Category Archives: Ethical Clothing

When there is a will, there is a way!

One of the many reasons behind the lack of growth of ethical consumerism is people’s beliefs that their individual behaviour is not going to have any significant impact on the company. However, Nike has provided us with a prime example of how campaigns and people’s actions are able to successfully alter a company’s behaviour.

Nike, which possesses a majority of the footwear brand share in the market, was under attack about 20 years ago for its horrific labour practices. According to reports, Nike had been outsourcing their labour overseas in order to reduce their costs and increase their profit margins, with some Indonesian workers earning as little as 12 pence per hour. Not only were the wages ridiculously low, but treatment of workers were abusive as well. There were reports of subcontractors punishing women who had failed to wear the regulation shoes. However, despite the knowledge of these malpractices, Nike refused to accept responsibility.

Fortunately, these reports and campaigns were not taken lightly and people did actually begin to boycott the brand! The decline in sales got to such an extent that by 1998, a large number of staff had to be laid off. It was only then that the management came to the realisation that if they wanted the situation to improve, they had to alter their image. Not only did the wages increase, but they introduced a strict oversight of labour practices and they currently have posted 150 reports of inspections of the Fair Labor Associations website.

Although it would be true to argue that Nike has still failed to publicise all the information about their supplier factories, it is still a significant change from the position they were in two decades ago. Nike was once associated with slave wages and forced labour but is now one of the most transparent and open corporations in the market.

Therefore, it is very important to remember that our purchasing behaviour does have an impact on such corporations, no matter how successful they are. So if you are aware of brands that are unethical or have failed to be transparent in regards to labour and supplies, then take an action, spread the word, change your brands, JUST DO IT.Nike

Medis M

Lutz, Ashley. “How Nike Shed Its Sweatshop Image To Dominate The Shoe Industry”. Business Insider. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

“How Activism Forced Nike To Change Its Ethical Game | Simon Birch”. the Guardian. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.


LENT – 14 Days of Ethical Lent

It’s that time of year again where people give up things they know are bad for them like smoking, too much chocolate, TV series etc. But a great idea for lent which doesn’t involve you actually giving up anything, just involves changing a few things around, is to use more sustainable products.

One of the important things about being an ethical consumer is actually acting on your beliefs and doing small things to give yourself the internal rewards you deserve. Simply giving up or changing one thing you use that YOU KNOW has been sourced unethically or tested on animals will bring you one step closer to being a more conscious consumer. Who doesn’t want to know they’re helping the environment, even if it’s through recycling??

STEP 1: Stop using one of your unethical products for the next two weeks

STEP 2: Purchase literally just ONE ethical product, even just soap or body wash

STEP 3: See if you like it and if you do CONTINUE TO USE IT.

Buying ethical products that are fairtrade and organic are SO MUCH better for the environment and the workers who really rely on that tiny bit extra you pay to give them a fair wage. So just start with one product and then see where it takes you!!



Sabrina & Medisa

Why do I still buy unethical products??

The trending shift toward being more ethically conscious; of our clothes, the environment, and human rights, have triggered many heated debates about things we should and shouldn’t do/buy. Though most of us will agree that hurting people is bad, and we need to protect the planet, it seems that our attitudes and behaviour don’t match up a lot of the time.

Being an ethical consumer is a difficult thing to define these days, is it not buying bad products or buying the good products, is it being vegan, or buying fair trade??? I can imagine how daunting the thought of being more ethical can cause people to completely block these out as it’s sometimes too much guilt to think about the consequences of every purchase.


Research by Hurtado (1998) has shown the most common reasons that we don’t buy ethical products even though our values tell us it is something we should do.

  1. They don’t understand all the labels and there just isn’t enough information about what makes the product ‘ethical’.
  2. The ethical product is more expensive than the one you would normally buy.
  3. There aren’t enough environmentally friendly products on the market.
  4. People just don’t believe they can make a difference as one sole person making an ethical purchase.


All the information you need:

  • Fairtrade

Basically fairtrade products are imported normally from communities of farmers and workers in less economically developed countries. The principles of fairtrade allow workers to receive a fair STANDARD rate for their products, so regardless of the economic climate, they will still get paid what they deserve. On top of this, the PREMIUM you are paying goes towards a community fund that allows the communities to invest in health care, living and education! So the more fairtrade products we invest in, the more companies that will store them, and the more rights workers get in developing countries. So rather than putting money in this man’s pocket (CEO of TESCO), we should buy just one fairtrade product to help these people.

  • Environmentally friendly products:

Global Warming is killing our planet, and this is mainly due to the amount of waste that is being produced and burnt, along with excess energy consumption and industrial waste releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have 31% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than in the 1800’s. Here are some statistics on global warming:


What can we do? We can be more aware of our consumption habits INDIVIDUALLY.


  • Fashion Shopping:

A lot of companies have been in the limelight for poor ethics in regards to their workers, for example H&M and NIKE with the use of their sweatshops. This means they normally employ really young or poor people and get them to do grueling cheap labor for less than a fair price, and then these products are sold for A HELL OF A LOT MORE to the regular consumer abroad. It means the companies profit shoots up while the workers still live in poverty – THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

What can you do?2697297072_a493322631_o

You can also start by helping the environment through fashion by buying from companies who recycle their clothes and also use ORGANIC materials which are not man-made as this adds to the pollution causing global warming.

Remember there are three types of ethical consumers TAKE ONE STEP, MAKE ONE CHANGE, AND CHOOSE ONE ACTION – TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.


Sabrina x

Quick Guide to Ethical Consumerism

What does Ethical Consumerism mean?

So we’re constantly being bombarded with this idea of being an ethical consumer, with news reports and people telling us where to shop and where not to. But I wanted to find out what it really means to be an ethical consumer, what is ‘ethical’ and why do people even want to be ‘ethical consumers’?

Globalisation is the process of the world becoming increasingly interconnected, especially through trade and business, making everything more ‘international’. This is what made people start to question their consumer habits, as we start to think “Where do my clothes really come from?” where majority of the time the things we buy come from someone somewhere abroad.

“Natural Resources and Ethical Trade Programme (NRET) defines ethical trade as any form of trade that consciously seeks to be socially and environmentally, as well as economically, responsible”

In order for us be to be sure that the source of our products are socially, environmentally and economically responsible – this means ruling out any unfair, harsh or unsustainable treatment of humans, animals, the environment. Therefore, this is the aim of being an ethical consumer, reducing the buying of products that have caused harm to either of these sectors.

So what can I do?

Types of Ethical Purchasing:


Negative Ethical Purchasing

Positive Ethical Purchasing

Company Based Purchasing

  1. Negative Ethical Purchasing is the process where you AVOID particular products that are unethically sources. For example; products made in sweatshops, using child labour, aminal testing, or where the environment has been negatively impacted. What this does is it stops there being a demand for that product so companies are forced to stop producing them.
  2. Positive Ethical Purchasing is where we specifically SEEK products that are ethically sourced and buy them specifically. For example, we may only go out and buy Fairtrade, Certified Sustainable, Organic and Animal Free products. This will increase the demand and the attractiveness of products so large organisations will stock more of these and the producers in third-world countries get more pay.
  3. Company Based Purchasing is the TOTAL avoidance or acceptance of companies that are known to be ethical or unethical. This is called Boycotting, where people and the media try and put people off from buying from a whole company generally because of shady or unethical things they have done in the past…like Amazon.

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