We love a good deal as much as the next gal, but when you’re shopping at fast fashion giants, there is always a twinge of guilt when you think about how the garment you’re about to buy was actually produced. It’d be great to shop more responsibly but, let’s be honest, it’s not the easiest thing to do. Unless you have a mental rolodex of sustainable makers or you’re willing to grill the sales associate of every store you walk into, finding ethically sourced goods can quickly end up being easier said than done. Enter Orange Harp, the world’s first mobile fashion app that focuses solely on featuring goods and makers that respect the planet and its people. We took the app for a spin. Here are our initial reactions and thoughts on the new resource for efficiently finding ethical fashion.
What We Loved: When you’re browsing through the app you can choose whether you want to search by garment type or designer. If you’re after a dress for a cocktail party you can head right on over to the dress tab, but if you are just browsing for something new, it’s fun to check out all the profiles by the 25 makers currently featured on the app, browsing the goods produced by companies that catch your eye. When you click on a piece you immediately see a few bullet points highlighted in an orange box telling you why Orange Harp loves the designer and where the product was made. For example, when clicking on a pair of high waisted underwear by Naja, it’s easy to see that the piece is made from hand-harvested Peruvian Pima cotton and the company trains and educates single mothers to sew.
What Could Be Improved: While it’s great to be able to use this resource anywhere, one major downside is that there is not a full web-based version of Orange Harp – or at least not yet. When you’re doing online shopping it can be crucial to see as much detail as possible before you buy. Being able to check out the pieces on a bigger screen would be a definite bonus.
What We Hope Is to Come: One major upside to online shopping is the filters. Need a long black dress under $50? Tick a couple of boxes and you can immediately see what your options are. As of now there are no filter options available in Orange Harp, so you might have to sift through a few things out of your price range and personal style preferences to find exactly what you’re looking for. On that note, there are currently only 25 companies selected as sustainable makers featured on Orange Harp so there isn’t an ASOS amount of items to sort through. As this app and (hopefully one day, website) grows, we’d love to see this become a sort of sustainable version of Polyvore – a resource you can turn to to either simply peruse or look for something specific, all while knowing that everything you see is doing something good way beyond your closet.
Orange Harp is available to download for free on iOS.
Do you have a favorite sustainable maker? Share their site with us in the comments below!