Shopping for consciously-made products can be a difficult task. Orange Harp is a new iOS app that makes ethical shopping a bit easier. Created by two women, programmer Anbu Anbalagapandian and attorney Kacie Gonzalez, Orange Harp is a mobile app that places a curated marketplace of socially conscious, high-quality products right at your fingertips.
Orange Harp not only connects shoppers with ethically made products, but also highlights the brands behind the goods and the work these makers do for social and environmental change. The free mobile app available on the Apple iTunes App Store, features products handpicked by the app’s co-founders ranging from clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men and women.
“Our mission is to bring a new level of awareness around the products we bring into every aspect of our lives and enable people to be a force for good. We use technology, design, and storytelling to make it easy for people to lead a socially conscious lifestyle. Our mobile app is a fun way to discover amazing products, learn about the makers’ inspiration to create those products, and buy the products within the app itself,” says Anbalagapandian. “The best part is that users get instant feedback on what their purchase supports. That’s an incredibly gratifying experience to own great products with great stories while making a social change.”
Named for the co-founders’ nickname for San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Orange Harp was born out of the idea to create a convenient and fun platform to expose more people to socially conscious products. “We are both very conscious in general. Living in San Francisco, it’s hard not to be,” says Gonzalez, “We realized that there were so many options around us for food, but there really wasn’t anything for conscious fashion, personal care, or accessories. What goes on your body is just as important as what goes in it and we wanted to create an easy platform for finding those products.”
Navigating the mobile app is easy and entertaining. Orange Harp’s eye-catching interface features products and makers front and center. The app’s “Highlights” page allows users to view new and popular products, products according to a specific season or holiday, and product picks from influential “tastemakers”. Users can also search for products specifically by brand or by product type and save products to a “Favorites list and share discoveries with friends.
Anbalagapandian and Gonzalez personally research and reach out to brands they think are a good fit for Orange Harp. Every product featured on the app is hand-selected by the co-founders and must also meet specific characteristics. Gonzalez explained the product selection process: “It usually begins with me doing detailed research on brands we are looking to partner with and products we want to introduce on the app. I also do extensive ‘background checks’ to ensure a brand has the certifications they say they do. If I can, I’ll also personally travel to meet our partners in person to view manufacturing processes, working conditions, etc.”
She also mentioned the fast rate at which Orange Harp is adding to their digital catalog of brands and products, “We are currently adding about 1-2 brands a week. As a startup we move very quickly and are always looking to excite our users with new content.”
Anbalagapandian and Gonzalez have been hard at work expanding the features and user experience of Orange Harp. In addition to the most popular request from users— search filters to find products within the app quicker, a release for Android phones is expected in the coming months.
Have consumers been flocking to use Orange Harp and has it changed shopping habits? “The response has been phenomenal so far. We’re witnessing the rise in awareness and socially conscious buying being a priority for people. The reasons vary from supporting local brands to reduced footprint to giving back to the community,” says Anbalagapandian.
Discovering ethical, environmentally-friendly products and brands can be difficult and even overwhelming, but Orange Harp’s beautifully designed digital marketplace makes conscious shopping chic, easy, and fun. The app is encouraging many consumers to place value on supporting brands that give back and to purchase more products made from ethical, sustainable materials.
Gonzalez is hopeful for the social change that Orange Harp will in turn enact upon consumers, “We hope Orange Harp will convey to the world that there are so many incredible individuals and companies proving that conscious can not only be good for the planet and community, but also stylish and accessible. We have so many exciting things in store and we hope our users come away from the app having experienced beautiful design, compelling stories, and products that are easy to fall in love with.”