More than 1,100 people were killed in the clothing-factory collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year. Yet most consumers will probably continue to buy clothes without asking questions about their origins, experts say.
John Piesse's insight:
There must be a social context in which individuals can internalise risks.
Most people, including myself, are "conditional co-operators". If my mates pay more for ethical products, I probably will, but if they don't understand or communicate the value of doing so, my guess is they probably aren't buying ethical products and I probably won't based on their influence. They more than anyone are probably the people I'm going to respond to if they believe I should be doing more, but if the context is wrong then I'm probably not going to be receptive.
Ian Robinson says "there is no socio-cultural benefits for an individual to buy something that isn't recogniseable as ethical". I learnt that at uni in 1st year marketing when we were told the Toyota Prius (which looked very different from anything else) sold much better than the Honda Civic Hybrid (which looked like the non-hybrid model ).
A more sophisticated and intuitive mechanism to recognise decisions made where we share the ethical values that were the basis of the decision -where we agree the decision was made to do the right thing- would help to reduce the widely held view that these decisions can only be communicated in the mainstream at a superficial level.
Retail businesses that succeed will be those that understand customers want an experience with their purchases, whether buying online or in a traditional store.
Dr Amanda Imber says being green and sustainable has shifted from a niche movement to a mainstream concept and many brands are either being built from a sustainability position or are incorporating it as a core part of their brand. Consumers want to know where the product comes from, how it is made and who manufactures it; retailers breaching environmental and social standards will be punished by consumers who choose to engage with competitors instead.
She adds that consumers will increasingly swap and trade with each other rather than buy from retailers, in part to feel they are making ethical choices, which boosts their self-esteem.
A leaked report shows environment groups aren’t having the impact they’d like you to think they are.
John Piesse's insight:
No action can come from saying "what", without connecting it to the "how and why".
There IS a significant amount of concern about the environment in our society but also a massive sense of disempowerment. No group can make an impact without organising a system that links the way people think and feel about their day to day lives and aspects of environment that capture their imaginations. This must include a mechanism that allows people to learn intuitively from their actions. It can't be seperate from the economy or from society.
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