Make an Impakt

More than a few months ago, a friend added me to a private Facebook group of activists. The group wasn't surrounding one particular social justice issue, but instead was a collection of people with passions about all sorts of issues. A couple of posts later (with me revealing that I cared deeply about conscious consumerism), I was introduced to team members behind a soon-to-be launched website browser extension, Impakt.  

Impakt is a internet browser extension that uses public data and news articles to align your spending with your values, wherever you're shopping online. Using all of this data, Impakt delivers personalized alerts, company profiles, and alternative recommendations. 

There are a couple of things about this project that I'm incredibly excited for. The first is the ease in which information about a company's specific ethics can be accessed. Despite the name of my blog being Maine Ethics, the term 'ethical' is actually too broad when actually looking into a company. I know a big hurdle for people knowing what ethics a company holds is the amount of research that has to happen. This will eliminate a lot of the digging typically required when investigating the ethics of a brand. Secondly, I'm a big fan of the personalization aspect. I know since I first got into ethical consumerism, so many people have asked me about different companies ethics and values. I try and point them in the right direction, but I often end up giving them recommendations based on my personal values and experiences. With Impakt, recommendations are tailored to you. Whether you care most about sourcing vegan products, or knowing if a company is owned by a woman, it will tell you what you want to know. This allows you to know if a company aligns with your values. 

Obviously no website is perfect. I'm going into this with a skeptical mind, as someone who has tried many apps and other websites dedicated to transparency. I think its no fault of the creators, but more about the fact that finding accurate information is just generally difficult. With false information flooding the internet, wading through data and transparency reports is always a difficult task. I also don't think Impakt is the one and only source you should take into consideration. I think Impakt is a great launch point, but I still always encourage doing your own research. 

I'm optimistic about this project. With only knowing a little about the founders, and having a couple of conversations, I truly believe in these people. Their passion has motivated me in many aspects of my career goals, and how I can be a better activist. If you're at all interested in Impakt, their Kickstarter campaign is online until October 31. You can find out more information and donate to their campaign there. 

- Emilie Maine.