About

THE ORIGIN PROJECT

We believe that people deserve to know where their products come from, and how product origins impact the world and the issues we care most about. The Origin Project aims to achieve greater supply chain transparency, helping consumers find or demand origin information.

In today’s interconnected world, every purchase you make has a broader impact. Positive purchases – ethically-produced goods made by responsible companies – can support local craftsmen, farmers, and entrepreneurs. However, negative purchases – products with unknown, harmful, or illegal origins and production practices – could result in detrimental harm to communities and the environment.

“Origin” refers to the journey that brings a finished product to you – where the raw materials were grown or extracted; whose hands tended to, crafted, and produced the materials; and the distance this product traveled to end up in your shopping cart. By knowing more about this journey, you can make informed buying decisions so that your purchases reduce negative impacts, and support the ethical and sustainable production practices that you care about.

THE ORIGIN APP

The Origin App empowers you to make informed purchases by seeking products with known origin and to pressure companies to be more transparent. 

Origin App users can:

  • Scan, search for, or browse wood products to discover what kind of wood they contain and where it was harvested. You can browse a list of products that already have declared origin information. 
  • Easily request the company to share origin information when it is unavailable in two ways:
    • Contact the company directly through the Facebook, Twitter, email or phone links in the App; or
    • Click the “I want to know the origin” button on the product page. This will alert the Environmental Investigation Agency to search for origin information on the user’s behalf. The more users that demand origin information, the more leverage EIA will have to demand origin information from companies. 
  • Receive notifications when the company responds to your request and shares origin information.

Currently, the vast majority of wood products on the market do not contain origin information. This means that either the manufacturers and retailers don’t know the origin, or they’re not sharing this information with the public. The Origin App provides a platform for companies with traceable supply chains to easily share this information with the public, showcasing the hard work they’re doing to ensure responsible supply chains. 

In order to know a product’s origin, a company must have or establish internal systems to trace their products throughout their supply chain. This traceability lowers the risk that illegally-sourced raw materials can be mixed in or that products are produced through unethical, unsustainable, or illegal methods. By sharing this origin information publicly, people can ensure they are buying products that align with their values. 

Because every wood product’s journey begins in the forest, through the Origin App you can push companies to provide the wood species and country of harvest that comprises the wood products you buy. This is merely the beginning of the origin story that companies should continue to tell, and demanding origin through the Origin App is just the start. 

The Origin Project is an initiative from the Environmental Investigation Agency – We investigate and campaign against environmental crime and abuse.