Giki up your life: download the app bringing sustainability to our shopping baskets

Originally based at the new Club Workspace China Works in Vauxhall, Giki stands for 'get informed, know your impact'. Founded by power couple James and Jo Hands, this mobile app tells you about the products you buy and the companies you buy them from.

"For me, it was driven by a frustration in terms of lack of information on products we buy", says Jo, who used to work for a climate change charity. "I found it really difficult to assess whether products I was buying were good for me and my family and the environment. I saw a gap in the market for straightforward, accessible information around consumer products, and their impact on our health and the environment."

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The app is straightforward: scan the barcode on a product you want to buy and it will bring up a treasure trove of information. Each product is awarded badges such as 'No chemicals', 'No animal testing', 'Low carbon footprint' and 'Recyclable packaging'. Right now, there are 12 badges that rate over 250,000 supermarket products but Jo has plans to add more, including 'No Palm Oil' and 'Better plastics' badges, and even company-level badges.

She says, "You might want to buy a margarine, but does the company have a good track record on carbon emissions?"

Behind Giki's easy-to-use interface, the app is powered by reams of data. Jo says, "James is fascinated with data. He's been an investor and worked as a fund manager for 20 years, so has always been really into data. He has done quite a lot of environmental, social and governance investing as well, so was always interested in these issues."

Giki has also teamed up with Breast Cancer UK on its #DitchTheJunk campaign, which raises awareness about our exposure to chemicals in everyday product like deodorants and hair spray. 1 in 10 skin and haircare products contain parabens; there is mounting evidence that these chemicals can wreak havoc on our hormone functions.

A few taps on the app and Giki can tell you if your deodorant contains nasties like Aluminium zirconium and BHT. If a product scores badly, Giki offers better-rated alternatives to help you find products that are good for you, better for the environment and fairer to others.

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Founded last year from their home following a year of research and beta testing, the Hands decided it was time to venture into the co-working space at China Works, especially with a growing team.

Jo says, "When you work with other people I think that the main thing for us is having a space where we can all come together easily. Not everybody likes working at home. Lots of people find going somewhere gives more structure to the day. It's good to have that option of somewhere you can go.

"The location on Black Prince Road in Vauxhall is just perfect for us. It's a very nice space to be in, all the team are enjoying their time there so far. It's nice having a little cafe that serves coffee."

China Works is the latest refurbishment from Workspace. The old Royal Doulton pottery building just off the river Thames has been revamped to house a brand new Club Workspace, four high spec meetings room, cafe Fine and Bone and brand new offices and studios.

Workspace's vast reach across London also proved to be irresistible to Giki.

"I think the locations being dotted around London gives us a lot of flexibility, we can work from different places. It's good value," enthuses Jo.

Giki is available to download on Apple's iOS with plans to launch it on Android later this year, and also expand the number of products on the app to include those found in shops like Aldi and Lidl. So far, the business has been funded by friends, family and individuals with an interest in sustainable investing, as well as Giki's tech partner, Simpleweb.

Jo says, "This will see us through a year or so, depending on what we do, and then we'll likely raise another round of social impact investment."

Do you want to migrate your fledgling business from your home to a co-working office space like China Works? Take a look at what Club Workspace can offer from one of our 20 London locations.