Project JUST, an online platform that reviews fashion brands (75 to date) for their supply chain ethics and sustainability to help consumers make more informed choices, is crowdfunding to help expand its offering.
Project JUST publishes shopping guides of the most ethical brands under its JUST APPROVED™ seal. The 30-day Indiegogo campaign, titled “Let’s Change the Way We Shop,” will fund the research of 100 additional brands, 12 new JUST APPROVED™ lists and the development of the organization’s seal of approval. With nine days left, the campaign has raised 92 percent of its $30,000 goal.
“This campaign is a direct response to our users’ requests for more data and JUST APPROVED™ guides. With the campaign funds, we will research additional brands and expand our JUST APPROVED™ lists to a dozen categories,” said Natalie Grillon, co-CEO of Project JUST. “The impact of our research and JUST APPROVED™ lies in our ability to help shoppers diﬀerentiate and support those brands that share their values. Our aim is to shift purchasing behavior towards options with sustainable, ethical practices and collectively inﬂuence the industry through the power of our wallets.”
Project JUST was co-founded by Acumen Fellows Grillon and Shahd AlShehail in early 2014; the co-founders, with backgrounds in fashion, supply chains and international development, were inspired to start the company after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013. The platform empowers a growing market of conscientious shoppers to purchase not only by ﬁt, style and quality but also the company ethics and practices.
“After Rana Plaza, we realized that transparency in fashion was not just nice to have, but absolutely imperative,” Grillon said. “We know from our previous work in the industry that sustainable and ethical alternative clothing options do exist but people can’t diﬀerentiate. With information lost in the complexity of fast fashion supply chains, the shopper is purchasing clothes unaware of the potential negative impacts of their decisions. Our clothing purchasing habits are killing people and harming the environment.”
Lauded for its ease of use and beautiful design, the site helps shoppers navigate which companies hold positive sustainable and ethical values for our planet and its people.
Shoppers can request brands, vote their opinion on each set of research and download data for more in-depth examination. Brands are encouraged to participate and interact with users by submitting updated information and participating in the JUST APPROVED™ selection process.
“Crowdfunding is an important next step for Project JUST - their platform is the answer to a problem that's existed in our industry for decades + helps everyday fashion lovers make informed choices. These funds will help set them on a ﬁrm foundation to realize their vision towards a more sustainable, ethical industry," said Bob Bland, industry veteran and CEO of Manufacture NY, a fashion design and production incubator for independent designers based in Brooklyn, New York.
Each brand on the site is researched across eight categories: size and business model, labor practices, environment, transparency, management, community, innovation and intention. In April, the site released JUST APPROVED™, curated category lists of the best brands moving the fashion industry forward. Since its launch, Project JUST has added over 75 brand proﬁles, welcomed 32,000 users to the site, and received over 200 brand research requests from its users. Successful completion of its $30k crowdfunding goal will enable the addition of 100 new brands to the platform.
“We know there is a growing set of shoppers eager for this information. By helping them to navigate which brands action positive sustainable and ethical practices for our planet and its people, we can all support those who share our values and replace the broken system of fast fashion with a sustainable, equitable model,” Grillon said. “We believe that real change happens through the accumulation of the small choices we make each day. With the contributions from this campaign, together we can change the way we shop.”
“Let’s Change the Way We Shop” runs through July 23.