While watching a talk given by management scholar Timothy M. Devinney,
entitled ”why the ethical consumer is a myth“ it got me thinking about ethical ethical
consumers take a look at it here:-
http://vimeo.com/10167988
From the research I have done I arrived at the same conclusion that
only a small percentage of people would specifically go out to purchase
ethical clothing. How did I come to this conclusion, well while
working in a store in central London we started to do a range of
ethical clothing made from organic cotton. We had some promotions in
newspapers and e-mail sent out to customers notifying them of this
new ethical range, I decided to do an experiment to see how many
customers came in specifically for the organic range simply by asking
them, and after about three months and hundreds of customers later I
came to the conclusion 99.99% of the people I asked didn't come in to
purchase from our organic range, in fact about 70% of them didn't
even realise that they were purchasing ethical clothing, and when I
tried to explain what they had just purchased only 20% actually
seemed interested in what I was saying. From what I can tell these
customers were only purchasing fashionable clothing. Now this isn't
necessarily a bad thing because the ethical range did very well, so
well in fact we made it a permanent and expanded the number of
products. So this got me thinking who cares if the customer doesn't
know that their purchasing ethical clothing they seem to be happy
with the purchase, we are making money, and at the same time we're
helping the environment. I concluded that it's natural for us Homo
sapiens to be self-serving drones in our day-to-day lives, we like to
say that we are concerned about the environment and the treatment of
workers who make our clothing, but in the end of the day most will
always go to to a major clothing retailer and purchase clothes which
is probably made in a sweatshop in some foreign land. (did you notice
I didn't mention any brands or countries here but you know who I'm
talking about). So if the ethical consumer doesn't exist (or a are
rare breed) is there any hope the simple answer is YES, but that
ladies and gentlemen is a story for another time good night.

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Comment by Kinga Kovacs on August 25, 2010 at 11:10
There is a way to make this happen and change people's attitude and behaviour in a way ;) I am sure.....awareness.....and knowledge is important as you said N.J.Bond ;)
Comment by Martin Franklin on August 17, 2010 at 10:22
It makes a lot of sense. I keep wondering why all the good work happening the ethical fashion arena still seems to be isolated or removed from the world of mainstream fashion, and I guess that's exactly because the majority of consumers won't behave in an ethical way much of the time, even if they'd consider themselves to be ethical people. It means that brands with an ethical motivation may need to put fashionability and desirability first, and make the ethical messaging secondary. Thanks for the great post!
Comment by N.J.Bond on August 3, 2010 at 9:09
In general the consumers these days have heard that alternate to chemical goods in textile exists, but that is only they have began to value now and basically their attitude has not changed.The reason is that thier informations, knowledge and ideas are all just heard, not yet realised . They are not sure of the quality and decision they make to buy . Once they buy they have to be proud of it to tell others they made right decision in buying that organic. Hence the knowledge is missing . This knowledge is not going to come easy.

Another point to consider is many of the consumers are wrongly trained to perceive colour. The can not appreciate the real fibres and true colours . Since 150 years or for some generations they have been trained to view colours under artificial window/ Mall's light which tell them more real than real. Their colour perception is wrong.

They want the ready-made attitude built in the shine and shimmer of the fabrics . This is not available in organic natural dyed because they are fundamentally different from the current fashion . Organic and natural dyed belong to virtue fashion . In ancient denim jeans one can see the virtue fashion. Further the totally organic and natural dyed is irregular , charecteristic , individual to producer; for distributor it is alive , has statement and message in his career, for conciouse consumers it is mother natures gift , a legacy . Only those who are conciosue ,creative souls can observe what they are seeing in mind eye and are able to buy for they require not for fashion. In the past Natural dyed Indigo denim jeans was used not for fashion buy the Ranchers and cow-boys required it to protect themselves from killer bees in deserts they lived. Modern consumers do not require organic and natural dyed they only want their wants and needs are shaped under artificial lights, far away from organic .

The way out is only conciouse and creative consumers must require to wear a body sheath, not fashion .In the body sheath the body is supported to build mechanism to cure diseases when the dye is herbs and art of ecstasy an aesthetic effect of high standard as nature is many colour beauty. They have to use it and experience and share their instincts with other consumers for large masses to buy organic goods.Till then it is under trials.

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