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Transparency pays back ! A crowdlabel to make your own commitments

Why ?

Each of us can use its purchasing power to build a society in accordance with its beliefs. By doing so, we reject unethical products and services, buy from ethical companies and promote justice.

In that perspective, the greater the transparency of a company is (on working conditions, supply chain, procedures, governance…), the more informed and empowered consumers are. The Crystal Economy label was born from this observation.

How does it work?

The Crystal Economy label is a web-based open-source labelling and reviewing system. It consists of one or several commitments that a company makes to customers. Those commitments should fulfill only one condition : to be beneficial to human beings or nature (flora or fauna). Transparency is at the core of this concept : the company publishes on the online platform all its commitments and elements of evidence that they are being complied with. By doing so, consumers can check by themselves the actions the company has taken for humans and nature. They can also assess the company on the platform based on their experience of the company’s products or services.

Examples of commitments

  1. We only buy regional products
  2. All our dishes are hand-made
  3. All our employees commute by bike
  4. We only drink fair trade coffee
  5. We offer one week of paternity leave to all our employees
  6. We only use LED lights

...

Transparency means…

  1. Publishing its bookkeeping on its website
  2. Organizing a visit of its kitchen
  3. Listing the origin of one’s restaurant products
  4. Publishing a testimony of an employee on Facebook
  5. Publishing bills
  6. Posting a video of your supplier

...

A label? Nothing new about that !!!

The idea of labelling products and services to guide consumers in their buying process has existed for a long time. Bio, FairTrade, label Rouge, AOC, etc. Many ethico-political labels are already present in our grocery bags.

Some of those labels have extremely strict requirements while others are marketing tools with aleatory or almost nonexistent control. All of them require an audit, that is generally made by the entity that sells the label or by companies with connected interests, which calls into question the impartiality of this process. In any case, those are long and expensive procedures for companies that want a label, excluding small businesses that don’t have time or money.

A collateral effect is that companies have to adopt the general and static requirements imposed by the label, that becomes a brand that creates a vicious circle : the more those brands invest in advertising and communication, the more they are visible and popular, the more they invest, the more they are popular, etc. In consequence, labels are concentrated and closely linked to capital. Often, they validate existing popular massive trends such as bio, fair trade and recyclable. Meanwhile, other valuable requirements are neglected such as short supply chain, lower footprint, ingredient quality, no plastic, social mobility, responsible agriculture, etc.

The Crystal Economy label aims at providing an alternative to paid corporative labels.

What are the benefits ?

By withdrawing audit prerogative from a third actor to give it to the crowd, the risk of corruption is reduced and the independence is increased. Companies have more latitude to take as many commitments as they want, in complete adequation with their business and at a lower cost. The diversity of commitments breaks the “bio, fair trade and recyclable” limiting triptych to develop a multitude of beneficial commitments that are adapted to each business regardless of its stage and its resources.

What is the role of the Crystal Economy ?

The Crystal Economy pursues two complementary goals

  1. Offering development tools and visibility to companies that commit for a better and fairer economy for humans and nature.
  2. Guiding responsible consumers choice to support an economy respectful of humans and nature.
Created By
Paul Merz
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Credits:

Created with images by Matt Foster - "untitled image" • Soroush Karimi - "untitled image" • JESHOOTS.COM - "Businessman working and writing notes in office" • Pexels - "apples farmers market business"

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