This post was sponsored by CoGo, all opinions and editorial my own.
Conscious consumer choices, on their own, are not enough to change the world. They’re a brilliant thing to do if you can but, in isolation, they’re not the best way to make change happen.
True change needs to happen from the bottom up and the top down. Restructuring world systems, new policies, and working collectively are vital to building a sustainable future. But collective action can be hard to find for many reasons: accessibility, time, money or a myriad of other concerns can often leave us with no capacity to join collective moments in the ways we would like.
All we may have is our consumer choice. So what do we do then?
Enter the new app CoGo, which both helps provide better alternatives for your everyday choices and enables you to transform those choices into collective statements that help businesses do better.
A free app to download, CoGo’s mission is threefold:
- find ethical and sustainable businesses near you
- tell them what matters to you
- see how our spending can do good
Let’s unpack how and why it works so well.
What is CoGo?
CoGo is a platform dedicated to businesses that are taking action on ethics and sustainability, helping you connect to companies that share your priorities. After downloading the app you select the values that matter most to you, link your payment card, and find businesses nearby that are operating in line with what you care about, helping you to divert your purchasing choices to more ethical options.
CoGo isn’t actually a payment platform itself, it’s more like a directory, but by linking your card number (without the three digit security number) it is able to help you track your good spending every time you shop with a CoGo business and send anonymous data back to businesses to show them that sustainability really does matter to people, encouraging them to continue seeking better practices.
The aim is to create a positive feedback loop between conscious consumers and businesses that care, prompting more progress on both sides. For business owners, CoGo provides an insight on what existing and potential consumers care about, helping them design and implement new sustainable strategies effectively in the journey of improving and growing. Whilst payments are kept completely anonymous, overall consumer data on values and spending habits are shared with CoGo businesses, showing them just how the changes they make are really having an impact. As a consumer, by joining the platform and linking your card you add more information from your personal consumer choices, providing concrete statistics to motivate businesses to become better, faster.
How it works
After success in New Zealand, CoGo has just launched in the UK. It’s the first app to allow you to shop across both sectors and issues, and already has 68 businesses in over 400 locations signed up, and although their main focus is currently on London, they plan to expand across the UK this year. The app features businesses from areas such as fashion, food and drink, grocery, homeware and beauty, and highlights values such as low carbon, slavery-free, and diverse and inclusive workplaces. The app will recommend new businesses based on your values and location, while the explore feature lets you discover even more ethical options.
Businesses who join CoGo have to be verified through the CoGo impact framework. The CoGo impact team monitor accreditations and calculate the efforts that businesses are making to address global issues, in order to make sure consumers can trust that these businesses practice what they preach. Their long term goal is to create a world-class accreditation system. They incorporate credible certifications, standards and NGO programme ratings, such as the Fairtrade Mark and Global Organic Textile Standard, into all product badge standards, and work in partnership with these certifiers.