Ethical Consumerism is an important movement toward corporate reform. In the past, it was a goal for companies to drain every dollar from your pocket, by using provocative advertisements, catchy slogans, celebrity endorsements, demographic/age/sex profiling, highly developed psychological tactics and expensive marketing campaigns. In today’s economy, companies stress corporates responsibility to use ethical marketing tactics and build consumer awareness around their products.
Are you an educated consumer? There are a lot of gray areas that we as consumers are unaware of. Do you fully understand what factors complete your purchase? Is it a memorable advertisement you saw in a magazine? Price? Quality? Brand/Label? Design? Did you walk in the store because a cute sales person was in the front? Or did the smell of lemon scented candles entice your senses, envoking energy and positivity?
Today, one of the biggest trends in fashion is “going green.” The misconception, misinformed consumers face. Not all green is good. For example, green cotton may take more energy to crop and care for because the lack of pesticides. Bamboo is a great new green fabric, however it takes many synthetic chemicals to process is into a fabric. You need to carefully look into your products and manufacturing to truly understand the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution practices. For example, hybrid cars are suppose to be “energy efficient” vehicles that run off of electricity vs. gas, and better for the environment. Although the price of running it is lower, and you may get some free perks in certain cities, such as free parking, the carbon print is actually worse for the environment than your regular SUV.
In the past, I wrote a blog mocking PETA. I personally am a huge fan of leather and fur. I have several fur bags and shoes including mink, oscillot, and I would die for a leopard or a tiger fur. #JUSTSAYING. Fur and Leathers are a great natural textile that comes from the earth. It is long lasting, strong, durable, warm, and high in quality. I viewed some animal cruelty videos sent to me by some angry PETA members. Although, I do believe they are cruel, I still stand by my opinions, that pushy PETA members trying to push their beliefs on the world is annoying. Not all companies are run by cruel animal abusers. I agree, there should be laws to prosecute employees not in correct practice of properly putting the animals under.
Another unethical practice in the world of fashion is the issue of manufacturing. We all know that Nike pays children .25 a day to make shoes. And in some areas in China, they are polluting the ocean with chemicals. Does this affect YOUR purchasing choices? With China owning our asses, and our nation in debt and economy in shambles, many believe it is ethical to boycott trades form China. That would mean no more shopping at Walmart. Did you know that our economy RELIES on the cheap affordable Chinese goods. So doing so would hurt Americans. China actually has laws limiting the number of imports that comes into the country. That means they are hording the debt and hording the American dollar, which is bad for us. So if we decide to stop buying from them, that could create a huge war between America and China.
I ❤ the Sexy American Apparel ads, but I never shop there.
AMERICAN APPAREL = COOL CAPITALISTS GONE WILD
American Apparel prides itself on it’s ethical employee environment and manufacturing practices. I don’t ever personally shop there, because I think it is overpriced medium quality clothing that I don’t really care for. But I believe a major marketing selling point for them is them being an ethical American company. Turns out, they run illegal sweat shops, and are being sued by employees for sexual harassment, poor working environments, and under minimum wage wages. As far as their marketing goes, their advertisements are super provocative. I see nothing wrong with provocative advertising, however, it is wise to recognize this as marketing tactics, and be knowledgable in the fact that it does not negatively impact our buying decisions as consumers.
That is the way of the world, and I don’t see things every changing or getting better. Corporations run the world. Poor ethics have become an irreversible way of trade. Globalization, corporations and unethical standards have become the standard.