Many companies claim to adhere to strict policies about child labor and yet reports by institutions such as Amnesty International keep uncovering cases of child labor, forced labor and diminished workers right among suppliers linked to major companies. If companies really care about human rights as they claim to, then why are reports of unethical behavior within supply chains still so commonplace? One possibility that while companies do care about the ethics of their operations, they’re not actively investigating their supply chains to seek out this information. We want to make them care actively effecting their bottom line.
What it does
We created a chrome extension that puts information about a company's labor practices in a simple and easy to digest manner directly onto any item for sale on an ecommerce page. Studies have shown that if consumers have a product’s ethical information right in front of them (e.g., whether it was made using child labor), they will factor the information into their decision making — but they will not go out of their way to seek it out. By making the information readily available we aim to target companies, where is matter most, their bottom line. When consumer can easily see what products in their shopping cart have been made through less than ethical means, they can make the choice to not purchase the item and look for alternatives.
Not only can it help customers make more informed shopping decisions but they can easily share information about companies on social media, adding a viral aspect to the information.
Finally, we will be able to collect information about user behavior on the back end, put together reports to send to journalists, activists and the companies themselves about how knowledge about their labor practices are effecting their revenue
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
One of the most difficult parts of the project was sourcing data about companies and their labor practices. We found lots of information but none in easily digestible forms. We ended up have to hard code data from various sources. Ideally, in the future, we would likely try to partner with organizations like OSHA, DOL or Free2Work to supply the information.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
None of us had ever made a chrome extension. Nor were any of us experts in the domain of labor exploitation. I believe we're most proud of making a solid product in an area that was terra incognita for all of us.
What we learned