The Our Pledge ecosystem consists of three key elements: a crowd-funding website and app, a digital loyalty card scheme and a network of partners.

  1. The Crowd-funding element

This is the central part of the ecosystem: a website and app that features campaigns launched by consumers, employees and businesses. If you are disappointed with the behaviour or choices of a business or brand (whether you shop there or work there), this is your starting point. It works much in the same way as any crowd-funding platform:

  1. Identify your mission eg. to persuade and support my favourite local cafe to abolish single use cups

  2. Create an Our Pledge account and state your campaign parameters eg. food industry, single use plastics, local business. Our relevant account manager will be in touch.

  3. The Our Pledge account manager will then work with you to draft an approach to your target business. We’ll contact them and explain the situation and ask them what’s holding them back from change. Depending on their response, we will negotiate a figure at which their plastic cups policy can be abandoned eg. £500, and together we will set up your Our Pledge page and the campaign is made live online and in the Our Pledge app.

  4. The business officially accepts your challenge and pledges to change if the campaign is a success

  5. At this point, all work is done by Our Pledge in collaboration with you to persuade other customers - or ‘pledgers’ - to ‘pay it forward’ until the £500 threshold is reached - just like any other crowd-funding campaign. In this case, each amount pledged by a customer would be quantified against an advance order up to a £500 cap (indeed, one person could buy 200 coffees at £2.50 in advance!). The system logs a pledger’s card details in the system and when eg. the £500 is reached, the money is collected, each pledger is issued with a voucher and the company is now obliged to use that cash to switch to compostable cups.

  6. In an ideal world, each pledger receives not only a voucher to exchange for coffee, but extra bonuses from the business (eg. a branded keep-cup). In addition, they will gain 25 ‘loyalty card pledge points’ for every successful campaign they support, which can be used against purchases elsewhere within the Our Pledge Network…

I launched an Our Pledge campaign to persuade my local coffee shop to use organic coffee. Thanks to the 50 people who purchased 5 coffees in advance, the owners had the necessary funds to change suppliers and the confidence that this was what their customers wanted. They now host ‘Our Pledge’ coffee mornings for card-holders, where we discuss local conservation!
— John Smith, Our Pledge member

What qualifies for Our Pledge support?

All Our Pledge campaigns will have to adhere to a selection of ethical and social criteria that will be set in place by our partners and advisors (hopefully following the evaluative system employed by Ethical Consumer Magazine). A campaign must align with the Our Pledge mission, otherwise it will be rejected by the team.


pilot stage: What we want to Achieve

  • 10 successful campaigns across Waltham Forest: 5 started by businesses, 3 by customers and 2 by employees

  • Focus on the food industry

  • 20 local partners

  • Our Pledge app beta tested and feedback collated

  • A local Our Pledge meet-up group to discuss actions

  • Mailing list of 500

  • Social channels established