How Your Purchases Can Vote For You
We each have individual values and causes that we care about, whether they’re ethical, environmental, to do with people, animals or otherwise. We’ve discovered CoGo, a new platform and app that enables you to communicate your values through your purchases and effect change in businesses you shop from. We caught up with Ben Gleisner, founder of CoGo to find out more about this new platform.
WHAT IS COGO?
Our tech platform and brand new app enables and informs sustainable business practice change by giving consumers’ values a voice. We connect consumers to businesses that share their values and are already doing their part to create a better world. We complete thorough checks on all of the CoGo accredited businesses to ensure their statements are valid. But it doesn’t stop there! When users sign up to CoGo they register their values and their bank card. This means that every time they shop with that card, it sends a signal to the business indicating what they care about. It’s essentially about taking the power of data and using it to inform positive social and environmental change.
We know that many businesses want to make a conscious effort to become more ethical and sustainable, but don’t know where to start. Our database of consumer values works as an influential tool for change. Seeing what issues their customers and potential customers care about helps these businesses to take action in a meaningful way. The final piece in the puzzle is that when a business adopts a new practice or gains a new badge because of the CoGo community’s collective influence, we tell the users about the good they’ve helped create. The impact we can have when we come together is amazing!
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR ‘ACTIONS’ SO FAR?
So far in the UK the top four issues people want to see action on are reducing packaging waste (58%), paying staff the living wage (57%), offering products without slave or child labour (54%) and actively reducing their carbon emissions (50%). We are really pleased to see more than 20% of people want businesses to offer vegan products!
HOW DOES THE VEGAN OPTION WORK?
We look for businesses that offer vegan products or serve vegan dishes. We then validate these claims by double checking them and ensuring that no animal products are used in their production. Consumers that use the app that have indicated they want to see businesses stocking vegan products are then told about local places stocking vegan, and most importantly they get to hear how places are starting to stock vegan products because they can see consumers like you care about it. Win win win!
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF USING THIS SERVICE FOR VEGANS AND PEOPLE INTERESTED IN ETHICAL LIFESTYLE?
Not only does CoGo make it really easy for you to find products and produce that align with your values, but you are also able to vote to see more vegan items on menus or in shops. And as more vegans join the platform, we’re able to gather data that indicates a volume of vegan consumers in an area or using a certain business. We can then take that information to businesses and encourage them to better serve the vegan community. It works the same way with all of the CoGo badges. When a CoGo business starts offering more vegan products or a new business joins the platform, we’ll tell you about it, meaning your database of vegan friendly shops and eateries will continue to grow.
WHY SHOULD CONSUMERS SIGN UP TO COGO?
CoGo is a great companion for conscious consumers but moreover, when we come together our voices can be powerful motivators for change. Our influence will only grow in line with our community, so if you want to see sustainable and ethical business practice go mainstream, you should get involved.