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Honey for Sustainability

  • Details
  • News 99+
  • Updates 99+
  • Comments 40
 Progress
32 milestones complete
12 milestones to go

Ethically is in Stage 3: Validation

info_outline In Stage 3, we are building an MVP, driving initial user growth, rapidly iterating based on user feedback, and tracking unit economics and other KPIs.

 The Unmet Need

1. Consumers want to buy green/sustainably (and invest green/sustainably), but it is hard for them to know how.
2. Companies who are green/sustainable want to attract consumers to buy their products and invest in their company.

groups People

person  Co-Founder / CEO:  Jada Mclean (founder-in-residence)

person  Founder Associate:  Iesha Magallanes (core team)

group_work Contributors:  Jeremy Burton Lissette AriasBrennan CheungSpencer KoehlPurav Maheshwari Merrick ClarkNicole Lee Brett Wischow Patrick O'Shea Jada McleanSR Sushmitha RadhakrishnanNE Nikita ElkinGC Grace Connors Iesha MagallanesLG Luciano Giannini

follow_the_signs Followers:  Jeremy BurtonNicole LeeJeremy Burton-Guild Lissette Arias Jada Mclean Merrick ClarkJM Jack McMackinJK Joe KendallLL Linda Lynch Tim ConnorsAN Abhishek NagarajML Megan LynchPC Patrick CarrollSD Sagar DesaiDB David BoneparthGC Grace ConnorsPO Peggy O'FlahertyMN Michael NguyenAK Alexia Kelley Brett WischowBH Brenda HatteryKK Kirk KirschenbauerCA Carol AlexanderCS Cliel SchachterOG Oliver GunasekaraDC Daniel Chew Andrew PembertonMD MICHAEL DentonMD Mairead DunneDN Dawn NguyenFW Felipe WitchgerBU Bill UniowskiJM Jack MinsonFK Francis KimRD Ron DeAngelisBP Ben PriceJL Jim LarrisonLC Lerk-Ling ChangDO Daniel O'MahoneyTH Theo HaugenBP Brian PlamondonSS Shaun StylesFM Frank MastronuzziAG Amy GuarinoJM John McIntyreML Maile LesicaWW William WaddingtonAC Asheem ChandnaOE Omar El-AyatHT Hillary TyreeBD Brendan DalyBH Bill HilliardNF Nis FromeAG Angie GrimmCG Chris GerbenMN Michael NguyenEL Eunnice LeeJF Joshua FrancisJH John HenrySG Steve GrossCJ Chris JohnsonJT John TurnerSW Sven WeberJG John GibbonsCG Celena GreenHP Herb PaarJF Julian FloresBP Brodeur,Mark,MENLO PARK,MarketingJB Jeff BalagurasDB Dave BoucreeBF Brian FreemanJL Jason LoheMW Mike WepplerKB Kees BriggsEC Evan ClaudeanosDH David HatteryCM Cecilia MarihartAY Allan YoungSP Stephanie PalmeriAW Abby WestLG Luciano GianniniNW Norman WinarskyJO Jon OgoloCR Charles RupprechtDC Doug ColvardGK Georgi KatanovMA Marian AduseiCS Carl ShaulisNA Nitin AhujaRL Rilwan LawalCH Christopher HartlageER Earl RennisonMJ Matt Jessen-HowardES Emma SunJO James OnwualuMS Michael ShahriariCG Chris GraffKG Kimberly GreenbergMM Matthew McBrideDH David HannesJM Jilma MenesesDW Dan WeisJD Jordan Divecha John WallerCF Colleen ForakerCB Charley BernoCP Cuong PhamES Erik SieglerTC Timothy Cash Tamara Close Iesha Magallanes Brandon WimbushSB Salem BagamiJK John KennedyBG Bill GodwinGE Griffin EatonKO Kim OreskovicAP Aurelio PérezHD Hannah DopicoCR Charles RussellKC Katia CarranzaMP Michael PatockSJ Scott JessupVA Victoria ArchAW Alec WrightCP Cristin PacificoCA Chukwuemeka AmadiAH Adam HiattEo Elijah ogbonnia

toll Funding
  • Platform core funding
  • Richard Hart
 News
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how_to_reg  John Kennedy followed Ethically • about 5 hours ago
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how_to_reg  Adam Hiatt followed Ethically • 11 days ago
work_outline  Mike Weppler accepted "Give Ethically a review!" Help Request • 13 days ago
how_to_reg  Chukwuemeka Amadi followed Ethically • 13 days ago
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beenhere  Ethically completed the milestone "Create NewCo" • 25 days ago
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work_outline  John Gibbons accepted "15 minute User Feedback Interview" Help Request • 26 days ago
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how_to_reg  James Onwualu followed Ethically • about 1 month ago
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how_to_reg  Rilwan Lawal followed Ethically • about 1 month ago
how_to_reg  Nitin Ahuja followed Ethically • about 1 month ago
paid  Ethically raised money from Richard Hart • about 1 month ago
how_to_reg  Carl Shaulis followed Ethically • about 1 month ago
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how_to_reg  Georgi Katanov followed Ethically • about 1 month ago
how_to_reg  Doug Colvard followed Ethically • about 2 months ago
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how_to_reg  Lidiya Dervisheva followed Ethically • 2 months ago
work_outline  Mike Weppler accepted "Editing help" Help Request • 2 months ago
work_outline  Mike Weppler accepted "Download Ethically and give us feedback!" Help Request • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Mike Weppler followed Ethically • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Jason Lohe followed Ethically • 2 months ago
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toll  Ethically is raising Pre-Seed • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Jeff Balaguras followed Ethically • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Brodeur,Mark,MENLO PARK,Marketing followed Ethically • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Julian Flores followed Ethically • 2 months ago
work_outline  Herb Paar accepted "15 minute User Feedback Interview" Help Request • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Herb Paar followed Ethically • 2 months ago
work_outline  Herb Paar accepted "Download Ethically and give us feedback!" Help Request • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  Celena Green followed Ethically • 2 months ago
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how_to_reg  Sven Weber followed Ethically • 2 months ago
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beenhere  Ethically completed the milestone "Winning Metric 0: Does it work?" • 2 months ago
how_to_reg  John Henry followed Ethically • 2 months ago
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{"ops":[{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333"},"insert":"Hello All - We have been working hard on making it easy to navigate to more sustainable brands within Amazon and we now have over 750 consumer packaged goods brands with grades and alternatives. "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333"},"insert":"This is how it works: When you are on a product listing with Amazon, you will find a suggested alternative brand and its corresponding grade. Upon clicking, this will take you to the Amazon search results page where you can find a similar product with a higher grade. It takes just 3 clicks to get a more sustainable alternative in your cart and ready to be shipped. "},{"insert":"\n\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333","bold":true},"insert":"Wins"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent"},"insert":"We have had 249 installs and our average retention of our users after 10 weeks is 65%"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent"},"insert":"After initial conversations, we have validated that sustainable focused brands are interested in exploring potential partnership opportunities with Ethically. We think this could represent an opportunity for revenue, but also cross-promotion and deepening our data on those brands"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333","bold":true},"insert":"Challenges"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent"},"insert":"Now that we have users engaging with Ethically repeatedly, we are working to figure out where our users are getting the most value but it is really tough to get feedback so please provide feedback when you get the chance. We would love to know the main benefit that our users are getting from Ethically now. We would appreciate any comments here :)"},{"insert":" "},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333","bold":true},"insert":"Asks"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent"},"insert":"Please download, provide feedback, and share"},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent"},"insert":"Intros to sustainable brands that may be interested in using Ethically to build their brand awareness "},{"attributes":{"list":"bullet"},"insert":"\n"},{"insert":" \n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333","italic":true},"insert":"As a reminder, what is Ethically?"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333","italic":true},"insert":"Ethically is a browser extension for the conscious consumer. It provides real-time sustainability scores for companies as you shop so you can shop and discover companies that are aligned with your values. Conscious consumerism right at the tip of your mouse."},{"insert":"\n \n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333"},"insert":"Until next time,"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"background":"transparent","color":"#333333"},"insert":"Jada"},{"insert":"\n\n\n"}]}
{"ops":[{"insert":"Hey everyone! Today we officially launched on Product Hunt! We'd love an upvote if you have one to spare :)\n"},{"attributes":{"link":"https://www.producthunt.com/posts/ethically"},"insert":"https://www.producthunt.com/posts/ethically"},{"insert":"\nAlso friendly reminder to download Ethically if you haven't already! We just recently integrated into Amazon and Google Shopping (s/o "},{"insert":{"mention":{"index":"0","denotationChar":"@","id":"27995","value":"Merrick Clark"}}},{"insert":" and "},{"insert":{"mention":{"index":"2","denotationChar":"@","id":"45658","value":"Patrick Shea"}}},{"insert":" ). One step closer to bringing sustainability to everywhere you shop. "},{"attributes":{"link":"https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ethically/jhblmggmbbdkhffdkjfolpmpphfnofla"},"insert":"https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ethically/jhblmggmbbdkhffdkjfolpmpphfnofla"},{"insert":"\n"}]}
Hello All - Last week was our first week of Amazon data and we saw some really good engagement. This week we are focused on displaying more sustainable alternatives within Amazon, increasing conversion from our paid marketing campaigns, and the first version of our Ethically score. Wins -We have had 303 installs -From our initial week of data on Amazon, it looks like we had users search several products/brands and then add one of those products to cart. This is great initial data on the shopping process, for which products people are using Ethically, and potential revenue. Challenges -More feedback. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) -We are starting to grow out of CSRHub data and are exploring how to score non-CSRhub rated companies. First, we will be incorporating B corp scores which will provide some medium size companies to our database. But the challenge of scoring more medium sized companies that are not covered by any data set remains. -Engagement from paid marketing is good but conversion to installs are not as high as we would like. As a result, Brett has made some adjustments on our sign up/install flow that we will test over the following weeks. Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Intros to sustainability newsletters, organizations, or media that would be interested in featuring Ethically as a disruptive product in ESG/circular economy - We have gotten some good reception from our initial outreach efforts so hoping to continue to engage these channels -Intros to sustainable brands that would be interested in cross-promotional opportunities with Ethically -Intro to someone within partnerships at B corp non-profit. As a reminder, what is Ethically? Ethically is a browser extension for the conscious consumer. It provides real-time sustainability scores for companies as you shop so you can shop and discover companies that are aligned with your values. Change the world while you shop. Until next time, Jada
Hello All - Here is another quick update. Since our last update, we have released our update that now includes Ethically scores on Amazon within the product listings and on related products. Now we are working on providing alternatives to more sustainable brands within Amazon. For now, you can look to the related products to quickly pop over to more sustainable brands. We are working to bring sustainability to your existing shopping experience. Wins -We have had 289 installs with users opening up the extension to view scores 9 times per session -Making sustainable shopping convenient is our winning message. We performed several experiments with varying messages where this message has continued to outperform further exciting us about our continued development of sustainable shopping within Amazon Challenges -More feedback. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) -Scoring for medium/small brands - Some consistent user feedback has been that the information cost to find small/medium size brands is too high so they resort to shopping sustainable lines within big retailers but what if we could provide a simple/transparent score for some of these small/medium sized sustainably focused brands? Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Intros to sustainability newsletters, organizations, or media that would be interested in featuring Ethically as a disruptive product in ESG/circular economy -Any ideas on data sets that could be helpful as we consider developing a modified Ethically score for small/medium sized brands As a reminder, what is Ethically? Ethically is a browser extension for the conscious consumer. It provides real-time sustainability scores for companies as you shop so you can shop and discover companies that are aligned with your values. Change the world while you shop. Until next time, Jada
Hey everyone, there's a lot going on in the world of Ethically, so I thought I'd do a bit of a deeper dive on growth efforts! -We've hit a bit of stagnation in some of our growth efforts. We're cruising at about 10% weekly growth on our install base (a little over 74% growth in the last 4 weeks), but not nearly enough considering how early stage we are. -We are seeing really good conversions on our organic content and are going to continue doubling down on blog and social posting. -We went ahead and scrapped Quora from our marketing spend. We were getting fantastic CTR and CPC (like 4% CTR and $.02 CPC), but the conversions/installs weren't following. We may revisit it and see if different content leads to higher conversions with the same top line stats, but for now we're going to stay focused on what's working, Google ads and SEO/content production while exploring a few untapped channels. -This week we're building out more company pages which will help with user experience and SEO, continuing to build out the blog content, and pushing out our Ethically referral program. We're also working behind the scenes to identify possible newsletter or niche publications in the ESG/eco-friendly shopping universe for sponsorship or interview opportunities for Jada to help bolster the brand awareness. How you can help 1. Refer people to Ethically. Just click the share button in the Ethically extension and send it to your family, friends... or enemies for that matter. 2. Feedback on the extension. 3. As Jada mentioned below - any intros to niche publications in the ESG/environmental space would be incredibly helpful.
Hello All - Happy Monday! I missed last week so this one will make up for it. Over the last two weeks, we have added some cool enhancements. You can now view Ethically scores without having to sign up and you can see related news to the companies that you are searching. Our next enhancement in the works is Ethically scores while you are shopping on Amazon. So many features to provide feedback on! Wins -We have had 244 installs. -Our organic efforts are starting to show some progress 35% of our installs came from organic last week Challenges -More feedback. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) -Increasing impressions in the Chrome store - We have recently updated our listing in the chrome store to ideally increase conversion (let us know what you think) but also working to increase impressions to the chrome store. Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Intros to sustainability newsletters, organizations, or media that would be interested in featuring Ethically as a disruptive product in ESG/circular economy. As a reminder, what is Ethically? Ethically is a browser extension for the conscious consumer. It provides real-time sustainability scores for companies as you shop so you can shop and discover companies that are aligned with your values. Change the world while you shop. Until next time, Jada
Interesting piece of learning from our data dive this week - we end up losing a ton of potential installs when we send them to our Ethically home page through various pieces of content. Need to walk the tight rope between using the home page as a selling tool and reducing friction for potential users. With it being a free product, we're moving towards just getting people to the extension store listing as soon as possible. Need to bulk up the store listing now to make sure the CTA is as strong as possible (we originally kept it pretty bare bones while we were dealing with extension approval issues).
Hello All - In case you missed it, we have ticked off another milestone. Does it work?...Yes! With the new and improved alternatives, we have noticed an uptick in engagement with alternatives. And now that we have implemented affiliate programs, we will be able to begin to validate our revenue model. Wins -We have had 196 installs. Users are clicking more alternatives with users clicking 4 users per session vs 1.3 the week before. Challenges -More feedback. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) -50%+ wow user growth - We are exploring ways to get groups (like employees within companies) to promote Ethically within their networks. Our hypothesis is that Ethically will be shared in small networks so we want to learn what these networks look like, what will get people to share, what they will want to share and how they will share. Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Introduction to environmentally focused non-profits - We think there is an opportunity to amplify their mission by amplifying Ethically. Help request on Platform. -Intro to Adidas Chief Sustainability Officers and sustainability officers at large retailers Recognition -Herb Paar for accepting our help request to provide feedback -John Henry for feedback on how to make our weekly updates more shareable As a reminder, what is Ethically? Ethically is a browser extension for the conscious consumer. It provides real-time sustainability scores for companies as you shop so you can shop and discover companies that are aligned with your values. Change the world while you shop. Until next time, Jada
Hello All - Last week, we completed some huge enhancements to our alternatives. We decided to show the overall score and corresponding Ethically grade. You should now be able to see click-worthy alternatives while you search! Wins -We have had 162 installs. We achieved 50% week-over-week growth with 26 installs last week -We have reached another milestone: Does it work (as expected)? Overall scores and score breakdowns are consistent. Users can begin to discover more relevant sustainable brands through the extension. Challenges -More feedback. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Introduction to environmentally focused non-profits - We think there is an opportunity to amplify their mission by amplifying Ethically. Help request on Platform. -Introduction to any marketing departments within companies. We would love to learn about their sustainability initiatives. Help request on Platform Recognition - Lissette for making an introduction to a consulting group that sustainability initiatives internally that Ethically may be able to support Until next time, Jada
Hello All - Back again for a quick update. We have gotten great feedback from users and we are considering all of it as we implement updates. This week you can expect to see some case studies on companies and further updates to our alternatives. Our objective is to drive installs and feedback. Wins -We have had 129 installs. Our next milestone is 500. Let’s see how quickly we can get there... -Our current power user is using Ethically twice a week and 3 times in a day -We are learning where our user may be hanging out online through interviews so we will be exploring marketing on Quora and Vox. Vox is an interesting one because a user mentioned that between Vox and Netflix documentaries she was able to build awareness and then the motivation to act but didn’t know how Challenges -At this stage, feedback is very valuable. We are doing user feedback interviews and still offering option points for feedback (see help request: https://os.platformstud.io/guild/help_requests/15-minute-user-feedback-interview-for-ethically) Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share -Social sharing is now a function within the extension! Let us know how you’d like for this feature to be enhanced. -Introduction to environmentally focused non-profits - We think there is an opportunity to amplify their mission by amplifying Ethically Recognition -Francis Kim for always providing feedback! Power user. -Jeff McFadden, Dave Shefferman, David Boneparth, Garret Dunham and Jack Minson for responding to our prior help requests. Appreciate your support!
Any chance of a Firefox plugin? I stopped using Chrome a while ago because of its bloat. Thanks
Hello All - Last week, we implemented the new taxonomy to approximately 4000 sites so you should be able to see scores and some alternatives for these. We also officially launched and have gotten some great feedback from the Guild already, so thank you! This week we will be refining display logic of alternatives, driving installs, and conducting user interviews. Wins - Users were averaging 1.75 clicks on alternatives per session - We have had 112 installs - People are engaging - The extension is being expanded about 5.3 times per user and the users were clicking to see the score breakdown about 4.4 times. Challenges - We need users and feedback - Feedback is really valuable and we are reaching out to users to get feedback but we can never get enough feedback - Optimize cold email campaign - We are currently doing a cold email campaign and while we know conversion for these typically aren’t stellar we could use tips on how to optimize these efforts Asks - Please download, provide feedback, and share -- Social sharing is now a function within the extension! - We are starting to do user interviews so if you are willing to help, please comment. - We have heard that the marketing department of mid-size retailers would be interested in a product like Ethically. Do you know anyone that would be willing to let us know if/when Ethically would be valuable for their sustainability marketing initiatives? Recognition -Thank you to Richard Hart for being a thought partner on vision, mission, and how we get there. Also - We have brought on a new team member! Iesha Magallanes is a recent Notre Dame grad with experience as a designer, engineer and artist with her own startup and some cool companies like Playstation and Estee Lauder. As a founder associate, she will be working closely with me on everything from talking to users to programming. Until next time, Jada
Hello All - Last week, we were able to get a new update out into the wild with most visited e-commerce websites matched to better alternatives. This week, we will be working to implement the new taxonomy more widely and in turn increasing discovery of more sustainable options through our alternatives. Wins -Users were averaging 1.5 clicks per session -We have had 84 installs -Implementing the new industry taxonomy yielding better matched alternatives but also paving the way for further refinement and customization of our industries to yield even better alternatives Challenges -We need users and feedback! Please download, provide feedback and share. We are excited to begin to see where our users are getting value and how we can make sure they continue to derive value Asks -Most Important Ask: Please download, provide feedback, and share. You can download here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ethically/jhblmggmbbdkhffdkjfolpmpphfnofla -An introduction to someone at Ecovadis, a sustainability ratings company. I’d love to learn more about their product Recognition -Thank you to Adam Hiatt for introducing me to Zeena Freeman, an expert in scaling D2C products and fellow sustainability warrior
I wonder how you can broaden the reach of scoring, I know that the IFRS is looking into creating a Sustainability Standards Board (the SSB) which helps for big companies but will miss all the smaller ones. I'm enjoying using it so far!
Hello All - Back again with a quick update. We are laser focused on optimizing alternatives so we can begin to understand the value that users are getting from Ethically. Over the past week, we have been working on implementing a finer-grained industry taxonomy and are excited to get it out into the wild. Wins -Users were averaging 1.5 clicks per session -We have had 61 installs Challenges -With better alternatives, our next challenge will be acquiring users. We will be running experiments on several digital channels but always open to more ideas/experiments Asks -Please download, provide feedback, and share Recognition -Thank you to Merrick, our engineer, he has been working hard on getting us to the next level. -Thank you to Lissette for the beautifully designed homepage and Brett for getting it live so we can keep engineering focused on the product. Check it out! Until next time, Jada
Hello All - This is the first in a series of weekly updates for Ethically. We are really excited about building Ethically and want to share more of it with you all. Keeping in line with the ethos of platform studio, we build in the open. I will try to keep them brief and to the point. The format will be as follows: - Update on recent accomplishments and new focuses - Wins over the last week - Areas that are presenting challenges - Any asks for assistance - Recognition for those who have helped us in the previous week. I am now heading into my 3rd week as CEO/co-founder of Ethically. Wow, it has flown by. Since starting, we have released the MVP (You can download it here) and have already made a few updates. Because our goal is to change the behavior of consumers, our north star metric is how many alternatives users click per session. Our single focus is proving that, when presented with quality alternatives, consumers will purchase from the more sustainable option. Wins - In our first week our users were averaging 2.5 clicks per session - We have had 48 installs Challenges - Because of conversations with Joe Kendall and some initial user feedback, I have been thinking a lot about incremental trust. Our challenge right now is instilling trust in our sustainability scores. - Refining our alternatives so that quality alternatives are presented for popular brands Asks - Please download, provide feedback, and share. You can download here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ethically/jhblmggmbbdkhffdkjfolpmpphfnofla - What purchase are you currently thinking about? How do you go about comparison shopping? I’d love to hear about it. Recognition - Thank you to Ron Drabkin for validation on our marketing experiments and refinement of our metrics for our content marketing efforts - Thank you to Joe Kendall for providing color on affiliate marketing assumptions and being a thinking partner Until next time, Jada
Exciting news! Yesterday, our extension was approved in the app store! You can download the extension here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ethically/jhblmggmbbdkhffdkjfolpmpphfnofla Since we're still early on, feedback is really appreciated (and necessary) so we would love if you could provide any feedback you have here: https://platform.canny.io/ethically Thanks for joining us in this journey!
Our resubmission was declined with no additional details. I’ve submitted a “Our submission was rejected in error” response and placed an additional help ticket requesting details on their decision so we can respond accordingly. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
Totally agree. It’s always about that bottom line, right? And that’s why empowering consumers has the potential to be so powerful! (Btw, the part about companies building a conscience is just me being my usual jocose playful self. I’ll include a laughing emoji to denote the tone in the future.) I love these types of dialogues. There are so many great opportunities to create subject matter content in consumable ways in Ethically via case studies, infographics, interviews, etc. just on the topic of circular economy, its restorative and regenerative principles applied to all aspects of society, linked to the companies leading the way.
Lisette - I wholeheartedly agree with a slight caveat, colored heavily by my perspective on the circular economy. I spent years trying to reconcile the capitalist society predicated on growth with the fundamental resource limitations we have. And there’s a pretty simple link - a need to focus on renewable resources, which includes human labor and human capital. Human creativity and abilities, plus true accounting for all the impacts of a company, open the door to sustainable growth without expanded resource usage. You are able to capture the long tail of usefulness if you do it right. And as for why businesses do it, it’s crucial for their own survival as they all depend on limited resources. As resource scarcity increases, so does the price variability. If COGS/resources are volatile, scarce, and unpredictable, businesses can’t plan and put their own future at stake. You can see this play out even 10 years ago when all the airlines were buying long term fuel contracts to guard against the volatility. Or even consumers signing contracts for years of fixed rate electricity in deregulated markets. The reality we live in is that growth is not bad nor inherently unsustainable. The system just needs to price in externalized costs like human suffering, GHG emissions, etc, and the market can respond. Basically, the forward thinking companies aren’t growing a conscience, they are realizing there is an existential threat to their continued existence if they don’t start accounting for many of these externalized costs. It’s not clear which ones will hit, but some certainly will. And when those are priced in, those companies who were already accounting for it thrive. Just like you said, Ethically can give users the ability to consciously vote with their dollars, adding another lever beyond regulation. It gives people a way to show companies which externalized costs matter most to them. That lets the smart companies focus on the most pressing existential threats. My take is it’s not a come to Jesus moment or even growing a conscience. It’s the desire to survive, which is far stronger than a conscience :)
It’s naive to think corporations had some kind of a Come-to-Jesus moment, built a conscience, and decided to act right. The fact is that acting irresponsibly became a risk to their bottom line. Welcome CSR, joined by the ESG criteria. (Wonder if these acronyms will grow more pillars in the future, we’ll see.) It will be interesting to witness how much companies will be able to bend until they can no longer accommodate the two antagonists: the extractive capitalism or a regenerative economy. Building ESG-friendly layers over a dysfunctional system to appease the new generational and societal demands will be futile, completely pointless, because as you said, ESG is a "do no harm" principle, and all the factors are intertwined. Incremental or selective change won't be good enough. When you peel back the layers, capitalism is an extractive economy– financial gains at the expense of the environment, natural resources, the human condition, our very existence. As such, you could say the ESG criteria and its scores are at odds with capitalism. The entire ESG movement essentially challenges the very foundation of a capitalist economy, because, while investors used ESG criteria for risk assessment, now the consumer will finally have access to information that was not accessible to them before, and will use it to decide how and where they spend their money, catalyzing change, even in the supply chain, challenging companies and keeping them accountable. This may just become their real Come-to-Jesus moment afterall! :)
We submitted V1 of the Ethically Chrome extension to Google on Wednesday. They rejected it because we included "Ethically" in the list of keywords :-) We have resubmitted and hope that turnaround will be rapid.
In this being a viable business, Dosh is another example of the mechanisms like Honey driving business results. Just last week they were bought for $275MM https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cardlytics-acquire-dosh-bolster-digital-113000519.html for a similar model to Honey, but with a business model built on less friction and even more direct feedback. They are a really interesting case study in comparison with browser plugins. Wikibuy is similar as well, which was bought by CapitalOne in 2018 and is now CapitalOne Shopping.
While doing research, I ran into this example of these 2 young girls in the UK that put up a petition on change.org to get Burger King and Mcdonald's to get rid of toys in kid's meals because the plastic is non-recyclable. It seems approximately 9 months and 500,000 signatures later, Burger King submitted a statement that said they would get rid of toys and in exchange would provide books, fruits, etc and even fund playgrounds made out of these turned in toys. And the UK CEO admitted that the petition spurred this decision. This is great and makes the need clear for the companies. HUGE Companies are almost literally throwing spaghetti at the wall to find what customers want (therefore not spending efficiently and probably as a result not eager to spend because they don't know what will yield results) and companies are eager to respond to any collective action being taken by the consumers. How I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Burger King's team discussed this potential initiative. I would love to understand how the team goes about pitching these initiatives within a company. How they frame it and what they currently deem as a successful outcome.
Some background on our terminology approach–on the usage of “green/sustainable”, we’re purposely avoiding the use of the term “green” to label companies, practices, or products. It’s overdone and weak on specificity so it carries no weight or substance. On “sustainability”, although the term was originally coined in relation to forestry, we’re using its most current evolved definition which encompasses all three ESG pillars. By the same token, we are avoiding the use of the ESG acronym to label a company’s overall score. We hope to further empower users by breaking down the sustainability score into the three pillars and explicitly calling out what they are and what they represent in general audience terms.
With such massive adoption of ESG by investors, it's great to see Ethically could now catalyze ESG criteria adoption for consumers, who often get the final say in a well-functioning capitalism. I've seen two classes of errors from the well-intentioned in ESG. Technologists often confuse ESG with "mission," saying that because they have a great mission that is aligned with, say, the UN SDGs, they are by default also ESG aligned, not realizing ESG is a "do no harm" principle, not a "do one great thing" principle. The second type of error is is made by someone who wants ESG to work so badly that they advocate for company governance that effectively is equivalent to regulation by another name. Sometimes the result can be analogous to a child pulling on a plant to try to get it to grow, only water, sunlight and nutrient rich soil can do that! ESG, at its best, is a framework for a good-faith dialogue and process seeking individual and organizational alignment with broader societal objectives (hopefully built on top of functioning legal, regulatory, and ethics layers already in place). In this process, capitalist decision makers add criteria and companies do their best to accommodate requests. So, instead of "let me rate you" (and attempt to take control of your governance), it becomes "hey, I'm trying to improve my own ESG score as an investor or consumer, can we work on this together." Then, when companies make ESG improvements, they look more favorable to ESG-minded investors and consumers, and everybody wins. What you end up with is a new collaboration layer for capitalism. Any capitalist participant who wants to improve their own ESG score and drive their own self-and-collective actualization will be able to put out a request for help and recommendations to strategies, people and vendors/products will flow in. Should be pretty cool. Great to see Ethically as an early leader here.
The hottest space with so much opportunity. It's taking off at a global level and it's waiting for no one.