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Igniting Change Podcast Season 2: Episode 2

On our latest 'Igniting Change' podcast episode, we sit down with Beagle Button to discuss how their extension helps consumers easily make sustainable choices when shopping...

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podcast S2 blogpost episode 2

Our hosts Gabby and Rich are joined by Daniel Hemsley, co-founder of Beagle. The Beagle Button is a browser extension that helps users shop more sustainably.

Read on for an insight into the conversation…

Beagle button

What is the Beagle Button?

If there’s a more sustainable product, they’ll sniff it out!

The Beagle Button is a free browser extension that gives you and your online shopping a game changing power… It gives you the power to shop sustainably, recommending  you alternative products to ones that you are already looking at, whilst you shop as normal. By suggesting the products in browser, you don’t have to do any more research! The Beagle Button is a fantastic example of how tech can help people make better, more sustainable choices without having to have all the knowledge. By providing people with a simple solution, the barriers to sustainable living are far smaller!

Daniel Hemsley co-founded Beagle after setting himself a challenge to reduce his single use plastic in 2017, whilst working in London. Often, he would look at single use cutlery or plastic bottles and think about the life-span of these disposable items. He went on to found a subscription based service called ‘Unwrpd’ which delivered sustainable products that Daniel had been discovering, directly to your door. Daniel took the product knowledge from Unwrapped and built The Beagle Button to promote sustainable products in a simple and consumer friendly way.

The idea of a web browser extension came from inspiration from products like Honey and Pouch, which have grown in consumer trust and use over the years for their simplicity of use, but also their popularity with retailers due to a higher chance of customer conversion.

How it works

  • Download the browser extension (On desktop / laptop)
  • Personalize it. E.g. “Show me more plastic-free, UK-based or Vegan products.”
  • Shop as normal – forget it exists
  • If you’re browsing for a product where there is a better option, they’ll show it instantly on your screen!

Helping users shop sustainably

We know that many users WANT to be more sustainable, but when it actually comes to it, they find it difficult to follow through with it. Some of the most common reasons for this are:

  • Price of goods
  • Sustainability credentials
  • Habits
  • Lack of knowledge with sustainable options

Daniel wants the Beagle Button to help transform these blockers and allow its users to embrace more sustainable options. By using machine learning, the Beagle Button knows when users are shopping for products and will then suggest alternatives to the products that they are looking at in a non-obtrusive way. By doing this, it helps to educate users and provide them with alternatives that can be sorted by price and have their sustainability accredited by an external scoring system.

Sustainability and credibility

Sustainability and ‘for good’ are ideas that can often mean different things to different people. For example, some people may say that low carbon is the key to sustainability, whereas others may focus on 1-time life-long purchases, or locally produced goods. Daniel explained that Beagle Button actually allows you to customize how you shop by organizing recommendations based upon how you specifically wish to be sustainable.

Data privacy is something that is of course a concern with many consumers. Daniel elaborated on how the data used by explaining how the data is used. All the data is fully anonymous and is only used to improve the core functionality of the Beagle Button, to show you the best, most sustainable alternatives to the products you are already looking for.

Be the change that you want to see

Daniel Hemsley

Top tips for living sustainably

Daniel finished up with some great advice on how to live more sustainably and how to start making more sustainable options:

  • Start small: take sustainable living 1 option at a time, start small and make sure that these adjustments are working and manageable so they become habitual
  • Use less: by using less, you are being more sustainable AND saving money
  • Easy wins: look for the many simple switches that you can make to start becoming more sustainable, such as switching out your phone provider to a network such as Honest Mobile, a carbon negative UK based network
  • Embrace circular: buying 2nd hand, good quality clothing is a great way to save money and be more sustainable as it generally lasts a long time. Plus you can always sell your clothing later!

And of course… by installing the Beagle Button!

Thank you to our wonderful hosts and to Daniel for his great viewpoints. Catch the entire episode here:

Published on September 8, 2022, last updated on September 8, 2022

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