Companies don’t just make products — many of them also support political or social issues you may or may not agree with. It can be difficult to tell what company supports what cause, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt knows about a new app that can help.
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) May 15, 2013
Buycott was created by 26-year-old freelance programmer Ivan Pardo, and he spent almost a year and a half making it. When you’re at the store, scan the bar code of a product you’re considering, and the app will tell you the “corporate family tree.” (In other words, it might be made by one company that’s owned by another company, etc.) If you're still not sure which companies to support or avoid, you can join campaigns that will tell you if companies are involved with certain issues. This makes it easy for you to stop buying products from businesses if you don't like their track record. Likewise, if a company has been supporting something you agree with, it's time to buy more of their stuff. Perfect example: If you buy a bag of Starbucks coffee beans, you'll find out that the company supports marriage equality.
While Buycott is out there to help people boycott (or support) companies, creator Pardo will never tell you whom to boycott. “I don’t want to push any single point of view with the app,” he said. “For me, it was critical to allow users to create campaigns because I don’t think it’s Buycott’s role to tell people what to buy. We simply want to provide a platform that empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions.”
Any guesses on what Joseph is buying and avoiding now?