An app called Buycott is giving iPhone owners the chance to make a political statement each and every time they shop. The concept behind the app is simple: when you’re in a store, scan an item’s UPC code to see what parent company owns the product.
“What company owns the product?” you might ask. “Wouldn’t that be the name of the company on the package?”
Not necessarily. Popular brand names are often subsidiaries of bigger corporations. And those corporations might have their fingers in things you politically disagree with. This means that even though there is no way you would support the corporation’s political activities (say they donate to political campaigns you don’t like) you may be inadvertently supporting that corporation by buying one of its subsidiary’s products.
Take, for example, Angel Soft bathroom tissue. The ultimate owner of that company is Koch Industries, which has extreme political views on one end of the spectrum that you may disagree with. By scanning that product with Buycott in the store, you’re immediately told who the owner is (Koch Industries) and that information can allow you to make more informed buying decisions.
Buycott also allows you to create and follow campaigns covering issues you care about. These campaigns cover a wide variety of topics and allow you to make better buying decisions by not only telling you what companies to boycott, but by telling you which companies support you ideological views (hence the “buy” in Buycott). Currently the most popular campaign is ‘Demand GMO Labeling,’ while the most trending campaign is ‘Avoid Koch Industries.’
Buycott is a free download.
Buycott lets you boycott evil companies while you shop originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 15 May 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.