to collaborate with students of different experience levels and backgrounds.

What's next for Equity

Equity was built specifically for Amazon.com, but we hope to expand it to other websites in the near future. Further, we aim to expand the companies represented and add options for more targeted ethical concerns, such as LGTBQ+ rights, climate change, and animal rights.

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