We were inspired by Amazon, which is popular because of its convenience in finding products and its large catalogue, but is notoriously unethical in its business practices. We wanted to create an application that was convenient but ethical.

This is one of our first prototypes: (our final app has more features - we will show them at demo)

What it does

Search Sustainable is a web application that helps users find everyday products from sustainable and ethical sources. The goal of this app is a helpful tool that directs consumers to better purchasing options.

How we built it

Our app is a Python Flask app that uses the Bootstrap framework and Jinja templating. The database is Google Firebase, which is a cloud NoSQL database. The Python packages Selenium, and LXML were used for web crawling.

Challenges we ran into

This ask was difficult to deploy because of the chrome driver needed to run the web crawlers. It took a few different services (Heroku, Google App Enginge, Azure) to finally get our app deployed.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

If our database does not have any or enough results to show our users we created a custom web crawler API that will search pre-vetted sustainable suppliers for ethical products to show our users. These products are also added to our database. This means with every search our user's make our database gets smarter!

We created a full branding strategy for our site starting with a mood board. Our site is complete with a custom logo that can even be animated.

Users can report items that may not be ethical or sustainable. We created an admin dashboard that authenticated admin users can login to and manage new feature requests or item reports.

What we learned

Our team learned how to coordinate a multifaceted project in a way that plays to our skills. We have a designer, database administrator, web scraper, and web developer on our team. We all worked together to combine the front-end and back-end in an efficient way.

What's next for Search Sustainable

We want to add more "spyders" that are configured for searching even more sites. We would also like to add more search filters and advanced filter options.

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