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What’s in a name?

Here’s the easy way to buy products from brands that share your ethics
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

This article first appeared in our winter ’19 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Love Revolution, distributed with the Guardian on 22 February 2018. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

You can’t be expected to put your money where your heart is if you don’t know which companies are aligned with your beliefs. You can find this information – plus lots more – from Giki, the social enterprise that’s on a mission to help you buy from brands that share your values.

Giki’s mobile app contains 250,000 rated products; with a scan of the barcode, you can view a product’s performance across sustainability, health and fairness – plus conduct your own Palm Oil Audit – to find alternatives that better match your values. Choose which Giki badges matter to you, and only pick the products that have won them.


Giki rates products not on price, but on whether a product fits with what matters to you. Choose which criteria matter most – from climate change and shopping local to animal welfare – and choose products with high ratings in those areas.


If you want to find the most sustainable products while you’re shopping, look out for these Giki badges when you scan the barcodes using the Giki app.

Giki checks a number of certification standards, from organisations including the Soil Association, the EU and the USDA, to ascertain whether a product
is organic.

A product’s label is checked for information that would help consumers understand whether some, or all,
of the packaging can be recycled.

Before awarding this badge, Giki checks whether the product has been made, manufactured, produced, baked or brewed in the UK. It uses labelling information, supported by logos such as the Red Tractor UK flag.

This badge is awarded after Giki has analysed guidance and certification information from the Marine Conservation Society, the Marine Stewardship Council, the Aquatic Stewardship Council, the Fairtrade Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Giki uses research from WRAP, the Barilla Institute and academic studies to group products into low, medium and high carbon footprint categories.

Giki checks the palm oil that companies use in their supply chain using data from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Standards including the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard and EU Ecolabel for consumers are used to determine whether a cleaning product contains kind ingredients.

Giki looks for independent certifications from Soil Association, EU Organic, USDA, COSMOS and BDIH for evidence of natural or organic ingredients.

Giki logo

Download the free Giki app from Google Play of the Apple App Store

Conduct your own palm oil audit with Giki Badges


If health is your concern, only buy products that have been awarded the following badges from Giki.

Giki checks for commonly cited chemicals of concern using information from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Breast Cancer UK and Wikidata.

Giki only awards this badge to products with no additives. It uses the FSA’s additives list plus lists of other additives that are not commonly consumed as food.

Combining Food Standards Agency front-of-pack nutrition labelling with guidance from the NHS, Giki awards this badge to products with green and amber ratings on the traffic light system.


If you want to avoid companies that test on animals or don’t prioritise their welfare, choose products with these Giki badges.

This badge is only awarded after a product has been checked against certification standards from the Soil Association, RSPCA Assured and EU Organic.

Products that have met the standards of Cruelty Free International, NATRUE, BDIH and the Vegan Society will be awarded this badge from Giki. A manufacturer’s claim of ‘no animal testing’ is also acknowledged if it is put on the product label.

The palm oil audit

Think there’s nothing you can do about deforestation and the loss of wildlife? Think again.

Unsustainable palm oil leads to deforestation, threatens orangutans with extinction and contributes to climate change. Local communities miss out, too. Palm oil is everywhere: if you clean, eat and wash, the chances are you’ve used it in the last week.

It takes three steps and three minutes to make your first swap to sustainable palm oil or palm-oil free. The Giki app helps you find palm oil in your supermarket products and, if it’s unsustainable, swap it with a product that’s palm oil free or that contains only
sustainable palm oil.

Simply scan the barcode; if the product contains palm oil, you’re on the lookout for Giki’s Sustainable Palm Oil badge.

Click here to find out more about how Giki can become your sustainable shopping companion.

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