Have you ever tried to boycott a corporation or CEO you disagree with? It’s not easy. Even if you avoid a specific brand that you know is tied to a company you hate, the problem is that company may own a number of other, seemingly unrelated brands that you just can’t avoid.
So, say, if you don’t want to give money to the Koch brothers, you’re in for a tough time. How can you possibly keep straight in your head which paper towels, disposable cups, or yoga pants to avoid when you go shopping? (The answers, by the way: Brawny, Dixie, and anything containing Lycra.)
While services like Who Owns Who? have sprung up over the years to try to fill this information gap, the truth is it can be hard to keep track. You don’t want to have to print out a giant list and cross-reference it with every item you see in the grocery store. Check out this list: Coca-Cola Company alone is tied to more than 250 brands!
That’s where Buycott comes in. This new app turns your smartphone into a portable device for identifying brands that conflict with your principles, so you truly can vote with your wallet. Just scan the barcode, let the app look up the product, and you can find out exactly who owns the company and what they stand for.
The great thing about Buycott is that it lets users define the causes they’re most passionate about. So instead of automatically sorting companies into “good” and “bad” lists, you can define the causes that matter to you and get a completely customized experience. So you can avoid companies that oppose the labeling of GMOs, or spend a little extra on companies that have come out in support of marriage equality.
If a campaign doesn’t exist for your cause, you can easily create one — and then other users can join your boycott. You can even look up a company’s contact information to let them know exactly what you think of their business practices.
The app is totally free, and currently available for Apple devices. Android users, don’t despair — your version is currently undergoing some emergency maintenance but should be available again soon.
Photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw via Flickr