One key principle for positive change in the world has been stated as 'vote with your dollars' by supporting companies and products that are aligned with your principles, and avoiding those that help to fund causes that go against them.
But doing the research on the ownership of each of these companies for everything you buy can be a bit overwhelming for most of us, so this new app could save you time while keeping your conscience clear by taking the guesswork out of shopping.
Buycott helps you not only avoid companies that support questionable practices in their business (or in political lobbying and advertising), but also helps you focus your spending on those products and businesses that DO support the causes that you believe in.
"When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you've joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments." - Buycott
Buycott gives you the option to look up the ownership structure of any product, and trace it all the way back to the parent company with an interactive family tree diagram, so you're not inadvertently supporting irresponsible businesses by purchasing items from a branch of the company that appears to be green and groovy on the outside. The app also has contact information available for brands and companies, so that you can not only avoid purchasing their products, but can also send them a message telling them why you do so (or on the flip side, you can also contact those companies you stand behind with your messages of support).
Users can also create or join campaigns through Buycott, so their spending can reflect those causes that most resonate with their beliefs. Some of the most popular campaigns right now are focused on avoiding Monsanto products, boycotting products with GMO ingredients, and avoiding items made in sweatshops (or companies that use sweatshops), but campaigns can also be positive in nature, such as supporting local and sustainable foods and products, or veteran-owned businesses.
While the app has quite an extensive database, it's not complete by any means, but users can help with that aspect by adding info to it, including product and brand names, company names, and contact or background information on the business or product.