We sat down with co- founder Charlotte Abercron, over coffe and discussed their idea behind the soon to be launched google chrome extention 'The Good Us'.
How did you get involved in the business?
Sometime after giving birth to our second son in July 2018, I jumped down the “save the planet rabbit hole” and haven’t come out the other side. I went through phases of being worried sick for the future of this planet and decided to actively do something about it. I wanted to chat to literally everyone about this topic but I didn’t want to bore people and my husband kind of told me “Charly, you can’t speak about this 24/7”. So I wrote a document with practical tips, tricks & hacks on how to live a more earth friendly life and shared it with friends and family. Then one evening in August 2019, my husband played tennis with Felix, my now business partner, and they both started talking about how they are only eating vegetarian at home, changing their electricity supplier, reducing their waste etc. I think they secretly went to have a burger while chatting ha!
It turned out that Felix was working on an idea in the sustainability space. We met for coffee a few days later and voilà, I loved the idea and decided to join.
What is your mission and why?
We are product developers, ecommerce entrepreneurs and tech developers by experience, and as such we have a deep understanding of shopping, products and technology. So we had a long think about what we could do and eventually it came to us naturally...it is what is closest to home - the decisions we take each and every day when we spend money on the things we need. We believe that every choice made and every pound spent, is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. That’s why we started The Good Us - a sustainability scoring tool that helps you take smarter & more conscious purchasing decisions whenever you are after a new piece for your wardrobe. We hope it will become everyone’s loyal shopping assistant on all things fashion.
The Good Us is a commercial business with a social mission – help save the planet, one purchase at a time.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
That’s tricky as with a young business there are so many. I’d say that finding a product/market fit is currently the big one we are facing. The thing is that The Good Us Shopping Assistant solves a very ‚new problem’ because people are only just realising that their current shopping habits are not sustainable. So as I type this, a lot of people might not know they have a problem (we can help with). If we went by the book, we wouldn’t even be running The Good Us. Why not? Because one of the top rules in the Startup idea finding stage is „If consumers haven’t looked for ways of solving this problem already, they’re not going to look for (or buy) yours“.
We are convinced, however, that we are experiencing a fundamental shift in buying behaviours in our overall economy: More and more people are very aware of the impact of their purchasing choices on the world and their health. They want to spend their money on products sold by purpose-driven brands – knowing that their money will support causes they believe in. But: It is very difficult and time-consuming for these consumers to make good online purchasing decisions. There is no universal standard for sustainable fashion. Consumers are flooded by choice and most people don‘t have time to browse thousands of websites, research a myriad of ethical problems and demystify hundreds of sustainability certifications.
This is why The Good Us Exists. We want to put an end to uninformed decisions and thus an end to fast fashion.
What would be your top tips for a more sustainable everyday?
If I had to list one thing it would be cut out meat and dairy. „A vegan diet is probably the single best way to reduce your imapct on planet earth“ (says Joseph Poore at Oxford University). If that’s too much, then eat less of it and only eat organic.
Other things we can all do right now (listing only the low hanging fruits and those with the biggest impact)
- Fly and drive less, ride a bike, walk or take a train when travelling
- Switch your household to greener energy
- Vote and speak up to your political leaders and demand change
- Refuse what you DO NOT need. Things like flyers, junk mail and single-use items; cancel catalogue subscriptions, say no to nonsense freebies and goody bags
- Reduce what you DO need (e.g. declutter, simplify, sell and donate, shop less & prioritize second hand, share / borrow / rent, meal plan to avoid food waste, manage your pantry)
- Reuse instead of single use (e.g. reusable water bottle, coffee cup, cutlery)
- Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse
- Rot or compost the rest (e.g. food scraps don’t need to go into the trash)
- Repair broken items before automatically replacing them. I am lucky here as I married a MacGyver handyman; I’d admittedly be lost without him as he can fix just about anything but there’re plenty of shops, cobblers etc. that can fix most of your items
- Buy high quality items that will last long. In particular clothes, furniture etc.
- Shop locally if you can and only buy online what you cannot get locally
- Shop organic and fair trade items
- Eat seasonally & locally
Most importantly of all the above, spread the word and share your changes with friends, family & work colleagues. Talking about your experiences and new habits is by far the most impactful thing you can do!
The Good Life is to launch this spring. Read more https://thegoodus.co.uk/