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Balu – ethical choices for the conscious consumer

By Giselle Cory, 21 Nov 2016

We don’t always get what we want. For many of us, we want to do no harm, maybe even do some good if we can. We want great tech, without wondering how far the supply chain dipped into shady dealings to get all those much needed minerals and metals. We want to dress in our own style, without poverty and pollution sown in-between the stitches of our new clothes.  We want products that get to us fast and reliably, without hollowing out our much-loved town and city centres. We want choice, and we want it without harm to people and places. And, perhaps, we want to feel good about ourselves while we’re at it.

But we’re busy people, and to speed things up we turn to big brands and stores, or shop through powerful search engines to find what we want. And all too often the results they return force us to compromise on our values. Balu was born out of frustration with this compromise.

There are better choices. There are so many companies working tirelessly to change the way their industries work. They are pioneering new techniques to create and reuse products, in a way that does not harm people or degrade our world. They are treating their workers well and providing training and support to earn their way out of dead ends.

But it’s hard to find these great companies. They don’t have the advertising clout, and its hard to translate all the feel-good messages that bad and good businesses alike send our way. Is Fairtrade good enough? Is it ok for a company to be destructive if it gives money to charity? Isn’t a bad job for a worker better than no job at all?

That’s where Balu come in. Balu translates the web into ethical choices for the conscious consumer. While you shop like you always have, using the same tools, stores and searches that you’ve always used, Balu shows you safe, eco-friendly, and responsibly-sourced products. We have a single aim: place these products – the most sustainable, responsibly-sourced products – side by side with the mainstream, so consumers can make their own decisions about what to buy. That’s why Balu appears alongside mainstream products, so you can shop with all the choices at your fingertips.

We’ve got a beta version up and running, with user testing and further development coming over the coming months thanks to the Outlandish Fellowship. If you feel passionately about ethical consumerism – or just love the sound of the app – please get involved!